In the summer of 2010, the ERBapa symposium was on ERB's Venus novels.
I wrote several articles on them and they are included in this collection.
Though these articles cover many aspects of the series, there are still
many parts of Amtor that are yet unexplored territory, waiting for ERB
fans to write articles about!
~John "Bridge" Martin
Welcome to Amtor
The Venus series began with the introduction of a mystic, who made
author Edgar Rice Burroughs see things. It concluded with that same mystic,
who made self-styled wizard Morgas see things.
It began with Carson Napier making a gift to his friend, Jimmy Welsh,
of an airplane. It concluded with Carson making a gift to his friend, Ero
Shan, of an anotar -- a Venusan airplane.
The first Venus novel featured a mysterious woman in Vepaja, who roamed
in a forbidden garden. The last Venus story featured a mysterious woman,
Vanaja, who roamed in a forbidden garden.
In between are myriad adventures, wild and wonderful, on the second
planet from the sun, known to its residents as Amtor.
Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote most of the Venus series in just over 10
years. He began writing the first novel, Pirates
of Venus, on Oct. 2, 1931, and he put the period to a last
full short story, The
Wizard of Venus, on Oct. 7, 1941.
The first four novel-length books overlapped the events leading up to
and following World War II, with the first installment of Pirates
appearing in Argosy Weekly on Oct. 1, 1932, and the last book, Escape
on Venus, made up of four 1941-42 magazine novelettes, coming
out on Oct. 15, 1946.
The last story, Wizard, was apparently to be the first
novelette in a series of perhaps four which may have eventually been combined
into a fifth Venus book. (A few words of a planned, but unfinished, sequel
to Wizard do exist.)
The manuscript, which garnered a few magazine rejection slips, languished
in Burroughs's office until 1964, when Canaveral Press published it in
book form in Tales
of Three Planets, along with two other non-Venus short stories.
Wizard has some other non-Venusan literary companions, never having been
published alone. There is the first hardback Canaveral volume which also
features The Resurrection
of Jimber-Jaw, a tale of Earth, and Beyond
the Farthest Star, a story set upon distant Poloda, or one
might acquire the Ace paperback version of Wizard which is bound
with another unrelated and Earth-bound Burroughs novelette: Pirate
The first Venus story, Pirates of Venus, has connections to more
Burroughs venues than any of his other novels. The opening pages link to
the world of Tarzan, the Pellucidar series, and the Mars series, as ERB
reports having received news of the successful conclusion of Tarzan's expedition
to Pellucidar (the inner world series) and tells of the safe return of
Jason Gridley (connected to the Mars series) from the inner world. One
might say that Pirates is connected to the Mars series in another
way, since Mars was Carson Napier's original destination, which did not
happen as he failed to take into consideration the gravitational influence
of the moon. That mistake sent his ship off course and steered it toward
While it would be a stretch to say that the series is connected to ERB's
Maid trilogy, because of the influence of the lunar orb in
this novel, it is worth mentioning that at least Earth's single satellite
plays a role.
Pirates of Venus is linked to at least one other ERB world: The
real-life environs of the office of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. ERB not
only makes himself an important character in the story by receiving Carson
as a guest in his office, but also includes an appearance by his real-life
secretary, Ralph Rothmund.
Ralph Rothmund and Edgar Rice Burroughs