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Volume 3160

Princess of Az-Lium
A Mars Novel Serialized in 80 Chapters
by
Den Valdron


NOVEL INTRO AND CONTENTS
Meet Den Valdron
3160: Princess of Az-Lium | Art 3161 Az-Lium 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 3162 Az-Lium 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
3163 Az-Lium 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 3164 Az-Lium 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 3165 Az-Lium 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 3166 Az-Lium 21 | 22 | 23 | 24
3167 Az-Lium 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 3168 Az-Lium 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 3169 Az-Lium 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 3170 Az-Lium 37 | 38 | 39 | 40
3171 Az-Lium 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 3172 Az-Lium 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 3173 Az-Lium 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 3174 Az-Lium 53 | 54 | 55 | 56
3175 Az-Lium 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 3176 Az-Lium 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 3192 Az-Lium 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 3193 Az-Lium 69 | 70 | 71 | 72
3194 Az-Lium 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 3195 Az-Lium 77 | 78 3196 Afterword and Annotations
Torakar of Mars
CONTENTS
(Two new chapters each week)
 1. THE DAY THE WORLD STOPPED
 2. WHEN A KILLER CALLS
 3. DEATH VALLEY
 4. IN THE POSSESSION OF GYAL BOHURS
 5. THE TEMPLE OF SKULLS
 6. PARALYSED ENEMY
 7. ALIEN VERSUS HUNTER
 8. PIRATES OF TAZOR YLAN
 9. SHADES OF DARKNESS
10. THE EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD VIRGIN
11. IN WHICH A DUEL TO THE DEATH ACTUALLY TAKES PLACE
12. JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE WORLD
13. SWOLLEN SHADOWS
14. SHEER LUCK HOME
15. APOCALYPSE 2012 
16. THE HAUNTING OF WIN ZAR HUS
17. PASSED THE DOOR OF DARKNESS 
18. LOVE AMONG THE RUINS
19. BLURRED VISION
20. TOMORROW IS YESTERDAY
21. INTO THE AIR, A TIGHT BOARDING EXPERIENCE
22. ALL THE WRONG PLACES
23. AIR LINE DISASTER
24. BEASTS OF THE DRY ROAD
25. HILLSIDE CANNIBALS
26. 30,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE CITY
27. DETOUR
28. INVASION OF THE POD PEOPLE
29. THE SOURCE
30. THE INVOCATION
31. THE FALL OF MANT
32. YOU ARE HERE
33. MAKING A KILLING
34. TRANSMORPHERS
35. THE PERFECT CANDIDATE
36. THE LAND HAS EYES
37. HEADS ARE GONNA ROLL
38. EVIL EYES
39. IN SIGHT OF EVIL
40. DARK QUEEN
41. DEATH FORETOLD
42. FEED BACK
43. ART OF KONAND OYL
44. SMASH CHAOS
45. STORM RIDERS
46. MORAL TIN
47. COUNTDOWN THROUGH AMEN
48. NIGHT OF THE DEAD
49. THE BIG SPLIT
50. RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE
51. 101 THINGS A GIRL WILL DO
52. THE DISTRACTION
53. ANOTHER PLANET
54. THE TELLING
55. IMPOLITE
56. KING OF THE LOST WORLD
57: KING OF THE ANTS
58.  MONSTER
59. THE MAN NEXT DOOR
60. BORN TO LOSE
61. DETOUR
62. HITCHHIKERS
63. MEGAS ARK
64. KOROKOS URUS
65. ADVENTURES OF SIN AND BAD
66. SEX POT
67. MAKAPRANA
68. CHEERLEADER CAMP
69. DEVIOUS TREASURE
70. RANDOM ACTS
71. CHAPTER 71
72. CHAPTER 72
73. CHAPTER 73
74. CHAPTER 74
75. CHAPTER 75
76. CHAPTER 76
77. CHAPTER 77
78. THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT
Conclusion
AFTERWORD AND ANNOTATIONS

 
Princess of Az-Lium?   Well, it's a bit of a gag isn't it.  Princess of Asylum.  You don't have to be crazy to work for them, but it helps.

