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The First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Volume 0790

EDITION 02.06.14

Paramount options 'John Carter of Mars'
HOLLYWOOD~ April 12, 2002 ~ California (Reuters) -- Paramount Pictures sees green in the red planet, inking a deal to acquire rights to an 11-volume science fiction adventure series written decades ago by Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the original "Tarzan" legend, Variety reports.

Under the deal, Paramount has agreed to option the "John Carter of Mars" serial for a $300,000 upfront fee and to pay a $2 million sum if the studio brings the work to production.

Paramount-based producers Jim Jacks and Sean Daniels' Alphaville Prods. plans to turn the first book into a movie.

Although Burroughs is best known for having penned the iconic "Tarzan of the Apes," the English writer's first book was "A Princess of Mars." Written in 1912, it was serialized in All-Story magazine under his nom de plume, Normal Bean.

Jacks told Daily Variety that three of the best-known books (which include "Gods of Mars" and "The Warlord of Mars") are likely to be made into films of a scope "akin to 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Star Wars,' but were impossible to make before, because CGI (computer technology) wasn't there."

The massive scope and special-effects demands of the project weren't the only reasons the film was not made previously.

For almost a decade, Disney spent millions developing the "Mars" books as both a live-action and animation franchise for Cinergi, the production venture of Mario Kassar and Andy Vajna. Disney showered millions on the projects, developing for Tom Cruise to star and John McTiernan to direct.

The Mouse House ultimately failed to greenlight production of either incarnation.

Jacks acknowledged that there "is a complicated legal situation and significant rights (still) need to be acquired."

Still, the deal is interesting for Paramount. Other than its "Star Trek" franchise, Paramount is not usually the home to pricey effects-driven fantasy films, though it found success with "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider."

Studio brass obviously take comfort in knowing Jacks and Daniels are on the job -- the duo made Universal's wildly successful "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns" movies, which have a combined worldwide gross of more than $840 million.

An offshoot of that franchise, "The Scorpion King," which Alphaville also produced, opens this month -- though Jacks noted the "Mars" books were not necessarily intended as a starring vehicle for "King" star Dwayne Johnson (aka the Rock).

Coupling science-fiction and romantic derring-do, "A Princess of Mars" is the first adventure of John Carter, a veteran of the American Civil War who, while resting in a cave, finds himself transported to Mars.

Instead of a dusty, lifeless rock, Carter finds Mars populated with giant (predictably green) men, and creatures both friendly and ferocious, disembodied and embodied. Along the way, Carter must save a princess, Dejah Thoris.

Danton Burroughs, grandson of Edgar Rice Burroughs and a director of the rights holding company, noted that Disney was hardly the first to have tried to create an animated film from the John Carter series. In 1936, Rice Burroughs collaborated with Warner Bros. animator Bob Clampett (who as a teen in 1930 had developed the first licensed Mickey Mouse doll for Walt Disney) to make a cartoon feature from the Carter books.

Deal was brokered by attorney Sandra Galfas on behalf of the Rice Burroughs estate; she was not available for comment.

Copyright 2002 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tarzana Ranch
Edgar Rice Burroughs
April 12, 1920
My dear Mr. Perkins,

Many thanks for your kidn letter of Apriil 2nd. 
It is encouragement of this kind which makes 
writing worth while.

I expect to have a new Martian book out this fall, 
although my publishers may change their plans 
in the meantime.

With kindest regards and again thanking you, I am,

Very sincerely yours,
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Mr. C. Floyd Perkins

The Day Tarzan's Home Burned

Ad: Edgar Rice Burroughs Fire in Tarzan 1959

A vintage 7" x 10" 1959 ad for Hardware Mutuals Insurance Co. 
It concerns the warehouse fire at Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
in Tarzana, California that destroyed or damaged a multitude of 
ERB items: books, documents, film, art, etc.
The ad compliments the insurance company for responding rapidly.

