Scientifiction was the term ERB
coined to describe his style of imaginative, fantasy adventure.
Barsoom was the name he applied to the
red planet Mars which he described as an often hostile place with low gravity,
and as having lost most of its oxygen and water.
Atmosphere Factory provides the artificial
atmosphere of Mars through the powers of the Ninth Ray -- a ray which is
an inherent property of all light. The factory is a huge, completely unassailable
building which covers about four square miles and towers 200 feet in the
air. There is only one tiny door in the massive walls, which are about
20 feet thick and the roof is guarded from attack by aircraft by a glass
covering five feet thick. Entry is gained through a series of three doors,
controlled by a set of nine thought waves. The Ninth Ray is separated from
the other rays of the sun by means of a set of finely adjusted instruments
on the sprawling roof of the factory, three-quarters of which is used for
reservoirs in which the Ninth Ray is stored. Certain proportions of refined
electric vibrations are combined with it, and the result is pumped to the
five principal air centers of the planet, where, contact with the ether
of space transforms it into atmosphere. There is sufficient reserve of
the stored Ninth Ray to maintain the present atmosphere for 1,000 years.
The only danger is that some accident might befall the pumping apparatus,
a battery of twenty radium pumps any one of which is equal to the task
of furnishing all Mars with the atmosphere compound. Each is used for a
day at a time. Two men are in charge of this plant, each of whom spends
half a Martian year at a time alone in the plant. The only real fear
of attack are from the green Martians or some demented red man, as all
Barsoomians realize that the very existence of every form of life on Mars
is dependent upon the uninterrupted working of this plant.
International air travel which moves both
freight and passengers. (Thuvia)
Full-Scale Air Battles between powerful
air fleets took place on Barsoom long before the importance of airpower
in war was accepted on Earth.
Air ship hangars & pads on roofs
Eighth Ray or Antigravity Ray is
the ray of propulsion. It repels aircraft from gravity and is used in buoyancy
tanks. It allows all Barsoomian aircraft to hover anywhere. It is an inherent
property of all light.
Airships range in size from single
seaters to giant 10,000-man craft.
Equibilibrimotors or flying belts are one-man
flying machines, consisting of a broad belt, similar to an earthly life
belt, filled with enough eighth ray to equalize the pull of gravity. Attached
to the back of the belt is a small radium motor and controls are positioned
on the front of the belt. Projecting from each side of the upper rim of
the belt is a strong, rigid, light wing with small hand levers for quickly
adjusting its position. The Equibilibrimotors are rented out for public
transport. City guards fly patrol in them. (SM)
One-man surfboard-like fliers with a wind-screen
travel up to1000 mph.
Public flier taxis
Ground fliers (Thuvia and Gods)
Military aircraft patrol the skies
Submarines used in the Omean Sea.
Space craft guided by artificial brains
similar to today's computers invented by Fal Siva, a scientist in Zodanga.
Spacecraft capable of reaching the moon Thuria
was developed by Gal Nar, a scientist of Zodanga. Dejah Thoris was abducted
and transported to the moon in this.
Controlling Destination Compass is a directional
compass used for navigation in aircraft (this device was called a gyro-compass
in GIANT). It is actually a computer-driven automatic pilot perfected by
Carthoris. The pilot sets the desired latitude and longitude and the device
then navigates to the location, shuts down the propulsion, and lower the
craft to land.
Altitude ranging is another feature of
the Controlling Destination Compass which was designed to prevent collisions.
Sonar or Radar device are used by Fliers
to warn of approaching obstacles. The ship is brought to a halt until pilot
Air and Ground Traffic Control: Traffic
is all controlled by intricate flight control systems similar to our modern-day
air traffic control networks. (Okar in The Warlord of Mars)
Airship weaponry includes rapid fire
guns and the larger radium cannons which fire explosive radium
projectiles. A variety of bombs are also used.
Radium rifles are an extremely deadly weapon
with a range of 300 miles. They fire small calibre explosive radium
bullets which explode when exposed to light. The bullets are covered
with a thin coating that breaks on contact with the target, thus creating
an explosion. This is the principal firearm used by the green men. Many
models are equipped with wireless finders and sighters and the Therns
or white Martians use a model with an attached shield. This
lightweight weapon has a wood stock - a rare material on Barsoom - and
a long metal barrel composed of a specially tempered alloy of aluminum
Radium Pistols are a firearms with a shorter
range than the radium rifle.
Disintegrating Ray of Tul Axtar was invented
by Phor Tak, the scientist of Jahar. It destroys metal, wood, or flesh,
depending on the setting of the machine gauges. It is of a much shorter
range than the radium cannon (FM)
Atom Gun was a pistol or rifle described
in Giant of Mars.
Ghastly blue protective paint was later
developed by Phor Tak to negate the effects of the disintegrating ray.
Phor Tak's Flying Death is a guided missile
attracted to Tul Axtar's protective blue paint. The missiles were covered
with invisible paint but were never used as they were destroyed by
Invisible paint used on fliers as cloaking
Magnetic tower of Kadabra - the Great Power,
is a gigantic electromagnet. It gives
Salensus Oll the power to desroy approaching air fleets. It is controlled
by the technician Solan.
Carrion Caves are a series of 27 caverns
connecting the hothouse cities of the North Pole with the outside world,
beneath the ice cliffs. Here the yellow men of Okar bring their dead so
that the stench will discourage any invasion of their territory.
Pumping Stations of the subterranean Omean
Sea. The only entrance to the Omean Sea is through a crater opening
in a flat-topped black mountain rising from the south polar ice cap. To
keep it from filling above a certain level, the Black Pirates have four
great pumping stations that force the oversupply back into the reservoirs
from which the red men draw the water which irrigates their farm lands.
Advanced Mental Powers were developed by
Lotharians who could create imaginary bowmen for defence.
Advanced Hypnotic Powers were developed
by Kaldanes who could control others through mind control.
Part III... ERBzin-e 249