Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Brains on Legs

Budza and I are listening to a LibriVox recording of Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars, the first in his long-running series about John Carter, Confederate veteran/gentleman adventurer. For those who only know Burroughs as the creator of the pre-Disney Tarzan, Carter is

an omnipotent gentleman teleported to Mars, finding an outlandish society of ape-, tree- and lizardmen, red-, white-, yellowmen, brains on legs, strange bastions and curious apparatuses, where the strongest survives and women are needy beauties to be saved. How can something be so platitudinous and at the same time so imaginative and enthralling?

Ape-, tree-, and lizardmen? Brains on Legs? Sold to the young man in the front row! In fact, when I got to the part about brains on legs, I said to the Budza, "YOU could have written this."

I am not too concerned about the needy-beauties aspect of it; Budza appears deeply uninterested in that, and none of the women in his life, from his BFF to his teacher to his doctor to his 83-year-old grandmother are the needy types. Besides, it's the 1912 version of needy beauties--the novel appeared in six installments in the pulp magazine All-Story. It does seem, to judge by the plot summary up on Wikipedia, that the Martians don't wear clothes. This is where the audio aspect of it comes in handy.

But guess who owns the movie rights to a project with the working title John Carter of Mars? Pixar. We are so there.

You can download the MP3 files of A Princess of Mars and its many sequels from SFFAudio, maintained by Scott Danielson and Jesse Willis. You have to look around for age-appropriate material, but there are great links...I am looking forward to exploring their huge list of online audio links, especially the archived radio shows over at Digital Eel's Radio Tales of the Strange and Fantastic.

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