Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ 10,000 Webpages in Archive
Volume 0247

Jasoom - Tarzana - Africa - Pellucidar
BarsoomSasoomVanah - LunaAmtor - Cosoom
The Many Worlds of
Edgar Rice Burroughs Signature


Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Prophet
Predictions and Images
of Future Innovations and Inventions

The Fantastic Inventions and Prophesies
Gleaned from the
Barsoomian Novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs

Edgar Rice Burroughs (l875-l950) is known as the Grandfather of American Science Fiction. He predicted the invention of radar, sonar, television, teletype, the radio compass, the automatic pilot, homing devices on bombs and torpedoes, genetic cloning, living organ transplants, antigravity propulsion and many other concepts deemed totally fantastic in his time. His soaring imagination, coupled with the sure instinct of a master storyteller, assures him a position of honor among American writers of the twentieth century.
    -- George T. McWhorter -- Curator, Burroughs Memorial Collection / Editor: BURROUGHS BULLETIN
Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) was one of the great pioneers of modern Science Fiction, being one of the first writers to consistently popularize extrapolations of the then-current science of the early Twentieth Century. Much of his best SF occurred on the planet Barsoom, the wonderful alternate Mars created by his fertile imagination. Astronomically, he was describing Mars the way a lot of astronomers described it at the time and his picture of a dying Mars with the ochre dead sea bottoms, canals, exotic landscapes and an atmosphere factory which provided an artificial atmosphere were almost plausible.

ERB was also one of the first to explore essentially alien beings and their psychology and this was possibly his most lasting impact on science fiction. The John Carter stories are characterized by incredible scientific inventions, a disregard for the laws of nature as we know them, and a somewhat male chauvinistic barbaric world. Despite elementary plots which require constant suspension of disbelief and characters who are shallow and predictable, the series has made immense contributions to the field of serious science fiction.

Because of the sensationalist approach of the Burroughs stories, he may never be appreciated as a great author by professors of English, but Burroughs has made his mark on a potentially more influential group of people: the deans of modern science fiction writers, who have looked to Burroughs for inspiration and, at times, material. References to John Carter and Barsoom abound in current fiction. Many famous authors have cited the Burroughs works as profound influences upon their style and perception of science fiction: Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Carl Sagan and a host of  lesser-known writers.

Although the SF novels of ERB often have been accused of being weak on science, a careful study of his body of work, especially in the Barsoom and Amtor series, turns up an incredible array of scientific predictions -- the fruition of which we now take for granted. We present here a three-part St. John Barsoomian art gallery with descriptions of the many inventions and future technologies prophesized by Mr. Burroughs in those long ago, early years of the Twentieth Century.

...continued in Part II ~ ERBzine 248


James Allen St. John Signature
J. Allen St. John
The Warlord of Mars
Thuvia, Maid of Mars


As the great thoat and his rider hurtled past, Carthoris swung his long-sword in a mighty cut.Another figure sprang from a cluster of dense foliage.For but an instant the searchlight halted upon Thuvia of Ptarth.With a savage cry of triumph, Thar Ban disappeared down the black canyon of the Avenue of Quays.Between them and the city raged a terrific battle.The man turned dreamy eyes sleepily upon them.A steel blade pierced the very center of his heart.I prefer to die standing, she replied.The jeddak of Lothar sank senseless to the marble floor.Stay, my chieftain, Stay -- I love you!

Poster | Web | 5" | Card | Thumbnail

To learn more about ERB's Barsoom, visit:
Huck's Barsoom Gazetteer & Glossary by J. G. Huckenpöhler
and see
The Burroughs Crater on Barsoom
ERBzine 0246
Edgar Rice Burroughs' Predictions 
of Future Innovations and Inventions 
Part I: Barsoom (Mars): ERBzine 0459
The illustrated version of this feature appears at:
ERBzine 0247: ERB Future Visions - St. John Barsoomian Gallery I
ERBzine 0248: ERB Future Visions - St. John Barsoomian Gallery II
ERBzine 0249: ERB Future Visions - St. John Barsoomian Gallery III
Part II: Amtor (Venus): ERBzine 1561

Visit our thousands of other sites at:
Some ERB Images and Tarzan© are Copyright ERB, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2004/2015 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.