"The Wizard of Venus" was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1941 but was not published until 1964, having spent a couple of decades in a safe. This became the fifth and final story in the Carson of Venus series, although it is clearly intended to be the first in a series of connected novellas, which was what ERB did in "Escape on Venus." Carson Napier took off in a rocket ship from Earth intended to go to Mars, but he forgot to account for the gravitational affects of the Moon and ended up on Venus. There he became entangled with the beautiful Duare, who did not give him the time of day for the first three stories, which was a moot point because usually they were separated by circumstances. The standard Burroughs formula, where the hero's beloved is captured and he has to fight his way across an alien landscape to rescue her, was less evident in these final ERB novels, although it is difficult to say whether it was World War II or the author's declining health...
Much as J. R. R. Tolkien and others, Edgar Rice Burroughs, popular purveyor of pulp fiction, had "lost" tales. I like to read ERB, but this is not the Mars books or even the best of the Tarzan books. This volume contains two unrelated stories, but are illustrative of second string ERB. "The Wizard of Venus" continues the saga of Wrong Way Carson, who set out for Mars and found Venus instead. I agree with ERB biographer Richard A. Lupoff, the story has merit as an easy introduction to the Venus series. If you dont't like it, you don't have to bother reading any of the other four volumes. "Pirate Blood" is a foray into 20th Century pirate-adventure land. Even for pulp fiction, this tale relies way too much on ERB's love of fantastic coincidence. Through several wild circumstantial developments, a California motorcycle cop, who is also a descendant of Jean Lafitte, joins modern pirates raiding in the Pacific. Both stories were found among ERB's writings after his death. They...
"The Wizard of Venus":
The ISBN of the 1983 Ace mass-market paperback that I read is 0441901956. This copy contains "The Wizard of Venus" and the unrelated story "Pirate Blood." The first 86 pages are devoted to "The Wizard of Venus," and eight of those are blank. So even the more generous Edgar Rice Burroughs' fans should hesitate to call this a novel. But you might want to read it because it is the last published story in Burroughs' Venus series.
Carson Napier, the hero of the Venus series, adopts a new modus operandi. In preceding adventures he employs physical skills of boxing and fencing. Through his intermediary Mr. Burroughs, Carson has previously informed us of his skills of telepathy, but he has not used them. Now he does.
Carson and his companion Ero Shan take off to test Carson's new aeroplane. Thick fog, even worse than Venus's normal permanent overcast, forces them down in an unknown land with medieval castles. The people are, allegedly,...
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