Exploring the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs

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Summarizing ERB's works one chapter at a time
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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
Worlds of: Barsoom, Pellucidar, Moon, Amtor, Caspak, Pal-u-don
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Copyright © 2000 Duane Adams

Duane Adams, a resident of Michigan, illustrates his Moon Maid Glossary and Glossary Comments. ABOVE: Adams' logo for the ECOF 2000 "Moon Maid" gathering in Clarksville, TN.


Duane Adams


The Moon series came mid-career for Edgar Rice Burroughs. His Barsoom (Mars) and Tarzan books had been successful for more than a decade before America's foremost author of adventure and romance fiction turned his fertile imagination to another world fantastic--an orb we see each night in the skies above the Earth.

The first installment The Moon Maid appeared in Argosy All-Story Weekly from May 5th to June 2nd, 1923. Maid used an unusual story frame device: Incarnation! Each of the Moon tales relate to a future incarnation of a character that the (fictional) Burroughs met on a trans-Atlantic aerial flight in 1967 (a year expressed in the texts) which was a mode of transportation unheard of when the real Burroughs penned these stories from 1923 to 1925.

Edgar Rice Burroughs explored our nearest celestial neighbor with the same zeal and enthusiasim we enjoyed in his popular Pellucidar excursions examined the inner world of our home planet. Va-nah was ERB's name for the Moon's inner world and there we found inhabitants, cities, and extraordinary flora and fauna, as well as a nod and wink to Barsoom, the most famous of the author's fictional worlds.

Burroughs returned to the Moon for a sequel he called The Moon Men that appeared in All-Story Feburary 21st to March 15th, 1925. The Moon Men was a revised version of a story ERB wrote in 1919 titled Under the Red Flag, a political social-speak warning against communisim (Russia, end of World War I). This manuscript did not not find a publisher during ERB's life; yet, Burroughs was ever the businessman. He was determined to salvage Under the Red Flag and deliberately wrote The Moon Maid as a prequel which he knew his publishers would accept. He then revised Under the Red Flag with Moon references to integrate the two parts. The Moon Men is one of ERB's most fantastic, yet depressing stories.

In 1925 Burroughs completed his Moon series with a short novelette. The Red Hawk describes the final clash between humans and the invaders from the Moon. Burroughs' love of the American ideal of freedom is encapulated in this thrilling and charming tale.

The first hard cover edition of The Moon Maid was published in 1926 as a collected omnibus. The separate parts Maid, Men, and Red Hawk were edited by Burroughs (Maid and Men specifically) to fit the publisher's standard format in page count. The vastly more rich and extensive pulp magazine versions of the story were lost in the final book edition. During the 1960s ERB reprint frenzy Ace Science Fiction used the original pulp texts for three paperback editions.

The Moon Series ranks as one of Edgar Rice Burroughs' most favored creations. The Glossary you are about to read is extraordinary for two reasons. The skeleton of Duane Adams' work is based on an existing and difficult to find dictionary penned by premier ERB scholar George T. McWhorter. Adams took that skeleton and fleshed it with his own work and research. All I can say is thank you, both!

— David Bruce Bozarth

Text and Illustrations Copyright © 1999-2000 by Duane Adams, All Rights Reserved.