We all know what it's like to stick our foot in our mouth from time to time, right?
Well, one such moment for me was on an online forum a few weeks ago where someone posted this trailer for the upcoming movie "John Carter":
I made some smartass comment like "Wow, a Stargate ripoff!"
Well I was the dope (not in a good way) as many fans of the John Carter--or, more accurately the "Barsoom"--series of books came to its defense. I had no idea these existed or had any fan base until my online gaffe.
"A Princess of Mars" is the first book in the series that features John Carter, a series written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, more famously known for penning the character of Tarzan. He actually wrote his first Barsoom book before ever writing Tarzan.
"Princess," being the first book, spends time building the character of Carter, and establishing the basics of the Barsoom universe. Barsoom is what Martians call Mars. It's inhabited by green aliens with four arms, white hairy apes with four arms, and a human-like race with red skin. Carter is a retired officer of the American Civil War, Confederate Army, who mysteriously ends up on Mars--honestly, I'm not really clear on how or why it happens.
Anyway, he soon finds himself a prisoner of the war-like green aliens, and eventually falls in love with a fellow slave--the beautiful Dejah Thoris, princess of the red people of Helium. I'll spare any spoilers from here, but say that I found humor in the simple antiquity of the story. There was an old-timey nature to the characters--definitely not "PC" by today's standards. John Carter is a man's man, and Dejah is a babe of galactic proportions and they play those roles in a way that would make a feminist pale with nausea.
John punches, shoots, stabs, kicks and slays his way to Dejah's heart and to the top of the food chain of Mars. All in good fun. I doubt the upcoming movie will even attempt to capture the camp elements, which is kind of sad.
Anyway, for a fun sci-fi read, check out Burrough's "A Princess of Mars."