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