TARZAN THE MIGHTY - 1928 - Silent Movie Poster
15 mighty episodes! Dramatic! Thrilling! Romantic and Spectacular
Director Jack Nelson & Ray Taylor - Frank Merrill / Al Ferguson

In 1928, Adolph Zukor, founder and president of Paramount Pictures made the observation: “It is generally agreed... that what is good art is good advertising and that the most satisfying design will sell the product best.”

The job of the poster was to capture a film's essence at a glance, or more precisely, to magnify that essence beyond all reason. poster were designed to sell the sizzle not the steak. Posters needed to be sensational. Lithography made it possible to create larger designs than was practical with wood or copper engraving. With the advent of lithography, the medium for theatrical subjects had arrived. 

Extract from Reel Art, Stephen Rebello

 In Australia the technical creation of lithographic movie posters was becoming a serious art form by the 1920s. Companies had honed their skills and major movie poster artworks were being created that equalled or surpassed those being printed on the other side of the world. Skilled technicians using the hand-printed stone lithography technique were highly paid and the few specialist companies were out fiercely canvassing film distributors as potential major sources of future revenue.

The hand-printed stone lithographic print was extraordinary in its ability to be able to add depth to its subject matter - the coarse yet unique subtle tonal gradations of shading added dramatically to end effect of the poster art. Heavy yet unwieldy limestone blocks were used until the late 1930s when the industry changed to the much more manageable zinc plates. Hand printed lithography was used to print movie posters in Australia until the late 1960s - by this time the labor intensive technique of lithography had long been abandoned by its overseas counterparts for other far less expensive and faster printing processes. The poster displayed here is an original Australian hand printed stone lithographic print - printed by Morrison & Bailey Print, Sydney. It is an oversized daybill and measures 15 x 40 inches - similar in size to the US insert. This was the standard printed in Australia until 1940 when the size was discontinued to assist in the war effort in the conservation of resources.

In his book, IN THE NICK OF TIME , which charts the development of the “cliff-hanger” serials, William C.Cline observes that "Quite possibly the most famous of all characters to come alive from the pages of adventure fiction is Tarzan, the incredible jungle man of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. Silent serials about this fabulous lord of the jungle were produced many years before sound was introduced to the movies”

Bibliography and Price Guide 

compiled By P.D. Adkins 
Published by PDA Enterprises 1974. 

Digest size softcover, 
32 page title list with known editions, 
some identifying marks, 
and then current prices.

Edwin Lester Arnold

Introductions by Sir Edwin Arnold and Douglas Menville. 
Color wraparound cover illustration by George Barr.
Sixteen b & w interior illustrations by H. M. Paget 
reprinted from the original 1890 serialized publication 
in the Illustrated London Times. 
Fantasy novel of an immortal spanning the centuries.

Newcastle Publishing Company, 1977. 
First Trade Paperback Edition.
Catalogue of Audio Books by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Date: Jan 01, 2000 
Narrator: Shelly Frasier 
Provider: Tantor Media 
Media Type: Audiobook 
Time: 8 hours 40 min. 
Format: Audible speech Price: $15.95 
Retail Price: $48.00
Born of noble stock to parents marooned on the savage West African coast, the young Lord Greystoke is orphaned in his first year of life. Named Tarzan by the great apes that raise him, he must learn the law of the jungle to survive. As he matures, his strength and agility develop to match those of the beasts by whom he is surrounded, yet he realizes he is different. He combines higher intelligence, superhuman strength, and his jungle training to become the unconquerable Lord of the Jungle! But when a group of civilized people invade his paradise, his life is changed forever, for with them is Jane, the first woman Tarzan has ever seen. Now he must have her as his own! How can this uncivilized ape-man hope to win her? (Unabridged)

Date: Jun 13, 2001 
Narrator: David I. Davies 
Provider: One Voice Recordings 
Media Type: Audiobook 
Time: 7 hours 30 min. Price: $9.95 

Why has this classic been so popular over the years with its presence in films, books, radio, and television? It is the mythology of the primordial steps of man's advancement. We follow the fascinating progress of mankind from the savage jungle to our present time in every one of Burroughs' 28 chapters. David Ian Davies has achieved great success in capturing each character with their own unique sound. This removes  the overall effect of just listening to a narration, but takes us to a more realistic imagery similar to hearing a full-cast performance. (Unabridged)


