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Master of Imaginative Fantasy Adventure
Creator of Tarzan® and "Grandfather of American Science Fiction"
Eight Stories of Adventure with the Characters of ERB
From the Blazing Skies of Cyrenaica to the Ground War in Abyssinia
and the Jungles of Occupied Malaya,
WWII Echoes from the Exploits of Tarzan and Korak.
Capt. Paul d’Arnot of Le Terrible
with Tarzan and the Waziri Battle Piracy and Slavery.
Sabotage at Anchor to Submarine Warfare.
Pre-WWI Lutha and the Preparation for War in the Balkans.
The Epic Migration of the Waziri from Central Africa to Portuguese West Africa.
Foreword by Will Murray
TARZAN AND THE LION OF JUDAH
Tarzan the Avenger
Part 1 “Uziri Genesis”
Part 2 “Against Two Monarchs”
Part 3 “The Red Death”
“Tarzan and the Gideon Force”
“Tarzan and the Secret of Katanga”
“The Secret of Katanga” Revised
“Tarzan and the Great Bitter Lake”
“Attack of the Mau Mau”
Writing a Tarzan Novel Based on HistoryThe novel Tarzan the Avenger began with a modest goal in mind: Write at least 71 pages and combine it with my first published story, “Tarzan and the Secret of Katanga.” “Katanga” was included as a bonus 29-page novelette in the hardcover edition of Will Murray’s Return to Pal-ul-don in 2015.
Happily, the writing muse seems to have taken my hand and guided it to about 70,000 words. It continued its influence and I decided that a prequel to “Secret of Katanga” was appropriate, to give readers of the Return to Pal-ul-don hardcover an entire “Katanga” revision with 55% more pages in an expansion of the tale. And then I wrote another novelette as well as a novella and short story featuring Tarzan. The compendium of this novel and four other tales is now issued as a single (480 pages in 6” x 9” format) book titled Tarzan and the Lion of Judah.
Roughly seven months after a too early submission to ERB Inc., Will Murray began editing my overall manuscript. His first valued suggestion was a new title for the lead-off narrative. So “Tarzan and the Red Death” was only the working title. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America define a novel as a length of 40,000 words. While that was a previous goal, after a comment from ERB Inc., the manuscript is now quite longer.
My approach in these five stories is to use historical events to weave a tale intermingled with the fictional characters introduced by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Beside my thorough past studies of world history, I have conducted extensive research for this composition. Eventually, all this writing combined to a total of over 120,000 words ready for ERB Inc. in February 2020.
There are many pressures in the contemporary world of book publishing. Among the critical decisions are which imprint to use and does one go with the old standard of printing and binding with concomitant storage and distribution costs. The system used to-date by The Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs book series is known as print on demand.
For Tarzan the Avenger, I chose for my milieu the first half of the 1930s. Perhaps the most significant event in Africa of that time frame was the Second Italo-Abyssinian War of 1935-1936. My initial thought was to make the Soviets the antagonists of this drama. Joseph Stalin was one of the worst butchers of the 20th century and had tried to assassinate Tarzan of the Apes in ERB’s Tarzan Triumphant. Friend and colleague Will Murray suggested a different set of adversaries, so I came up with the Italians and their war of aggression. History lent a hand by the actual military cooperation treaty between Stalin and Mussolini.
The last component that was missing was an elemental feature of many of Burroughs’ chronicles, the primordial dinosaur. In my story “Tarzan and the Secret of Katanga,” I had theorized an isolated pocket of saurians surviving to the modern era in the Congo. Having already done that, I looked to the canon for a source of this peril to Tarzan. I didn’t have to think for long before latching onto Pellucidar and the return from the Earth’s Core. Such return of Tarzan and the O-220 zeppelin was not delineated by the Master of Adventure in his novel Tarzan at the Earth’s Core.
Now I had the major elements of the yarn, how to assemble it coherently? A timeline of six years seemed best, starting with Pellucidar and ending with a speech before the British House of Lords in 1936. So the stage was set. Now to write the narrative.
While my trade has been electrical engineering throughout my career, my first college course was in microbiology. Taken long ago while in high school, I still had the DIFCO MANUAL of Dehydrated Culture Media and Reagents for Microbiological and Clinical Laboratory Procedures. For the story, my selection was three culture media available in the early 1930s. Hopefully, I have not delved too deeply into this science. My goal was to provide verisimilitude for the readers.
