Tarzana Dum-Dum Guest Speaker
Stu Byrne & George McWhorter
Meeting Fans at Dum-Dum 1999
Who Is S. J. Byrne AKA John Bloodstone?
An Autobiography by Stu Byrne
(From the booklet, "Tarzan on Mars - genesis and more")
The title of this brochure includes the words, "genesis and more." Well, this is the more part! At the age of three I was struck on the head by a falling flower pot, which may explain some of it -- but maybe you can figure out the rest of it from the bio . . . (I can't!)
A Scotch-Irish French Norwegian, I was born before World War I in the protestant German-Swede country of Minnesota (St. Paul). Which branded me as a WASP (white anglo-saxon protestant) -- although I turned out a maverick. Knowing nothing about Triskaidekaphobia, I was incautious enough to be born in 1913 -- thus bringing upon the world the disastrous plotting against Archduke Ferdinand in the Balkans, and the insidious machinations of certain gentlemen in midnight session in Washington who thrust the 16th amendment upon an unsuspecting populace.
Whether I deserved it or not, I enjoyed a blissful childhood among MInnesota's 10,000 lakes, and my only recollection of the first war was the shattering discovery at the horse-drawn popcorn wagon that a big slab of apple pie, a la mode, was no longer a nickel! (War inflation had upped it to 7 cents!) What I'm pointing out here is that I did come in at the beginning of things because over these 85 to 86 years I was privileged to embrace the gamut of changes and discoveries which transformed the world of Yesterday into Tomorrow. I was in there early enough to see magic lantern slides instead of movies, to watch the little man in the black suit climb his ladder to light our gas lamp out front, and in the early twenties I was excited by whisperings of a thing called radio! Then came the talkies, radar, television, computers, nuclear power, satellites, moon walks, ice cubes, plastics, seat belts, and the Internet. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Dreams and imagination. My father read me Grimm's Fairy Tales, and I graduated solo to Alice in Wonderland, and to L. Frank Baum and the marvelous tales of Oz. Which led to the Rover Boys and the Boy Allies and finally to a schism -- between Gernsback science-fiction, and the life-changing impact of the Edgar Rice Burroughs books. By the time I moved to California at the impressionable age of twelve, my eyes felt as big as the Rockies. I was Tarzan and John Carter (if not also Doc Savage, Hairsbreadth Harry, and the Green Hornet) all rolled into one, ready to take on the world. (The Gray Lensman and Prince Valiant also came to claim a piece of my psyche.) I was victim and product of the impossible (?) idealism of those never-to-be forgotten halcyon days.
So as a starry-eyed country bumpkin I came to sudden new horizons, vision-blinded by the soaring Sierra Nevadas, miles of gleaming orange trees, and early access into the silent film studios (remembering especially Mary Pickford patting me on the head! -- 1926). In my earliest teens, thanks to science-fiction, I was so deep into astronomy that a buddy and I had access to the old observatory on West Adams, and many a summer night (after visiting hours) were spent in awe out there in the Pleiades and the great Orion Nebula, or surfing the moons of Jupiter and rings of Saturn. In fact at fifteen I was grinding parabolic mirrors for my amateur telescope.
The depression years brought me certain blessings, such as a lifetime wife (Joey), two beautiful children, and an M.A. and teaching credentials from UCLA. Then came WWII and I went into aerospace and tech training (computerology and some programming -- in the days of radio tube bistable multivibrators, punched cards, wire-boarding, and octal/hexadecimal inputs), all culminating in 7 years abroad -- 5 years in South America, 2 1/2 years on Guam, trips to Belgium and Germany (NATO bases), mostly in international management (airlines, procurement) due to my German and Spanish. I gave 18 years of my life to Litton Data Systems, partly as administrative assistant in Operations, but mostly as Principal Engineering Writer on major weapons systems, etc.
All the while, Tarzan was my role model, and I was quite athletic, finally winning an intercollegiate West Coast Senior AAU gymnastic championship, and there were also those years on Guam, scuba diving and getting some experience with shark psychology (not recommended as a community hobby!). Strangely, I ended up residing 14 years in Tarzana, almost within walking distance of the famous ERB landmark on Ventura Boulevard.
But that's only one side of the story. I was always drawn to the mysteriouis and mystical elements in fantasy fiction (Abraham Merritt, Rider Haggard, etc.) -- and indubitably the unresolved mystery of La of Opar and Issus of Barsoom had to be tied together. I lived the fantasies and probably became a part of them, as events developed. I fellowshipped in LIma with Thor Hyerdahl when he was building his Kontiki raft. I had explored Inca country in the Andes, covered a lot of Daenikin territory, and had interested Hyerdahl because I was the only one around who had read all the volumes of Inca Garcilasso de la Vega's Comentarios Reales (Royal Commentaries) in the archaic Spanish, before the Catholic Church allowed a modern version. (Too much to tell!)