Date: Jan 01, 1994 
Narrator: James Slattery 
Provider: Blackstone Audiobooks
Media Type: Audiobook
Running Time: 9 hours
Format: Audible speech Price: $10.95

Deep in the heart of the Congo a small baby is adopted by Kala, a fierce anthropoid ape of the tribe of Kerchak. Here, protected by his savage foster mother, Tarzan (for so she named him) learned the secrets of jungle life - how to talk with all animals, how to move like a shadow, how to swing freely through the teeming forest, how to fight barehanded the great carnivores; here he acquired the strength and agility of his guardian apes, and the same keen sense of smell and sound that all wild creatures need to protect themselves. Here he cemented his lifelong friendship with the tribe of Tantor, the great grey elephants. And here, in time, his human intelligence brought him to the leadership of his own tribe. Fierce, proud, free, superlatively stong and nobly made, Tarzan of the Apes proved himself truly the unconquerable Lord of the Jungle. But civilization holds traps for the junglebred. And even Tarzan was not immune to the craft and guile of human beings.  (Unabridged)

Date: Jan 01, 1993 
Narrator: Ben Kingsley 
Provider: Dove Audio 
Media Type: Audiobook 
Running Time: 3 hours
Format: Audible speech Price: $8.95 
Retail Price: $16.95

This classic tale of romance and pure adventure follows Tarzan as he grows up in the wild, raised by the great ape Kala. He learns to swing through the trees, fight the great predators, and befriend the animals, particularly his friends Tanto the elephant, Ska the vulture, and Numa the lion. When white men invade his paradise, however, it changes Tarzan's life forever - for he meets Jane and falls hopelessly in love. Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley's resonant voice does justice to this timeless masterpiece. (Abridged)

Date: Jan 01, 2000 
Narrator: Shelly Frasier 
Provider: Tantor Media 
Media Type: Audiobook 
Time: 8 hours 50 min. 
Format: Audible speech $15.95 
Retail Price: $48.00
Tarzan, after valiantly giving up the woman he loves to another man, leaves the deceitful world of civilization and returns to his beloved African jungle. Upon his return, buried in the mists of his jungle, Tarzan discovers Opar, the city of gold, presumably the remains of Atlantis. But beneath its tranquil facade, he encounters La, the high priestess of the Flaming God, as well as brutal men, savage women, and a bloodstained altar of sacrifice. Tarzan must lead a tribe of primitive warriors through the ancient crypts if he wants to escape the grip of Opar! (Unabridged)

Date: Jan 01, 2000 
Narrator: Robert Whitfield 
Provider: Blackstone Audiobooks 
Media Type: Audiobook 
Running Time: 9 hours 
Format: Audible speech $10.95

Tarzan had renounced his right to the woman he loved, and civilization held no pleasure for him. After a brief and harrowing period among men, he turned back to the African jungle where he had grown to manhood. It was there he first heard of Opar, the city of gold, left over from fabled Atlantis. It was a city of hideous men - and of beautiful, savage women, over whom reigned La, high priestess of the Flaming God. Its altars were stained with the blood of many sacrifices. Unheeding of the dangers, Tarzan led a band of savage warriors toward the ancient crypts and the more ancient evil of Opar. (Unabridged)

Date: Jan 01, 2000 
Narrator: Shelly Frasier 
Provider: Tantor Media 
Media Type: Audiobook 
Time: 6 hours 15 min. 
Format: Audible speech $15.95 
Retail Price: $38.00

After renouncing his savage life in the jungle for the sake of his wife Jane and newborn son, Tarzan finds his trust in civilization has again been betrayed. Tarzan, now the rich Lord Greystoke, becomes the target of sinister criminals. When he and Jane try to save their abducted son, Jane is kidnapped and Tarzan is stranded on a deserted island. But as the lord of his realm, he calls the beasts of the jungle to his service. Sheeta the panther, Akut the great ape, and the giant Mugambi remain steadfast allies in Tarzan's quest to save his family...if they are still alive! (Unabridged)