As velociraptors have gained notoriety in the field of dangerous saurian predators, I opted for an identification of this species of antagonist in the more general area of Coelurosauria. The “Secret of Katanga” dinosaur was perhaps twelve feet in height. For a change in this new yarn, I halved the size but increased the quantity of the theropods.
Long-time fans of the Tarzan canon will recognize the characters of Lady Jane, Paul D’Arnot, Muviro, Mugambi, Busuli and even Buira. And let’s not forget Nkima and Jad-bal-ja.
Six years may seem a long time for a novel’s oeuvre, but I hope I have tied the disparate constituents together in a flowing portrayal. In the years from 1930 to 1936, ERB wrote and published eight Tarzan novels. I have referenced seven of them in my story, leaving out Tarzan and the Lion Man. Ras Tafari, Emperor of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) appears in two, Tarzan the Invincible and, in an implied role, Tarzan the Magnificent. Another title for this ruler is “Conquering Lion of Judah.”
Tarzan the Magnificent is comprised of two separate stories that Mr. Burroughs melded together for book publication. The first of these, “Tarzan and the Magic Men” saw print in Argosy Weekly in September/October 1936. We are told that Tarzan is just south of 5° north latitude, which a map advises us transects Abyssinia through the Omo region.
Since the Second Italo-Abyssinian War was raging during the duration of Burroughs scribing “Tarzan and the Magic Men,” he probably intended these clues to highlight the emperor. It is a reference that could easily tie in with my novel, so that is the last footnote of the tale.
Two antagonists in this story are from Eastern Europe. And one of them has an unhealthy interest in the fabled Lost City of Opar. While some may think that Opar was used too often by Burroughs, I hope that my few pages regarding La and her people have a new wrinkle to be appreciated, while not dwelling overlong on the outpost of Atlantis.
Jane Porter Clayton, after predominance in Tarzan of the Apes, was not used often in ERB’s subsequent manuscripts. I thought that she should play a major role in this endeavor.
While ERB sited the Greystoke plantation in the highlands of British East Africa, subsequently known as Kenya, he did not mention any of the towns or villages of that area. Will Murray asked me to select one for mention in his King Kong vs. Tarzan, so I chose Eldoret. Founded by displaced Afrikaners, the modern city had a population of almost 290,000 in 2009. Depiction of the Italians in this story is perhaps too mild, for their occupation was responsible for the actual murders of tens of thousands of Abyssinians in so-called reprisals for active resistance efforts.
I do not recall ERB actually describing Lord Greystoke attending the House of Lords in Parliament during any of his twenty-four novels and double Tarzan Twins short stories. I thought it was about time, as well as a fitting end to my novel. His speech there is what I think should have been said at the time.
WHEN a writer sets aside the manuscript for days, weeks or even months, it often happens that he (she) rejoins the narrative with a new perspective. With Will Murray editing my book, I decided to take a look at the entire work. His insightful comments were the launching point for me to flesh out some of my leaner paragraphs, as I tend to gloss over descriptions in the push to imprint my characters into their environment.
And I wanted to complete a novel-length narrative. So the last two chapters before the Epilogue are new, written after Will had edited the “Tarzan and the Red Death” novella. I don’t know if his suggested title of “Tarzan the Avenger” was a subliminal thought in my mind, but the two new chapters further enhance the role of avenger for our protagonist.
Considering that the novel takes place over a six year period, I did have a hole from about 1932 to 1934, in which the Coelosaurians grow larger and the Italians develop their plans for invasion of Abyssinia. Paul D’Arnot was written into five of the ERB Tarzan novels, the last being Tarzan and the Forbidden City in 1938. In that story, D’Arnot had the rank of captain in the French navy. Unfortunately, the previous mention of Paul in the The Son of Tarzan was very brief and referred to him as an admiral. Perhaps ten years after his rank of Lieutenant in the first and second books of the series, admiral seems very premature. Therefore, I posited the French equivalent of naval commander for this interval, with a natural progression to captain for Forbidden City.
Now at 40,000 words, this novel was somewhat short at an estimated 133 pages of print. How to add more to a somewhat completed work? Well, I did have that gap of about two years in my tale. I searched long and hard for an historic event to involve Tarzan’s great friend, Paul D’Arnot. Researching the 1930s history of every French colony in Africa, including the Comoro Islands, led to nothing promising. Then I noticed a smaller Spanish colony surrounded by French Equatorial Africa. Comprised of the mainland territory of Río Muni and an island, Spanish Guinea featured prominently in a case brought before the League of Nations, the Fernando Po Crisis. The modern island of Bioko had been named for centuries after the 15th century Portuguese navigator, Fernão do Pó.
