Princess of Mars

I recently discovered that Disney is making a movie of the novel Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Calling it John Carter, the current release date is set for March 9, 2012.

Princess of Mars is the first in a series of novels about Mars and the people on it. Written by the same author as the Tarzan books, this series influenced many other authors including my favorite, Ray Bradbury (read his excellent Martian Chronicles).

I first read Princess of Mars about a year ago as part of a task I have set for myself: Read every book on this list. Technically the book would be categorized as science fiction, but since science fiction really is fantasy just with a bit more technical aspects, I feel justified mentioning it here.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the planet Mars. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because it’s red, my favorite color. (I’m easy to please.) Reading different authors’ takes on the planet has always interested me and I love looking at photos sent back from the Mars Rover.

This book was written during the Victorian period, which was an interesting period of scientific discovery and supernatural belief. Influences from both can be seen throughout the story. This strange combination makes Victorian novels some of the most interesting to read. And memorable (think Dracula and almost anything by H.G Wells or Jules Verne).

So Princess of Mars is essentially a fun adventure novel. Hopefully Disney’s John Carter will be able to keep the fun and iconic-ness (is that a word?) of the novel without turning it into some big, loud, and dumb action film. They’ll be disappointing a lot of people if they do.


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