by Otis Adelbert Kline, with an introduction by Michael Moorcock
Rebels on the Red Planet!
Considered by many to be the only true equal of Edgar Rice
Burroughs, Otis Adelbert Kline was a master of the sword and planet
genre. From his position on the original editorial staff of Weird Tales
and as the literary agent for Conan creator Robert E. Howard, Kline
helped shape the face of science fiction as we know it.
Now, in its first complete edition since 1933, Kline brings us the
story of Harry Thorne, outcast scion of a wealthy East Coast family,
who agrees to swap bodies with a Martian noble, thrusting him into
a fierce and vibrant world of strange beasts and stranger people,
where a man's future is determined by the strength of his sword arm.
Tasked with tracking down and neutralizing another Earthman before
he establishes a corrupt empire, and trapped between the love of two
beautiful and dangerous women, will Harry Thorne wind up a slave
in the dolorous baridium mines, or will he step forward and claim his
destiny as a swordsman of Mars?
This is the first complete edition of The Swordsman of Mars published since the story's original appearance in Argosy Magazine in 1933. Popular editions released in the 1960s featured viciously cut prose in order to fit the story into a standard novel format.
"Tall tales in a great and venerable American tradition...
prepare to relish the red planet as you've never known it."
award-winning creator of Elric of Melniboné
"It would be a shame if Kline remained unknown to today's readers—he is really a good writer, and his prose, though not so stylish as Burroughs, is almost mesmerizing."
—Fantasy Book Critic
"What The Swordsman of Mars is can be summed up in one word: Fun. Those looking for a transcendent literary experience won't find it here. Those looking for a rollicking good time, however, will, and to them I say welcome to Mars; you're going to enjoy the trip."
—Richard Dansky, Green Man Review
"I enjoyed the book enormously, but that's not all. You can enjoy almost any piece of writing if you approach it with the lowest possible expectations (and, yes, I am thinking of Lin Carter's multifarious pastiches here). I came away from it with considerable respect for Otis Adelbert Kline as a writer of fantastic fiction."
—James Enge, Black Gate Magazine
"A slice of pulp history."
—Morgan Holmes, The Robert E. Howard United Press Association
224-page softcover trade paperback
About the Author
Known today primarily as the literary agent of Conan creator Robert E. Howard and supposed rival of Edgar Rice Burroughs, in his day Otis Adelbert Kline (1891–1946) was nearly as popular as Howard and Burroughs themselves. Though Kline's famous feud with Burroughs, in which the two published competing Mars and Venus books in constant attempts to one-up each other, may have been the creation of imaginative fans, there can be no doubt that the two authors shared both style and subject matter. Indeed, Kline has frequently been called Burroughs's only true competitor. While he produced only a handful of novels before his death at the age of 55, Kline's presence on the original editorial staff of Weird Tales and his sword-swinging romances on the red and green planets did much to influence the genre, and his legacy lives on in the tradition of sword and planet novels to this day.
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