Date: Jan 01, 2000
Narrator: John Bolen
Provider: Tantor Media
Media Type: Audiobook
Time: 6 hours 45 min.
Format: Audible speech Price: $15.95
Retail Price: $38.00
Ex-confederate army captain John Carter finds himself unwittingly transported to Mars, while fleeing Apache Indians. This new world is populated by a race of monstrous Martians, whose culture is based on the ability to fight for their race. Fortunately for John, the gravitational difference between Mars and Earth has endowed him with the strength that he will need for survival on this hostile planet. John Carter battles ferocious Martian creatures, but gains the respect and friendship of the Barsoomians. He also encounters the beautiful Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, and earns her everlasting devotion. The first in Burroughs' 11-volume series of the adventures of John Carter. The Mars series is a blend of sci-fi and romantic adventure - and The Princess of Mars was Burroughs' first published work. (Unabridged)

Date: Jan 01, 2000 
Narrator: John Bolen 
Provider: Tantor Media 
Media Type: Audiobook 
Time: 8 hours 25 min. 
Format: Audible speech $15.95 
Retail Price: $43.00

John Carter returns to the red planet 10 years after his Martian death in search of his wife, Princess Dejah Thoris. He joins forces with his old comrades and forms new lifetime alliances as he battles hostile enemies, previously unknown to his people of Barsoom. His adventures reveal the truth about the Gods of Mars. The second in Burroughs' 11-volume Mars series, a blend of sci-fi and romantic adventure. (Unabridged)

Date: Jan 01, 2000 
Narrator: John Bolen 
Provider: Tantor Media 
Media Type: Audiobook 
Time: 5 hours 50 min. 
Format: Audible speech $15.95 
 Retail Price: $33.00

John Carter risks everything to rescue his wife, Princess Dejah Thoris, from the clutches of his evil adversaries, but he is always just one step behind! His battles cover the face of the red planet, as his quest carries him ultimately to the mysterious northern pole. Will this civilization, submerged in ice, prove fatal to our hero? The third in Burroughs' 11-volume Mars series, a blend of sci-fi and romantic adventure. (Unabridged)

Date: Jan 01, 2000
Narrator: John Bolen
Provider: Tantor Media
Media Type: Audiobook
Time: 4 hours and 46 min. Price: $15.95
Retail Price: $30.00

Mars has become divided by love. Not one, but two princes and a Jeddak are vying for the love of Thuvia of Ptarth. When she is mysteriously kidnapped, treachery threatens to throw Barsoom into bloody war. Now Cathoris must follow in the footsteps of his father, John Carter, and overcome phantom armies, dangerous spies and savage beasts as he attempts to save his true love and reunite Mars.  The fourth in Burroughs' 11-volume Mars series, a blend of sci-fi and romantic adventure. (Unabridged)

Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Date: Jan 01, 2000
Narrator: John Bolen
Provider: Tantor Media
Media Type: Audiobook
Time: 8 hours and 40 min. Price: $15.95
Impetuous and headstrong, Tara, Princess of Helium and daughter of John Carter, defies the elements by flying into a rare, fierce Martian storm. Hurtled half a planet from her home, she is threatened by grotesque, flesh eating monsters and barbarous warriors. Is the mysterious Panthan warrior friend or foe? As hero battles for maiden in the chess-like games of Jetan, the pieces are fighting men and the stakes are life and death!  The fifth in Burroughs' 11-volume Mars series, a blend of sci-fi and romantic adventure. (Unabridged)

Date: Jan 01, 1996 
Narrator: James Slattery 
Provider: Blackstone Audiobooks 
Media Type: Audiobook 
Running Time: 6 hours 
Format: Audible speech Price: $8.95 

