Some covers for this old Pulp classic are just beautiful. Here's the first edition for instance:Isn't that splendid? (the compositional dynamism! the font!) Not all editions have been so aesthetically pleasing, mind. Here's a recent edition:Funny way to spell 'Burroughs', you're saying. And you're right. It is.
Still, it's a jolly yarn. Burroughs started writing it during the First World War (which the novel, optimistically, predicts as ending in 1967). The Barsoom, a spaceship bound on an exploratory voyage to Mars, instead crashes on the moon thanks to the drunken malice of one crewmember. They're captured by the Va-gas, black horse-like animal with a human faces; and later they encounter the more humanoid No-vans, amongst them the Futuramistically named Nah-ee-lah (the Moon Maid herself). There's a lot of adventuring, to-ing and fro-ing, and rather more eating of raw corpses than I had anticipated; plus a climactic big battle against the subterranean, DeepSpaceNineishly-named Jemadar (presumablym like the Trek scripters, Burroughs also browsed his Hobson-Jobson) before the hero Julian and his moon maid love-interest finally escape back to Earth. There are two more books in the trilogy, which I very much look forward to reading. What a pip!
Still, it's a book that artists' have interpreted many ways. For some, it's all about cherubs and umbrellas:
And for others it's all about bottoms.The true mark of a classic.
Update (courtesy of Mark W):
She's nicely louche, isn't she? As Mark notes, it's not entirely clear how she's holding on, whilst her mount seems to be practicing (if he's left handed) a forward drive, or (if he's right handed) perhaps a reverse sweep.