Burroughs began his writing career
with a Martian story, best known by its hardback title: A Princess of Mars.
Written in 1911, and published in All-Story in 1912, it was not published
in hardback until 1917. Percival Lowell's theories of "The Canals of Mars"
were at the height of their popularity in 1911, and fired ERB's imagination.
Some of his best writing is in the Mars stories. Critics have been vocal
over the years in proclaiming the first three stories as a self-contained
trilogy, but the fifth and sixth stories are as fascinating as the first
three, both in style and ingenuity, leaving the "trilogy" idea a bit too
pat. Scheherazade's life depended upon her ability to devise endless sequels
to her "Arabian Nights' Entertainments," and Burroughs proved no less inventive.
There were eleven books in the Mars
series, the last of which was published fourteen years after the author's
death to include two short stories previously published only in pulp magazines:
"John Carter and the Giant of Mars" and "Skeleton Men of Jupiter."
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