A near death experience got me into scientific astrology and I became a hosted-in member of the AFA. But this led onwards into metaphysics, culminating 30 years later in a Doctorate in Metaphysical Science. I had gone through everything Marharishi Mahesh Yogi had to teach in Transcendental Meditation, went through the training of Paramahansa Yogananda's Fellowship, absorbed everything the authentic Rosicrucians of Mt. Ecclesia had to offer, became a 2nd Degree Lama Yoga in the 5000-year-old Astarian Brotherhood, spent 8 years with the Builders of the Adytum (B.O.T.A.) in Western Hebraic kabalism and alchemy, then discovered the whole Esoteric Tradition (Secret Doctrine) of the theosophists -- ending in a 3-volume world concordance of the main streams of esoteric knowledge (my A.N.S.W.E.R. series -- Alliance of New seekers of Wisdom, Ethics, and Reason).
It went on and on. Allegorically, I have disguised the buildup of the Star Man series stellar empire expansions using what I learned to be the actual (unmentionable) structures and hierarchies of the universe -- so Masters, Adepts, and demigods were masked as World Watchers, Star Wardens, Overlords of the Nebula, etc.
Well, somebody opened my chatter box here, and I'd better quit while I'm ahead (?).
Presents The Story Behind Tarzan On Mars
Ref: Guide to Past Dum-Dums: ERBzine 0839
Stuart Byrne aka John Bloodstone made an appearance at the Tarzana 38th Anniversary Burroughs Bibliophiles 1999 Dum-Dum. Over the convention weekend he met with many ERB fans and distributed a booklet detailing the genesis and evolution of his Tarzan On Mars story.
Inasmuch as I had been selling a lot of fantasy adventure, mostly under the pen name of John Bloodstone, many devotees of the classical mystery-adventure fantasy genre were starting to make some outlandish suggestions -- particularly to Ray Palmer, former editor of Amazing Stories, and then editor of Other Worlds Science Stories. One of my novelettes, Last Days of Thronas (Science Stories, February 1945), had even been illustrated by Burroughs' famous artist, J. Allen St. John -o- because it seemed that even the venerable St. John liked what he saw. The growing outlandish suggestion was that I should be a successor to Edgar Rice Burroughs and continue his work and tradition!
Tarzan On Mars
Genesis and more by S. J. Byrne
The Tinder Spark That Started It All
There was at first a tendency on my part to run for the hills. From age 10 I had absorbed all ERB had written and always regarded him from afar and with very fond reverence. The whole thing was embarrassing and at first unnerving. Who was kidding whom? Yet the impetus held and continued to be more insistent, with rumors that respectable publishing interests might climb on board with the proposition, if anything came of it.
Out of respect and appreciation for all such supporters -- or most likely as a self-test -- I decided to do a showcase novel in the style and tradition of the classical Burroughs. No sooner had I opened this Pandora's box than my imagination virtually attacked me wiht a flood of long-suppressed ideas. Both in the Tarzan series and the John Carter series, certain story threads had not been tied, and mysteries had not been resolved -- such as the mystery of La of Opar versus the mystery of Issus on Barsoom. Crunch! Could the two be one and the same? Also, what challenge to Tarzan could be more supreme than Jane Clayton's abduction to Mars? Well -- to put it mildly, I was soon off to reams heretofore unassailed.
The result was Tarzan on Mars. When Ray Palmer read the manuscript, his reaction was the article, "Tarzan Never Dies," in Other Worlds Science Stories (November 1955). But subsequently, much more began to happen. Even some shakers in Hollywood became aware of it, and Ray Bradbury (a Burroughs aficionado form the beginning) also gave me a favorable nod. More impressive was Ray Palmer's claim that he had a potential of 20,000 orders for the book from all over the world. Then came Street and Smith's offer to the Burroughs Corporation to give them a 25% royalty for permission to publish. I believe if the proposition to merely publish the book via an exclusive-contract publisher like Del Rey Books had been made, I might have joined Phil Jose Farmer in the ranks of those who added their pastiches to the ERB tradition. However, the push from Palmer, Street and Smith, and I believe my agent at the time was for me to be the successor to Burroughs! Mr. Hulbert Burroughs stepped in at that point an turned thumbs down on the idea, maintaining that his late father did not need a successor. I agree with him, but the result was that the original manuscript of T.O.M. purportedly ended up in the ERB museum.
Since then, via Bootleg Row, the novel has lived an underground existence among ERB fans, and in spite of the years has refused to die. That was THEN, but today the old Phoenix bird is stirring again. Before we go into all that, the following "resurrections" are presented, either as an introduction to newcomers, or as a collectible refresher to the "Old School."