When David Innes and his inventor friend pierced the crust of the Earth in their new burrowing device, they broke out into a strange new inner world of eternal daylight - a world in back of the Stone Age, where prehistoric monsters still lived, and cave men and women battled against cruel, inhuman masters. The story of what these two men did in that new world of Pellucidar makes At the Earth's Core one of Burrough's most outstanding best sellers.  (Unabridged)

Date: Sep 12, 2000
Narrator: Melissa Greenspan, Richard Kind, and more
Provider: The Hollywood Theater of the Ear
Media Type: Radio/TV
Running Time: 55 min.
Format: Audible speech Price: $4.95

In 1923, Burroughs published a romanticized account of the first trip to the moon. This is what really happened! Adapted for audio by Emmett Loverde, with a cast featuring Melissa Greenspan, Richard Kind, David Rasche, Avery Schreiber, Steven Markle, James Otis, Lorna Raver, Stefan Rudnicki, and Tom Towles. Hosted by award-winning writer and broadcast personality Harlan Ellison. (Unabridged)

Date: Jan 01, 2000 
Narrator: Brian Emerson 
Provider: Blackstone Audiobooks 
Media Type: Audiobook 
Time: 4 hours 30 min. 
Format: Audible speech Price: $7.95 

In uncharted Caprona, a continent lost from the map of the Earth, where Time has stopped and all primeval creatures of long-gone ages still prowl, Bowen Tyler is lost. To find Tyler, Thomas Billings travels across the world to Caprona, where even stranger mysteries await him, and a barbaric civilization hides, torn between the impassable jungle on one side and an unknown menace on the other. The People that Time Forgot is an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel in his most exciting tradition. (Unabridged)

Date: Jan 01, 1998 
Narrator: Brian Emerson 
Provider: Blackstone Audiobooks 
Media Type: Audiobook 
Time: 4 hours 30 min. 
Format: Audible speech Price: $7.95 

On Caprona, the Land that Time Forgot, all of the world's savage past still lives. Here are dinosaurs and flying reptiles, here are the most primitive of cavemen and the last of the Bronze Age barbarians. But there is one more secret that the claws and fangs and sharp-edged spears guard most of all. This is the story of the man who tried to find that final secret. When Bradley the adventurer dares to cross the last terrible barrier to the heart of Caprona, he enters a world of wonder, terror and danger beyond the imagination of any man - except the imagination of Edgar Rice Burroughs.  (Unabridged)


by Suzanne Ruta
From the NEW YORK TIMES book supplement

February 17, 2002
In 1970, the Peruvian novelist Alfredo Bryce Echenique published a fictionalized portrait of his Lima childhood. Richly detailed and full of subtle scorn for his country's ruling class, ''A World for Julius'' is an exile's novel. It could only have been written in a seat of alienation like Paris, where the author lived and taught in the 1960's and 70's. ''Tarzan's Tonsillitis,'' Bryce Echenique's 14th published work, is something rather different -- an expatriate's novel, a rueful retrospective tribute to the heroic survivors of decades of rebellions and coups and dirty wars. The encomium takes the graceful form of a love story between a hyperarticulate Peruvian singer and composer, leading a charmed life in Europe, and the beautiful Salvadoran woman he worships from afar. The star-crossed lovers meet in Paris in 1967, when Latin liberation movements and Latin ''boom'' novelists are all the rage. Fernanda Maria de la Trinidad del Monte Montes, a beautiful red-haired, green-eyed daughter of the oligarchy, arrives in town to occupy a sinecure at Unesco. She has an Alfa Romeo and great connections. Her exclusive Swiss finishing school has even taught her the correct posture to assume while hailing a taxi. Juan Manuel Carpio, the grandson of Quechua-speaking Indians, is at the beginning of his career, performing in the Metro with a Che Guevara poster as a backdrop to increase his tips. This unlikely couple fall in love, quarrel and separate, knowing right away that they have missed their great opportunity.

