A Million To One

I’m currently reading the John Carter series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, a series that in more recent times has become associated with a string of cheap SyFy Channel movies and one very expensive Disney adaptation. The sheer cost of the latter and the apathy at the box office it received should ensure that there won’t be any more films featuring Captain Carter for a long time.

The books themselves are very dated, in their tone as well as politically and scientifically. Taking them in their historical context though, they did attempt to describe an alien world and alien societies in a way that hadn’t been done before.

Much like the Tarzan books that were brought to us by the same pen, what we know about our world (and Mars) makes it difficult to suspend disbelief and buy into the fantasy story that is being told. However, with a little bit of effort, the books are still enjoyable, even though sometimes I feel like I’m taking a history lesson in the origins of science fiction.

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