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Volume 5819

Return to Edgar Rice Burroughs'
Planet of Endless War and Human Courage
A Soldier of Poloda

A sequel to ERB's novels of intergalactic adventure
by Lee Strong
In 1940, Edgar Rice Burroughs came to appreciate “what a swell time God had creating the universe.”  He did so as he created his own unique solar system located Beyond the Farthest Star!  Now Lee Strong invites old timers and newcomers alike to return to the distant planet of grinding war leavened by shining honor and glory to hear a new story told by A Soldier of Poloda.

 The title soldier is Thomas Randolph, a US Army Ranger who dies in the last year of World War II only to be reborn in the heart of the evil Kapar Empire on the tortured planet Poloda.  Captured by the alluring Sellon Sura, will Thomas succumb to her sensual appeal and raw power – or will he take up a new fight for freedom – this time beyond the Milky Way?

 Thomas' story developed slowly over many years.  Like most fans, Lee reread his Burroughs multiple times.  As he did, he realized that Poloda, like many other Burroughsian creations, was far richer and more complex than a "mere" adventure story.  Lee came to believe that the Master had left behind a great, untold story – one that was far more than a simple sequel – and one that Lee longed to tell.

 In June 2009, Lee learned that ERB, Inc. was looking for new projects.  He quickly telephoned Jim Sullos and began negotiating for the right to tell the story of one man against a planet of perverted science and bloodthirsty monsters in human form.  Jim agreed and Lee’s word processor began clicking.

 Lee’s goal was to write a fresh new story while remaining faithful to Burroughs’ original concept.  First time visitors to Poloda can enjoy their journey without reading Beyond the Farthest Star (although they should!!!) while veterans can experience new aspects of Poloda's strange beauties and unyielding courage.  While writing, Lee discovered that real astronomers have found a dwarf galaxy exactly where the farsighted Burroughs located Poloda – a fact that Lee quickly incorporated into the story.  Lee also explored Polodan astronomy, culture, history, psychology, and engineering in depth.

He handed in the resulting 87,000 word book in August 2012.  This book is twice as long as Burroughs' own 42,000 word novellas.  Jim accepted it and began negotiating with possible publishers to actually bring it to the fans.

John Ralston Burroughs read the book in 2012 and declared "I enjoyed reading it – especially the big plot twist at the end."

A Soldier of Poloda is scheduled to be released in the autumn of 2016 by Dark Horse Books.

 With thanks to Mike Richardson, president of Dark Horse Books, and Jim Sullos, president of ERB, Inc., is proud to present the prologue and two sample chapters of A Soldier of Poloda.

Lee Strong, an Author of Poloda
 Unlike many other Burroughs fans, Lee Strong is the first of his family to discover the Grandfather of American Science Fiction.  Sometime in the 1950s, he read the comic book adventures of Adam Strange and fell in love with science fiction.  Since Adam Strange was modeled on John Carter, Lee began reading Burroughs style fiction without realizing who inspired it.

 About 1962, Lee discovered the real thing when he picked up an Ace paperback edition of At the Earth’s Core off a newsstand.  The dinosaurs on the cover captured his heart and he has been a Burroughs reader ever since.  He rapidly branched out to Mars, Venus, Caspak, Chicago, Lutha, Africa and the many other worlds of ERB.  In 1965, he picked up another Ace paperback, this time going Beyond the Farthest Star to the planet of endless war, Poloda.

 At the same time, Lee began trying to try to write his own stories, originally pale imitations of Burroughs.  Early reviews, mostly from his family, were discouraging and Lee settled down to pursuing an ordinary career.

 But he continued to dream dreams.  And to practice writing.

 Lee worked for the US Department of Defense for 30 years including writing government reports.  He joked that his boss was paying him to practice his hobby.  It must have worked.  One report that Lee wrote changed international policy and resulted in the US Senate officially declaring itself in favor of more efficient and less expensive government services.  While in Kuwait, he sang another report.

 In 1986, Lee broke through into writing short fiction for science fiction magazines and websites.  One of his favorite stories is “Error Box”, in which an experimental hyperdrive hurls a spaceship sideways to Barsoom rather than Mars.

 Lee retired from government service in 2008 and immediately began working on an alternate history in which California never joined the United States and Edgar Rice Burroughs got the Spanish War adventure that he craved but never received in the history that we know.  He has been a Burroughs reader for many years but only discovered Burroughs fandom in 2009 when the Panthans came calling and he signed up immediately.

 Since then, Lee sent A Soldier of Poloda to ERB, Inc. in 2012 and Untamed Pellucidar in 2015.  In the latter 83,000 word novel, the Soviets invade Pellucidar in 1924.  Young scientist Mikhail Kirov is enslaved by the not so primitive peoples living near the North Pole Opening but escapes to become the greatest magician in the Inner World.  And to face incredible new challenges that even magic can not solve!

 Lee is currently working on many other novels of Burroughs characters and settings including Billy Byrne, the Monster Men, James K. Powell, Atlantis, the far future, and more new planets than the entire Star Wars Galaxy possesses.

 Lee’s motto is "More Adventure!  More Excitement!!  More Burroughs!!!" 

A Soldier of Poloda: Contents and Prolog

ERBzine 5819
Project Evolution 
Meet Lee Strong
ERBzine 5820
Table of Contents ~ Prolog
"Ghosts in the Machine"
ERBzine 5821
Ch. 1 Preview:
"No Joke, There I Was…"
ERBzine 5822
Ch. 2 Preview: "First I Died… 
And Then Things Got Worse"

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