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Volume 5787

A Pilgrimage to Pellucidar
An 11-Stage Journey
By John Martin

Series Web Design and Illustrations by Bill Hillman
  Many have had the idea of going to Mars and building a settlement upon it, though why we would want to go there other than to satisfy our wanderlust is beyond me. Sure, I would like to walk around (or leap lightly) on the surface and even climb Olympus Mons, just to say I did. But after that, what? Sit around in some kind of protective bubble, performing scientific experiments on red dust while fearing a meteor might strike any minute and decimate my habitat? No thanks. If John Carter and the Tharks were there, it might be worth it. But we know that the world of Barsoom as ERB recorded it either exists on a planet in another solar system or in another time. 

And likewise Africa. Tarzan's Africa is not the same as it was back when the Ape Man was first born and roamed there. Nowadays even he likes to adventure in other areas of the world, rather than the populous African plains and modern cities, plus there's a proliferation of murderous revolutionaries running about with machetes. Not that Tarzan couldn't handle them but, if you don't have to, why bother?

But there is one ERB world untouched by the progress of time or the cruel reality of fact. And best of all, the government is not interested in going there and exploring it, let alone "civilizing" it, because the government doesn't believe it exists.

This is the world of Pellucidar, also known as the Inner World, that wondrous land inside of our own globe, where the upward curving horizon beckons the adventurer ever onward and the landscape always basks in brilliant daylight, lit up by the sun which hangs in the exact center of the earth, making the time to be eternally noon in the Inner World.

Did I say "time"? I speak in Earthly terms. To an outer-worlder like me, it would seem like noon, but to a Pellucidarian native the word "time" has no meaning. And while having no concept of a thing called time, each Pellucidarian seems to measure it differently. A man could leave his home for what might seem like a few months, only to return to find his baby son now five feet tall...and growing.

It would cost millions to go to Mars, and it is impractical to go to Venus. But an airplane ride could take an adventurer over the polar opening to the inner world and a parachute would work in lieu of a landing strip. From there, one would be on his or her own.

You could not walk to Africa from the United States, nor could you walk to Mars, Amtor, or even Caspak. But you could, theoretically, walk to Pellucidar. From any place on the globe, one could simply head north and probably, with the aid of satellite photos carefully studied before leaving, trek across the northern ice to the huge polar opening to the inner world.

The trouble with going to a Burroughs world is that the residents are not likely to realize you are a friendly fan who read about them in ERB books and that you would like to adopt their culture and wed one of their exotic and beautiful women. Instead, they are likely to think of you as an enemy, and try to kill you!

Therefore, one should go adequately armed, with backup weapons and ammo as well, hidden in various places about the body. Nonetheless, it's likely that before getting too far in a place like Pellucidar, you might be the victim of a surprise attack by a Sagoth or get into some other predicament which would result in the loss of those weapons!

When David Innes made his first return trip to Pellucidar in the Iron Mole - The Prospector, he brought along a regular arsenal of both pistols and powerful long-range rifles. In addition to what he was able to carry on his person, he had weapons cached in the Iron Mole along with other supplies, such as matches and a couple of compasses, and he and Abner Perry were eventually able to return to where the Mole was parked and retrieve much of that gear. I should mention that a supply of bullets will eventually be used up in Pellucidar so it's good if you go there with an inventive genius who can figure out how to mix more gunpowder from material found in the Inner World.

Also, before going, one should take some woodcraft classes and learn the techniques of making knives, bow and arrows and spears from raw material as they can extend the life of one's ammo supply and also can be easily replaced with handy raw materials in the event that hostile tribes confiscate the weapons you showed up with. It would also be helpful to know how to tan the hides of animals you kill so that you can make yourself some new clothes as, eventually, you will need them.

Savage PellucidarAs to getting a proper introduction to a local tribe, the best plan would be to find one of the luscious young maidens  from the tribe in some kind of mortal peril and rescue her, earning her eternal gratitude and her love, as she will no doubt recognize that you are far more handsome than any of the men in her tribe.

After she introduces you to the tribe and they claim you as friend, you will still have to deal with the jealous tribe member who regards your new girl friend as his property, and you will have to be prepared to beat him up or kill him.

Once all that is accomplished, you are then ready to settle down and perform some other heroics which will eventually make you the leader of the tribe.

One caveat to the above is that a beautiful girl may not cross your path, so you might have to settle for befriending the son of a tribe's chief, or the chief himself, as a way of getting in the good graces of a tribe. You can then have your pick of the available females.

So, going to an ERB land does require some pre-planning. I'd recommend that, first of all, you read all seven books and maybe a pastiche or two just to find out how others have handled the Inner World. Then, adequately equip yourself and go for it.

Most of all, have fun!

John Martin
EDGARDEMAIN: Celebrating the literary legerdemain of Edgar Rice Burroughs

The Pellucidar Series

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At the Earth's Core
Read the eText Edition 
Read the Original Pulp Magazine Version
Read the e-Text Edition
Tanar of Pellucidar
Read the e-Text Edition
Tarzan at the Earth's Core
Read the e-Text Edition
Back to the Stone Age
Read the e-Text Edition
Land of Terror
Read the e-Text Edition
Savage Pellucidar
Read the e-Text Edition
Official Pellucidar Website

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A Pilgrimage to Pellucidar By John Martin
NOTE: A new Pellucidar "Prowl" will be featured in each week's ERBzine
Next Week's Feature will be PELLUCIDAR POETRY

ERBzine 5788:
Pellucidar Poetry
ERBzine 5789:
Pellucidar Personalities
ERBzine 5790:
Pellucidar Presuppositions
ERBzine 5791:
Pellucidar Possibilities
ERBzine 5792:
Pellucidar Passions
ERBzine 5793:
Pellucidar Pitch-Black
ERBzine 5794:
Pellucidar Paranormal
ERBzine 5795:
Pellucidar Playing Around
ERBzine 5796
Pellucidar Polar Portal
ERBzine 5797:
Pellucidar Pastiche
Back to Pellucidar Contents

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