Under the Moons of Mars

Under the Moons of Mars – New Adventures on Barsoom Edited by John Joseph Adams, © 2012 – Simon & Schuster 2012 hardcover – SF – Fantasy short story collection featuring John Carter and other characters

cover illustration by Mark Zug

Sometimes anthologies like this can be spotty; a few good stories and a lot of mediocre ones. This one has a better than average number of good ones and a few really good ones. There were only two what I’d call duds in the thing, meaning they just didn’t work for me. Worth the money to buy it, and the time to read it.

I’d meant to re-read Burroughs’ The Princess of Mars before I read this, but didn’t get to it and got impatient so I went right ahead with this. I remembered enough of the original story and the over-all scenario Burroughs wrote to be able to appreciate the stories, plus each story has a short introduction by the editor recalling the book and situation that the story is based on, and that helped. Most of the stories seemed right in line with the Barsoom (Mars) the original author created.

One of the stories, which I expected to be a weak entry, I found especially thought-provoking: Peter S. Beagle’s The Ape-Man of Mars”. Yes, it’s Tarzan, who finds himself transported to Barsoom. Another dandy is Joe Landsdale’s “The Metal Men of Mars” which opens the anthology. But I’ll not go through the whole set of stories, I’ll leave that to you. Very enjoyable, indeed, and a collection I’ll almost certainly re-read.

Table of Contents:
Foreword by Tamora Pierce
Introduction by John Joseph Adams
The Metal Men of Mars by Joe R. Lansdale – illustrated by Gregory Manchess
Three Deaths by David Barr Kirtley – illustrated by Charles Vess
The Ape-Man of Mars by Peter S. Beagle – illustrated by Jeremy Bastian
A Tinker of Warhoon by Tobias S. Buckell – illustrated by Chrissie Zullo
Vengeance of Mars by Robin Wasserman – illustrated  by Misako Rocks
Woola’s Song by Theodora Goss – illlustrated by Joe Sutphin
The River Gods of Mars by Austin Grossman – illustrated by Meinert Hansen
The Bronze Man of Mars by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. – illustrated by Tom Daly
A Game of Mars by Genevieve Valentine – illustrated by Molly Crabapple
Sidekick of Mars by Garth Nix – illustrated by Mike Cavallaro
The Ghost of the Superstition Mountains by Chris Claremont – illustrated by John Picacio
The Jasoom Project by S. M. Stirling – illustrated by Jeff Carlisle
Coming of Age in Barsoom by Catherynne M. Valente – illustrated by Michael Wm. Kaluta
The Death Song of Dwar Guntha by Jonathan Maberry – illustrated by Daren Bader
Appendix: A Barsoomian Gazetteer, or, Who’s Who and What’s What on Mars by Richard A. Lupoff

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11 Responses to Under the Moons of Mars

  1. I’ve noted this in the store on several occasions. Will definitely need to pick it up.

  2. macavityabc says:

    I have this and have read the two stories you mention. I’d think Beagle’s might outrage some John Carter fans.

  3. Randy Johnson says:

    I have this one and need to get to it as soon as I get some ARCs out of the way.

  4. Richard says:

    Bill, I think you’re right, but I really liked the turnaround he pulled and it made me think about it for the remainder of the stories, and, I suspect, when I re-read the Burroughs books too.

    Yes, Randy, those ARCs are pesky things. But then I never get any, so it’s okay.

  5. Richard says:

    Chris, I think you’ll like it.

  6. Carl V. says:

    This has been on my radar and I’m glad to see a review of it from someone I know online. I’m even more interested in it now. I was already pretty interested in the author list and I’ve liked Adams’ anthologies in the past.

  7. I have UNDER THE MOONS OF MARS on order. Maybe the JOHN CARTER movie will generate more interest in this book.

  8. p881 says:

    Read something by Peter Beagle but I can’t remember what.

  9. I’ve got this too but haven’t read it yet. Glad to hear it’s generally pretty good. That will move it up on my TBR list.

  10. Frank Denton says:

    Hey, don’t ever underestimate Peter Beagle. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by him that I did not like. His short story collection, Kingdom of Mirrors (hope that’s right), is exceptionally good.

  11. Richard says:

    Frank, thanks for the tip. Patti, Beagle he has written a lot of novels and short stories, including some pretty well-known fantasy. A fine and Private Place was the first of his I read. You may have read We Never Talk About My Brother, a short story collection, or one of his other ss singles or collections.

    Go for it, Carl.

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