Exploring the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
ERBLIST FEATURES FAQs, Articles, Reviews, Persona Directory, Hall of Memory SUMMARY PROJECT Summarizing ERB's works one chapter at a time FAN FICTION Shorts, Novels, Poetry, Plays, Pulps ERBmania! Articles, Contributors: Tangor Responds, Edgardemain, ERB: In Focus, Nkima Speaks, Beyond 30W, Tantor Trumpets, Dime Lectures, Korak in Pal-ul-don, Public Domain novels of ERB GLOSSARIES Worlds of: Barsoom, Pellucidar, Moon, Amtor, Caspak, Pal-u-don
Long before the real surface of Venus became known by Russian spacecraft and orbiting American satellites, popular scientific theories held that the second planet of the Solar System was a seething ball of primeval ooze or a water planet. Ed Burroughs kept up with the scientific thinking of his day and did the intelligensia one better. His Amtor is a world of many contrasts. Large oceans and sizeable continents hidden behind multiple layers of cloud cover that conceal the sun at all times...except when there's an occasional rift and the sun boils away oceans or sets the land afire!
Vepaja, the island nation where Carson Napier initially landed upon Venus, is forested with immense trees of such astonishing size that entire cities are built high in the leafy canopy. We're talkin' really big trees! An entirely aboreal ecosystem exists, complete with gigantic predator spiders and other dangerous uglies which require the humans to be ever vigilant.
The oceans are filled with huge aquatic monsters and the atmosphere is the domain of birdmen. In some areas a species of "fishmen" lead an amphibious life, partly on land, partly beneath the surface of the oceans. As if the native life forms were not naturally terrifying, the scientists of Amtor (or maybe "wizards") have discovered how to animate the dead--building cities populated by zombies.
The Amtorians have a distorted view of their planet, having no knowledge of astronomy to guide their scientific thinking. To them their planet is bowl-shaped with the arctic regions at the bottom and the rim of the planet eternally on fire (the equator). All maps of Amtor are distorted by this inverse topology and are, therefore, quite useless even to the Amtorians.
Ed Burroughs invented a marvelously complex natural world with Amtor, but wasn't satisfied with that ingenuity alone. He proceeded to create entire races and societies that were reverses or inverses of social structures we know on Earth--and took the opportunity to parody and vilify ideologies which would, in a few short years after the books were written, plunge our planet into World War II. The careful reader will see Hitler and Mussolini, Nazism and Socialism and Communism roasted in the form of adventure romance entertainment. One can also see what Ed Burroughs thought of science without religion and religion without science. Amtor is a world of extremes and because of that, is extremely entertaining!
The Amtor Series
|PIRATES OF VENUS|
Carson Napier sets out in a rocketship to reach Mars and lands on Venus instead!
|LOST ON VENUS|
In the company of Duare, a Vepajan princess, Napier faces the terrors of cloud-shrouded Amtor.
|CARSON OF VENUS|
Leaping from one adventure to another, aviators Carson and Duare are in constant danger.
|ESCAPE ON VENUS|
Four action-packed inter-connected shorts comprise the last Amtorian tales published during ERB's lifetime.
|WIZARD OF VENUS|
Discovered in the company vault, this last tale of Venus pits Napier against his most intriguing advesary yet!