She goes off to Chile to study architecture and marries a photographer, who is forced to flee after being mistaken for a leftist by the Pinochet regime. They wander from Paris to Caracas to San Salvador, where it's Fernanda's turn to flee, this time after being mistaken for a right-wing sympathizer. In California, she toils bravely to support her abusive alcoholic husband and two children. The novel's only vivid character, she evolves from a Latina Holly Golightly into a woman of courage and stature. She's also the Tarzan of the cutesy title, her lover's pet name for her. She never forgets Juan Manuel. Across the decades, the two proclaim their love and loyalty by letter, with rare brief trysts punctuated by bouts of jealous silence. The result is a semi-epistolary novel in which her grateful, desperate and often moving letters alternate with his less absorbing commentaries and updates: wordy,  solipsistic monologues full of frenetic allusions. The tone throughout is resolutely cheerful and end-of-millennium mellow. Lines from so many famous tangos and boleros and ranchero ballads lace the text that it could be sold with an accompanying CD. To capture an era through its hit songs is a fine comic approach that has worked for other Latin novelists, but once he leaves the Paris of his youth, Bryce Echenique's writing turns disappointingly generic. In fact, the trouble starts on Page 5, where Fernanda reports that she has been mugged in Oakland, Calif. In the original Spanish, she describes her attackers as ''terrifying gorillas (in size and color, I mean)'' and ''three huge, horrible black guys.'' These and other racial remarks are presumably meant as amusing signs of Fernanda's irrepressible Tarzan-of-the-jungle fighting spirit. Alfred MacAdam has the good grace to omit such slurs from his translation, but some of the novel's stereotypical assumptions are impossible to lose. If Oakland equals black street crime, Berkeley equals white male stolidity. Bryce Echenique's gringos are ''laconic'' when they're not ''monosyllabic.'' There's a pattern here: other men may compete for Fernanda's affections, but with Juan Manuel around no other male is allowed to get a word in edgewise. Or is the author merely spoofing his own relentless volubility? The advantage of a long-distance love affair, after all, is that it's mostly verbal and imaginary -- like the work of writing a novel. Suzanne Ruta writes frequently about Latin American literature.

Ray Bradbury
Fantasy's grand old man, 
Ray Bradbury
returns to his roots with new books
January 19, 2002
by John Rogers
Mr. Burroughs convinced me that I could talk with the animals, even if they didn't answer back, and that late nights when I was asleep my soul slipped from my body, slung itself out the window, and frolicked across town never touching the lawns, always hanging from trees where, even later in those nights, I taught myself alphabets and soon learned French and English and danced with the apes when the moon rose. But then again, his greatest gift was teaching me to look at Mars and ask to be taken home. I went home to Mars often when I was eleven and twelve and every year since, and the astronauts with me, as far as the Moon to start, but Mars by the end of the century for sure.... We have commuted because of Mr. Burroughs. Because of him we have printed the Moon. Because of him and men like him, one day in the next five centuries, we will commute forever, we will go away...And never come back....And so live forever.
---Ray Bradbury -- May 8, 1975
LOS ANGELES (AP) - He is 81 now and, slowed by a stroke, sometimes uses a wheelchair to navigate the nooks and crannies of Los Angeles, the adopted home town Ray Bradbury fell in love with on the day actress Jean Harlow gave him a kiss. But put him behind a typewriter and the grand old man of science fiction still pumps out the pages without missing a beat. He has a new novel in bookstores, From the Dust Returned, and jokes that it only took him 55 years to complete. A volume of poetry, They Have Not Seen the Stars, was recently released. And he's writing Falling Upward, a play based on the time he spent in Ireland in the mid-1950s writing the screenplay for the movie version of Moby Dick.

"Then I'm doing a new version of The Illustrated Man for Columbia-Tristar and a film version of my story, Sound of Thunder, that will be filmed by Pierce Brosnan," says Bradbury, sounding as bright and sunny as the weather on this warm fall day.

Having laboured in relative obscurity in recent years, the author of more than 30 books was recently declared the hottest writer in Hollywood by Salon magazine and awarded the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.And, to top it all off, there are plans for a second movie version of his classic science-fiction novel, Fahrenheit 451, with Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) directing.