The plantations of the island needed laborers and the indigenous population shunned that work, preferring to nurture their small homesteads in the hills. So the Spanish overlords imported labor from Liberia, Nigeria and Cameroun. Liberia was an independent nation, although the United States took a proprietary interest in its welfare since former African slaves had moved there from the U.S. in the 1840s. Nigeria was a British colony. Cameroun had been a German outpost until 1919, when the French added most of it to their territory. British Cameroun consisted of some land contiguous with Nigeria.
As related in my story addition, the Liberian government fell in 1930 for essentially exporting its citizens to virtual slavery in Fernando Po. Afterward, Liberians ceased working at the plantations and Nigerians assumed their place, voluntarily. But what of the Camerouns? I could not find too many details on the Internet, but a capable author can expand such a basis into an interesting story. So Paul D’Arnot is the captain of the French destroyer Le Terrible as the interlude opens.
Some people say that an artist’s work, be it art, music or prose, is never finished but arrested. At some point, it is hopefully revealed to the public in its entirety. But the creators, if they could, would often continue to refine their productions.
So as my novel tripped along the wondrous (and often frustrating) process of publishing including design, it saw additional phrases and individual words. I can only hope that it will be welcomed by the readers as an intriguing addition in support of the canon and legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Traditional Book Printing is Not for the Faint of HeartWhen Will Murray and I started the new stories of ERB-characters with the hardcover publishing of Tarzan: Return to Pal-ul-don in June 2015, there were unintended consequences that have lasted to the present. One of the most enduring has been that nearly all these new stories, as well as many ERB reprints since, are print on demand.
This method is not traditional as printing has been known for 570 years. Print on demand capability arose through advancements in technology and has some advantages over traditional print runs of hardcover books. The main edge is that no copies are printed until they are customer-ordered and paid-up. Then the book is printed and delivered direct from the plant to the customer, that individual having paid also for its inherent shipping & tax. There is no vast print run of hundreds or thousands of copies, with the concomitant storage and distribution costs before the end sales point.
To a collector, POD can and does often have disadvantages. Beside the most obvious fact that the author does not handle nor can autograph a POD book (unless incurring the dreaded “double-shipping” cost), other shortfalls arise. Most POD books do not have Smyth-sewn bindings, trusting to lower quality glue. Spine imprinting is done weakly. Some POD books are printed with paper binding (rather than linen cloth), have no dust jacket (sometimes they have case bound covers, in which the graphics are printed on the hardboard cover sheet), lighter bond paper (e.g., 50 #), and usually no graphics or color on the endpapers. Page size is often limited, too.
And there is no such thing as a first printing-first edition of the book, or later editions, being as how there are no print runs to count. Practiced by issuers of ERB-related books and the printers selected, POD predominates. As an avid book reader and collector (perhaps some four thousand volumes in the house), I dislike the decided print quality degradation of the POD ERB-character offerings since Return to Pal-ul-don.
When it came to publishing my own creations (all costs borne by myself), I decided upon traditional printing. My first book was modest in length (108 pages) and style (8 ½” x 11” trade paperback) but done in a print run of 350 copies on glossy 70 lb. pages with a quality art painting cardstock (12 pt. Kromekote) cover. Saddle-stitched in that the printer in my hometown of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, The Badger Group, did not print hardcovers, Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers has sold about 70 % of the run to date.
When it came to my much larger (336 pages in 8 ½” x 11” and 480 pages in 6” x 9” format) Tarzan and the Lion of Judah, I spent a long, weary time hunting for a traditional printer in the USA. They do exist, but the printing industry has fallen on hard times in the last 20 years. Just a brief mention is that, from maybe 25 flourishing independent publishing houses up to the 1980s, there are now five U.S. book publishers left. This after many closures, mergers and takeovers in that trade.
The largest source of printing paper generated for 200 years was for newspapers. With the loss of 62 % of the newspapers in this country, paper mills have shut down and book printing paper can be difficult to find. Add in the chaos to every business caused by the Covid pandemic, and my search for a traditional printer went on for eight months.
When you search for “hardcover book printer USA” on the Internet, you get thousands of irrelevant answers. After weeding through many useless leads, especially those companies that never print hardcover books, one is left trying to reach a knowledgeable person at the printer. I went through that about seven times. It could take weeks of wasted effort on each printer.
