Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Remembering Edgar Rice Burroughs

Happy birthday to Edgar Rice Burroughs, born September 1, 1875. Through his creations of Tarzan and John Carter, he had a major role in providing the inspiration for the creation of Superman. For inspiring D&D, Gary Gygax placed Burroughs as being on par with Robert E. Howard, de Camp & Pratt, and Fritz Leiber. The Star Wars franchise owes its existence to the revolution in literature that he single-handedly created. And when Ray Bradbury declared that Burroughs was the most influential writer in the history of the world, he wasn’t exaggerating. He didn’t just introduce an entire generation to a love of reading and adventure. He inspired the scientists and technologists to pursue careers that would ultimately culminate in the moon landings.

The nudniks didn’t think much of him in his day. They don’t like him today, either. But the thing is… even though his works are all in the public domain, he still outsells his critics. Uninformed commentators invoke him as epitomizing the sort of dated and old fashioned works they despise, but the fact is… he never went out of style.

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2 responses to “Remembering Edgar Rice Burroughs

  1. Gyrus September 1, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Great letter. It seems today the most radical idea in SF/F today is that books should be fun to read.

  2. H.P. September 3, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I LOVE that letter. Remember Maude’s definition of a nymphomania from The Big Lebowski? A lot of the self-appointed SF literati seem to engage in reading compulsively and without joy.

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