"I've lived long enough! I've stuck around and waited," the white-haired, bespectacled author declares jovially in a stentorian voice as he explains his current run of good luck. "A lot of this is due to the fact that my books have moved into our school system. Starting about 25-30 years ago, the children brought my books into the schools and to the teachers - a very unusual situation in education. So now you've got a whole new generation . . . who read me in school 20-30 years ago. It's only natural they'd pay attention to me now that they're older."

Many of Bradbury's books seem at first glance tailor-made for readers on the cusp of puberty. What 14-year-old, fresh from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn, can resist Something Wicked This Way Comes, with its affectionate remembrances of touring summer tent shows and their mysterious, scary carnival barkers? But a closer reading will show that Something Wicked is not really a sci-fi book about a spooky old carnival run by people who never die. It's a metaphor for a universal human fear - not the fear of dying, but of growing old and being forgotten. Or, in the case of children, never growing old enough to be taken seriously.

 "It seems to me that he possesses a remarkable gift of facing what is dark in the human spirit and at the same time never really losing faith that individual small people can struggle through to some kind of affirmation," says Katherine Hayles, a  professor of the University of California at Los Angeles who specializes in the study of science fiction."There are always people in his books who are willing to fight against the forces of evil and try to do the right thing. I think Fahrenheit 451 is an example."

Bradbury's masterpiece portrays an ugly, futuristic society where firefighters burn homes to keep people from reading the books inside. One firefighter, though, can't resist picking up a book, reading it and then standing up against the evil of which he was once a part. Named for the flash point of paper, Fahrenheit 451 has been credited with inspiring everything from the invention of Walkman radios and CD players (they were called seashell radios in the book) to foreseeing such an infatuation with television that it would lead to wall-sized, stereophonic sets and a society that would drop whatever it was doing to watch another police chase on them. He wrote the book in nine days in 1950. Bradbury, who couldn't afford a private office and never learned to drive, would walk, roller-skate or bicycle from his home to the UCLA library. There he would pound out his manuscript on typewriters that rented for 10 cents a half-hour, calculating that he invested 98 dimes in the process.

 "But that was very unusual," he now laughs, adding that no other book came to him that easily. From the Dust Returned, he insists, took more than a half-century. "Some years I wrote one chapter, other years I wrote five," he  recalls. "I'm not in control of my muse. My muse does all the work."

Set on Halloween in an old gothic house on the edge of a small midwestern town, From the Dust brings together a friendly, if eccentric, family of old ghosts and the young mortal boy who befriends them. It was drawn in part from his experiences in Waukegan, Ill., where he lived until the Depression drove his family to Los Angeles in search of work.

"I had a wonderful Aunt Neva who raised me far more than my family, you might say. And she loved Halloween. So every Halloween we went out into the country and bought pumpkins and corn shafts and did my parents' house over, and it became a Halloween gothic house. And then she made me up as a witch and hid me in the attic, where I was supposed to scare people."

But if From the Dust and other novels evoke pleasant memories of early life in the Midwest, their creator was no less quick to  embrace Los Angeles.

"I hung around the studios and had my picture taken with Marlene Dietrich, which was really something for a 14-year-old," he recalls fondly. "And I got a kiss on the cheek from Jean Harlow. It's still burning there, all these years later."

He was still hanging around those studios a few years later when he met Forrest J. Ackerman, bit-part actor, sometime literary agent and founder of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. A patron to any number of young, local science-fiction writers, Ackerman is credited with coining the term "Sci-Fi." He edited some of Bradbury's early stories and bankrolled one of his first publishing efforts, the small fantasy magazine Futuria Fantasia. The two remain fast friends, and Bradbury says Ackerman  helped launch his career, though Ackerman insists the writer  needed little help.

 "I saw an incredibly enthusiastic youngster who would go around to the radio stations, talk his way in and when the actors were about to go on the air live, hand them four or five jokes he'd written and, if they used any of them, try to get them to pay  him," Ackerman, now 85, recalls.

Despite his acclaim as a science-fiction writer, Bradbury shuns the title.