Tarzan and the Lion of Judah will have two editions traditionally printed in 2022, in three formats. To provide copies of T&LoJ to the attendees of the 2021 Dum-Dum that I hosted in Albuquerque, NM, 6-7 November, print on demand was initially used. We barely received the twelve books in time, the day before the convention.
The few who have read a POD copy have been quite complimentary in their varied comments on the stories in T&LoJ. The wait will be worthwhile. I look forward to the pleasure of delivering copies to my readers. Thank you very much for your interest in my fiction efforts.
2. Limited Numbered Edition,
8-½” x 11”, 336 Pages
200 Copies Signed & Numbered by Author & Primary Artist
Front Cover Painting by Joe Jusko
Back Cover the Trade Wraparound Painting by Dan Parsons
Three Colonial Africa Maps by Chris L. Adams with the Author
Two Color Paintings by Chris L. Adams
13 Interior Illustrations including:
Drawing by Neal Adams
Signature Page by Dan Parsons
Frontispiece by Mark Schultz
1909 Survey Map of Lutha
3. Trade Edition (from Altus
Press), 6” x 9”, 480 Pages
400 Copies with Signed Bookplate
Wraparound Painted Cover by Primary Artist Dan Parsons
11 Interior Illustrations including Mark Schultz Frontispiece
1909 Survey Map of Lutha
Bookplate Signed by Author, Primary Artist, & Editor Will Murray
Now Available from the Author
Available at These Prices via Mail with Domestic SHIPPING COST:
Send Check to:
5009 Ladera Ct. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111
Questions? Send an email to email@example.com for coordination.
If Ordering Multiple Books, please
e-mail beforehand for Shipping Cost.
Available In-Person at Prices without Shipping Charge [ $165, $110, $50 ]
Still Available (ECOF 2020 Bonus Book) (Original Print Run of 350)
Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers,
8-½” x 11”, 108 Pages $25 U.S.
Signed & Numbered by Author & Primary Artist
Authorized by ERB Inc.
Wraparound Painting by Primary Artist Dan Parsons
11 Interior Illustrations including Signature Page by Neal Adams
Available In-Person at Price without Shipping Charge [ $20 ]
ECOF 2020 B&W Convention Pinback Button [ $ 3 ]
Dum-Dum 2021 Color Convention Pinback Button [ $ 3 ]
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A PRODIGIOUS reader of fiction, Gary Buckingham always had an abiding interest in history and political geography. But he realized early on that career prospects in those fields were minimal. So he became an electrical engineer. By the time he was done with higher education, he had degrees in physics (one) and EE (three), accompanied by minors in mathematics, astrophysics, industrial engineering and marketing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
World travel has imparted additional knowledge through his visitation of all 50 states and the ten provinces of Canada, journeying often to western Europe. Then the singular trips to New Zealand/Australia and Greece.
Working for seven agencies and 16 distinct occupations as a federal engineer, Gary decided it was time to follow-up his voluminous reading and extensive travel by finally writing some tales of Tarzan.
Although his 45 days in Puerto Rico detailed to hurricane relief for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Nov-Dec 2017 was brief, he came away with an appreciation of the island territory’s people in adversity. Eventually, he hopes to bring Tarzan to the Commonwealth.
His parents, Lynn and Allen, had purchased the new Whitman edition of The Return of Tarzan in 1967, starting his life-long attentiveness to all the narratives written by the Master of Adventure, Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Joining the Burroughs Bibliophiles in 1976, he finally attended a Dum-Dum in 2010 to join the more active members of the ERB fan group.
With the kind combined recommendation to ERB Inc. by Will Murray, Joe DeVito and Matt Moring, Gary became line editor of the Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs for the first ten new books of that series.
Also reviewed under his editor-eye were Will Murray’s King Kong vs. Tarzan and Jim Malachowski’s Song of Opar.
While continuing his review for Will of each new pulp hero escapade, Gary carried on with his writing of Tarzan fiction. “Tarzan and the Secret of Katanga” was published in 2015 as a bonus to the hardcover edition of Will Murray’s Tarzan: Return to Pal-ul-don. “Katanga” was the first of seven featuring the iconic jungle lord.
The softbound Tarzan: Untamed Frontiers limited signed edition sees the debut of the second tale in that line of adventures.
A native of Wisconsin, Gary could not resist placing Jane Porter’s north woods WI farm on Crawling Stone Lake near Lac du Flambeau, a locale known well by his family.
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Contact Gary Buckingham