Vern Coriell Collection
By S. J. Byrne
The result was Thundar - Man of Two Worlds, written also in the ERB classical fantasy style, under my fantasy pen name, John Bloodstone. (Leisure Books, 1971)
Until the unexpected return of Michael Storm out of worlds unknown, I had always relegated boundless adventure and unbridled fantasy to the realm of vainglorious dreams. The secret heirloom with its cryptic call to a dangerous mission of honor, the time-eroded manuscript in a bottle tossed at long last on civilized shores to astound the mind of modern man - all these were but imaginative devices of the ingenious to help us borrow and illusion. They were vicarious opiates for a materialistic world, a futile attempt to regenerate the myth of stalwart individualism.
Until Michael Storm's return, I had never entertained the remotest suspicion that I would one day peruse such a storied manuscript, nor, leas of all, that I would at last come to be even remotely credulous of its unprecedented contents.
Yet here was the living hero of it, whose strange adventurings over sixteen years of time had almost erased the memory of his mother tongue. When I had re-educated him, he finally set his life story down on paper. He learned with difficulty at firs, then with astonishing swiftness, as though knowledge itself might become the key to his own mystery. He wrote with a stubborn persistence and with a burning nostalgia, like one determined to assail uncrossable barriers to regain some dreamed-of Paradise lost . . . .
Like some sullen and brooding barbarian emperor, he had stood in the rear of the cell where they had held impending my arrival. HIs broad back was against the wall, his massive arms folded over such a chest as I had never witnessed before on a human being. Burned a deep brown by tropical suns, his aspect was savage -- pagan -- enhanced by the skillfully cured animal skins and jeweled harness he wore. His beard was thick, his hair long and unruly, his shining black eyes couched deep beneath the massive arch of a patrician brow.
Those eyes met mine, and they were far from being those of a fevered and demented creature born of the wilderness. They were utterly defiant, power conscient, demanding. So might Alexander of Macedon have gazed down upon the armies of Persia and Babylon . . . .
NOTE: The scenes and locale of the opening adventure in the Peruvian Andes are authenticated by the fact that I spent some years in those mouintains, following the trails of Pizarro while guided by archaic Spanish manuscripts -- SJB
|Music of the Spheres||Amazing Stories||8-35|
|Colossus I||Other Worlds||5-50**|
|Colossus II||Other Worlds||7-50|
|Colossus III||Other Worlds||9-50|
|Matter of Perspective||Other Worlds||10-51|
|Land Beyond the Lens (Bl)||Amazing Stories||3-52**|
|The Golden Gods (Bl)||Amazing Stories||5-52**|
|Return of Michael Flannigan (Bl)||Amazing Stories||8-52**|
|The Golden Guardsmen||Other Worlds||4,6, 7-52**|
|The Naked Goddess||Other Worlds||10-52*|
|Lady of Flame (reprint of Goddess, Eng.)
(Now scripted as The Bridge of Time)
|Children of the Chronotron
(Reprinted in Holland)
|Power Metal||Other Worlds||5,6,7-53**|
|The Bridge||Science St||12-53|
|Beyond the Darkness||Other Worlds||7-51|
|Last Days of Thronas (Bl)||Science St||2-54|
(Now scripted as Martian Honeymoon)
|Beware the Star Gods||Imagination||6-54|
(Now scripted as Monster In My Blood)
|Spaceship Named Desire||Other Worlds||7-57|
|God Man||Powell Publ||1970|
(in collab with Wm. James)
|Thundar, Man of Two Worlds (Bl)||Leisure Bks||1971|
|The Alpha Trap||Major Bks||1976|
|Star Man (series - 11 novelettes)||Master Publ||1970-72|
|Star Man (series - 5 novelettes)||Virtual Book Publ
(electronic media - Internet
|The Hoax Breaker (modern gothic)||Virtual Book Publ||1998|
|Star Quest (major sci-fi novel)||Virtual Book Publ||1998|
|The Alpha Trap (revised)||Virtual book Publ||1998|
Many of the above titles are available at:
TARZAN ON MARS LIVES ON
One of the rarest of the Burroughs Collectibles
As Mr. Byrne has indicated, Tarzan on Mars has been a story much sought after by ERB fans over the years. The following project gives some idea of the popularity of this rare collectible. Longtime ERB fan, scholar, collector and fanzine editor, Dick Spargur, donated a one-of-kind, hand-crafted edition of the story to the Burroughs Bibliophile auction at a recent Dum-Dum convention. This rare edition caused a great deal of excitement during the bidding and brought in a record sum to help in the operating expenses of the esteemed Burroughs fan organization.