"I write fantasy," he says. "I've only written one science-fiction book, Fahrenheit 451. That book is a book based on real facts and my hatred of people who destroy books. But all my other work is fantastic. It doesn't exist."

Even The Martian Chronicles, he notes, takes place on a planet with people and an atmosphere similar to Earth's. It also contains the requisite Bradbury metaphors, including those examining persecution and racism. Among the people who migrate to Mars are blacks from the South, their mass exodus confounding their white employers, who can't understand why they weren't satisfied with being given the right to vote. Such broad themes, Hayles says, place Bradbury's work closer to mainstream literature than science fiction.

"Stylistically, he's a classic writer," the UCLA professor says. "He goes for the realistic narrative. No matter how fantastic the events get, the narration itself is usually pretty straightforward."

The result, she believes, is that his best work will live on long after his passing. Not that the author is in any hurry to go. He still spends part of each day writing in the basement of the home in which he's lived for decades, in a quiet middle-class neighbourhood of rolling hills a few kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. He's lived long enough to see such things as interactive computers, giant TVs and even a limited version of the space travel he envisioned. But he wants seedy Hollywood restored to its glory days, when a wide-eyed adolescent hanging out in search of movie stars could actually be kissed by one. And he has high hopes that public education will be turned around over the next few years, adding that after a time in which society spurned reading in favour of what he views as wasted time with video games, the public is getting back on track.

"We've got to do the job from the inside," he says, proposing that everyone be taught to read beginning in kindergarten. "If we don't," he adds, "we're just going to raise another generation of morons. And we can't afford that, can we?"


 ----- Original Message -----
From: Dejah Wilson
To: <>
 Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 12:46 AM
 Subject: Dejah pronunciation

This is the best ERB site I have seen!  What I REALLY  want to know is how ERB intended 'Dejah' to be  pronounced.  Do you know?  Yes, Dejah is my real name.  Dejah Rae Bradford (Wilson).
My parents have always pronouced it "DEE Juh"  That is how I have pronounced it.  Do you have an idea or an inside track?  I
won't  change how I say it, I'm just curious how the original  author thought it should be.
Thanks for any info.
BTW - I have most of the "Martian" Books.
Dejah Wilson

 Bill and Sue-On Hillman <>
 Always a thrill to meet a real Dejah.
BTW: My wife Sue-On uses Dejah as a Web and ERB nickname.

You have the correct pronunciation ... at least the one that ERB used.

 In fact, his grandson Danton Burroughs named one of his daughters Dejah... and that is also how he pronounces the name.
> See

Are your parents ERB fans?


Actually, my parents ARE sci-fi fans.  I don't think they had read the books at the time but just saw it and liked the name.  I have a Dejah doll - alot of people think the name is 'Indian'.  I'm always THRILLED when I meet an ERB fan - I used to buy car parts from a fan just because I didn't have to spell my name.  I'm so used to saying, 'Dejah D-E-J-A-H Wilson'.  I have most of the books (and have read them.)  I always dreamed I could name my son's middle name 'Carthoris' but I have daughters (I do have the blessing of a stepson but didn't have any input on his name.)  I know of a few (REALLY FEW) other Dejah's.   One of them was in the movie 'Paper Moon' with Ryan O'Neal.  I used to hate my name and went by "Dee" from Junior high until I was 23 years old.  Now I go by Dejah and am proud of my name.  I have two children (that I named), Sara and Courtney - both in the top ten of names but both named for family members - so their names have significance.  BTW - All of my siblings (5 others) have normal names, Rick, Nicole, Brian, Jordan and Michael.

It is nice to know that my parents have pronounced it right all of these years.  I would guess that there are less than 100 'Dejah's in all the world!  Was there a movie or cartoon made?  If so, I would like to get a copy of it.  As I said, I have the doll and the books.  I guess I need to collect DEJAH stuff since I can't buy those little license plates with my name on it (or even a coffee mug!)

Thanks for your reply and interest,

Dejah Rae Wilson (named for the 'Princess of Mars')

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