A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • Publication Date: 2008-06-23
  • Genre: Adventure
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 95 Ratings)

Book Synopsis

A Princess of Mars (1917) is a science fantasy novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first of his Barsoom series. Full of swordplay and daring feats, the novel is considered a classic example of 20th century pulp fiction. It is also a seminal instance of the planetary romance, a sub-genre of science fantasy that became highly popular in the decades following its publication. Its early chapters also contain elements of the Western. The story is set on Mars, imagined as a dying planet with a harsh desert environment. This vision of Mars was based on the work of the astronomer Percival Lowell, whose ideas were widely popularized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Barsoom series inspired a number of well-known 20th century science fiction writers, including Jack Vance, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein, and John Norman. The series was also inspirational for many scientists in the fields of space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life, including Carl Sagan, who read A Princess of Mars when he was a child.

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Latest User Reviews

  • A Princess of Mars

    By beanlol
    What a great, fun Summer read! That science and politics had birthed this kind of story in hindsight, makes perfect sense. From this author and H. G. Welles were born all our favorite Sci-if writers since.
  • Great

    By Xdakotakid
    A good fiction read with a mysterious look into the dying planet of Mars.
  • A SciFi Romance from the early 1900s

    By Lucentrip
    I have heard of this book multiple times over the course of my 36 years on our beautiful blue green planet, but somehow never read it. I rectified that over the last week or so, and am very glad I did so. Thank you to Project Gutenberg for making this classic available free of charge. I can easily understand why it was inspirational to Edgar Rice Burroughs' writer peers and to sci fi writers that came in to e generations after. It is a delightful example of what we now call Space Opera, a distinction from hardcore sci fi in that it doesn't go onto great technical detail, instead focusing on a great romance and rollicking adventure. Burroughs does do an excellent job imagining what the various races of Mars would be like, both in form and culture. The book itself was a great read, and I only wish I had stumbled upon it sooner. This is a book I could see myself reading to my children. I'll continue to comb through Project Gutenberg for more hidden gems!
  • What a surprise!

    By Scottyd
    I read this book in the anticipation of seeing the movie. I really thought it was pretty good, especially when you think about when it was written. I love old classic sci fi. This hit the spot.