I had this story from one who had no business to give it to me, or to any other. However, I am very grateful that he did for I have wanted to have and read Tarzan On Mars for years. I actually acquired (or rather, I finished acquiring) a copy of the text a little over four years ago when it was serialized semi-annually from 1994 to 1997 in a fanzine called Aces, published by Paul M. McCall featuring McCall's own illustrations.
While I afterwards did have the text as pages of a reasonably well produced fanzine, I still wanted the story in a more authentic looking ( and thus more collectible) book form. However, since Tarzan On Mars had never been so published, I had to wait until I could get it in an electronic format so that I myself could produce the book. Several weeks ago that good fortune did befall upon me and I have been laboring ever since to produce as nice a looking "book" as I could. What you are holding in your hands is the result of these labors.
OK, you ask: What is Tarzan On Mars? To understand the answer to that question, one must turn back the clock to 1954. Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of both Tarzan and of a great series of books of adventure on the planet Mars had been dead for four years. Ray Palmer, once editor of Amazing Stories Magazine, announced in the October 2nd issue of Fantasy Times that he had found a successor to Burroughs and his name was John Bloodstone. Furthermore, Bloodstone had already written a book that was, according to Palmer, an apt addition to the Burroughs canon. He called for the Burroughs estate to not only name a successor to carry on the Burroughs tradition and characters, but to name as that successor, John Bloodstone. Palmer said that Bloodstone's new Tarzan novel combined the famed jungle ape-man with the almost as famous Mars stories into a long, sprawling 110,000 word epic novel. The Burroughs estate, however, remained unimpressed and ordered Palmer to desist. The project was dropped and Bloodstone's book remained unpublished professionally, a it has to this day.
Despite the suppression of the novel, it was not forgotten and generated much curiosity over the years. Once its use as a viable commercial property had waned, Palmer or Bloodstone or both began to leak it to fans, letting them read and see for themselves the quality of the manuscript while also attempting to arouse some pressure for its eventual publication. After it had been loaned to fans, some copies were made and these copies were often passed around and copied over the ensuing decades. The text in this book is descended from one of these duplicates.
Some fans like Tarzan On Mars, some don't. You're invited to read the text and make your own judgment as to its quality. Before you do, a few words about its author must be made. His name was not really John Bloodstone. His real name is Stuart J. Byrne and he was one of a stable of competent writers who worked for Ray Palmer in those days. He was a recent guest at a Dum-Dum, the annual gathering of fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, held in Los Angeles in 1999. He was an d is a fan of ERB and Tarzan On Mars is a fitting addition to anyone's Burroughs collection.Richard C. Spargur
Publisher, The LOHAE Press
|1. Destiny For Two
2. Evil From Antiquity
3. Tario The Lotharian
4. First Clue
5. In Flesh and Blood
6. The Architect of Doom
7. The Legend of Issus
8. Kar Komak's Quest
10. The Sacred Council
11. The Bride of Caesar
13. Of Love and Valor
14. The Miracle
15. The Quick and the Dead
16. The Question of the Ages
|17. The Advent of Tarzan of the Apes
18. Goddess of the Sun
19. On the Eve of Battle
20. The Great Games
21. The Gates of Death
22. "And We Are Done, You and I!"
23. The Gathering Storm
24. The Tyrant of Tarnath
25. In the Caverns of Iss
26. The Zero Hour
27. Into the Abyss
28. The Loom of Hate
29. Surprise Wedding
30. To the Golden Throne
31. The Day of the Prophecy
Publisher's Notes Concerning Chapter XXXII
As described in this book's introduction, Tarzan on Mars was written in 1954 but never authorized by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. for publication. The original manuscript has been privately handed down and copied and recopied by collectors ever since. The volume you are presently reading is descended from one of those copies.
John Bloodstone completed only thirty-one chapters of Tarzan On Mars and never finished his novel. Along with the thirty-one finished chapters that he submitted to his original, intended publisher, Bloodstone provided a brief letter containing a suggested conclusion to the story. He evidently intended to expand this idea into Chapter XXXII. The text of that letter appears below.
The editor of the present manuscript (whose identity is unknown to this publisher) has written and provided an additional and concluding chapter for Tarzan On Mars. This new chapter attempts to provide a needed end to the story and yet to do so in a manner that is as close to Bloodstone's concept and style as was possible. This chapter, the missing chapter number thirty-two, is thus not the work of John Bloodstone but does try to maintain his spirit and style just as Bloodstone attempted to maintain the spirit and style of Edgar Rice Burroughs. The reader is asked to kindly disregard this last chapter if its source is considered to be unacceptable.
The following is the letter that was attached to the original manuscript and appears to be a note from John Bloodstone to his editor or his literary agent.
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE MASTER, UNSTEADILY
A REVIEW OF
"TARZAN ON MARS"
By John Allen Small
WEBJED: BILL HILLMAN
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