James V. Taurasi is considered to be one of the
founders of F&SF fandom as it we know today. He published numerous
F&SF fanzines from the ‘30s through the ‘60s, including 8 issues of
“Barsoomian Times” in 1964-65. His most well-known fanzine was “Fantasy
Times” published from 1941 through 1955, which became “Science Fiction
Times” from 1956 through 1965. He won two Hugo Awards in 1955 and
I don’t know how Taurasi came to take over The Barsoomian,
but I suspect it was at Joe’s request. I’m sure Joe knew Taurasi
quite well. Taurasi clearly intended to continue the fanzine but
stopped with issue #7. I’m guessing he was simply too busy with Fantasy
Times and all the other publications in which he was involved as editor
or writer. Although I had a few issues of his Science Fiction Times,
I never knew Taurasi and I don’t think we ever corresponded. Fortunately,
in the 53 years since I reprinted this issue I never had a complaint from
Taurasi’s focus was clearly on articles related to Burroughs,
with no fan fiction. He comments in his editorial and in his pre-publication
announcement (page 15) that he is desperately in need of articles.
The bulk of this issue is taken up with John Harwood’s “The Literature
of Burroughsania” in which Harwood catalogs articles about Burroughs in
other media. This was later expanded into a 105-page book published
by Caz in 1963. Interestingly, the title was changed to “The Literature
of Burroughsiana” which caused some confusion at the time. Maybe
“ania” was too close to “mania”?
Joe Miller also contributed an introduction to the issue,
along with a collection of odds and ends called “Burroughs Confidential.”
What surprised me was Joe’s report that ERB’s widow was limiting the number
of books from other publishers in order to bring out uniform editions of
ERB’s works, including his unpublished stories. Imagine what that
series could have looked like! It only took another 60-some years
for ERB Inc. to actually begin the process. Joe also notes that C.
R. Rothmund was negotiating television rights for a Mars series.
The new cover illustration is by Harry Habblitz, while
the back cover is by Dave Cockrum.
~ Paul Allen