The first time I did one of these things, it was for a fairly noble purpose.  Bill Hillman was having health problems, and I wrote him a novel to cheer him up.  Iím not sure it did him any good, but he recovered nicely, so I donít suppose it did him harm.

This one?   Well, it's rather less elevated.  Asylum pictures did its own Princess of Mars, whose trailer I found on YouTube.  I liked it quite a bit.  And, happily, I ended up liking the whole movie.

But you know how it is, some of us got up on our high horses.   Traci Lords as a blonde Princess of Mars?  John Carter as a modern soldier?  The green men didn't have enough arms, the thoats didn't have enough legs, Traci Lords was too old for the part, and besides she was a skank, yadda yadda yadda.

Look, I'm as much of a nerd as the next Trekky.  Hell, I'm a bigger nerd.  I am the uber-nerd.  But at some point, people have to get a grip.

I don't know where the idea came from really.  I think it was cussedness, a reaction to the purism of it all.  Or maybe at some level, I have this gentlemanly instinct, and I don't like to see women, including Traci Lords, disparaged in such an ugly way.  It probably was that simple.

I was willing to accept a blonde Princess of Mars, what the hell, eh.   Of course, a blonde Princess would have to be an Orovar...  The ancient vanished white race of Mars, generally considered, but not quite extinct.  And an Orovar Princess, well, to be a Princess, she'd need a whole lost city, wouldn't she?

Why not call her Tay See Lors, a small tribute to the actress?  Which would give me a face and a voice to write a character around.  And why not make her an actress of some sort?   The whole 'Xena/Buffy, Warrior Woman' thing had been done to death.  I thought it would be more fun to have Tay See Lors surviving by her wits and acting talent, rather than being handy with a rapier.

Of course, if I was doing these little in-jokes, why stop there.  Why not have Anthony Sabato Jr. show up as a hidden Earthman on Mars, Ton Sabat (though him I left a soldier)?  Chacko Vadaketh becomes Vadak Eth, and so on.  And why not use Asylum movies for chapter titles?  Sometimes I got silly, the horn-headed, tusked Tars Tarkas, played by Matt Lasky got renamed Aspar Aguus, you can figure it out for yourself.  Oh, and I threw in all sorts of references and in jokes, references to the Mars novels of Otis Adelbert Kline, Leigh Bracket, Lin Carter as well as Burroughs.  Have fun spotting them.

In the end, itís a strange little hybrid, conceived as a sort of reproof, sprung as a gag, but evolved into what I think is quite a good little adventure novel.   So good, I think, that I might just redo it sometime as a more mainstream fantasy.  Who knows.

My only reservation is that some of the people at Asylum might not have the same sense of humour.  Traci Lords might not appreciate being rendered as a fiction character, though Tay See Lors comes off quite well.  On the other hand, Iím a bit worried that Antonio Sabato, Jr., may want to turn me into a pretzel if he ever gets close enough.  And people like Paul Bales or Mark Atkins might not appreciate my misuse of them.  Sorry, as part of the gag, Iíve just stolen a lot of names and titles, no harm is meant.  For the record, Paul Bales is probably not a sadistic but brilliant one-eyed desert pirate.

As with Torakar, this novel is a tribute to Edgar Rice Burroughs, and to marvelous imaginary shared Mars that he and other writers concocted, and to the whole world of pulp writing.   I promise two chapters a week, heroines, heroes, villains and monsters, lost races, adventure, derring do, romance and all that good stuff, in the grand old style.

So climb on, fasten your seat belt, and welcome aboard for the wild ride.  Next stop: Barsoom.

Related ERBzine Features

 www.erbzine.com/mag15/1580.html
Traci Lords: The Asylum's Princess of Mars
Asylum's Princess of Mars: A Review by Den Valdron

Princess Art by Paul Privitera et al


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