DescriptionEdgar Rice Burroughs. A Fighting Man of Mars. New York: Metropolitan Books, . First edition of the seventh book of the Mars series, with "Metropolitan" on the title-page and on the spines of both book and dust jacket. Presentation copy, inscribed by Edgar Rice Burroughs to his Son Hulbert Burroughs in black ink on the front free endpaper: "To / Hulbert / with love / Papa (O.M.B. [Old Man Burroughs]) / Tarzana / California." Octavo (7.3125 x 5 inches; 187 x 127 mm.). , 7-319, [1, blank] pages. Black-and-white frontispiece by Hugh Hutton. Published May 15, 1931. Original heavily textured red cloth lettered in green on front cover and spine. Top edge stained green. Spine extremities very slightly bumped, with two tiny chips at foot of spine; free endpapers browned slightly near hinges; vertical crease down the rear pastedown, leaving an impression on the rear free endpaper; small abrasion at lower edge of rear pastedown and corresponding adhesion at lower edge of rear free endpaper. Green top stain visible at top edge of text leaves; a few dings and scrapes to the edges, resulting in tiny edge dings on a few leaves; a few tiny spots and faint smudges or stains in the margins; the center two leaves of several gatherings with a slight diagonal crease in the upper margin, occasionally entering the text; tiny adhesions (paper flaws) in the margins, leaving slight impressions the on adjacent leaves; over-opened between pages 146 and 147. A near fine copy, with the cloth clean and fresh and the green lettering still bright. In the original bright blue color pictorial dust jacket with wraparound artwork by Hugh Hutton (a composite scene, not in the text, "of Hadron crossing swords with a U-Gor at the brink of a cliff, with ships in the air and a city below" (Heins). Unclipped, with the $2.00 price on the front flap. The unrestored jacket has considerable wear to the edges and folds, as well as some surface loss, and is possibly supplied. Jacket creased and darkened at top edge; spine faded slightly; old tape repairs to chips and short tears on both recto and verso, causing the white lettering to appear pink (the "A" on the front panel and at head of spine, and "METROPOLITAN" at foot of spine); small area of surface loss at top edge of front panel where a three-quarter-inch tear was repaired, just affecting the "N" and "G" in "FIGHTING;" a couple of scuffs and scratch marks on the front panel; several scratch marks on rear panel.
First published as a six-part serial in The Blue Book Magazine, April-September 1930, with cover art by Laurence Herndon (1880-1960) for the first four and the sixth installments, and with seven black-and-white drawings by Frank Hoban in each installment. This was the fourth and final Burroughs book published by Metropolitan.
Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years, 310; Bleiler, The Checklist of Science-Fiction and Supernatural Fiction (1978), p. 35; Heins FMM-1 ("Radio contact with Mars reveals the adventures of Hadron of Hastor to rescue an abducted maiden"); Reginald 02281; Zeuschner (1996) 146; Zeuschner (2016), p. 90, no. 2 ("It is believed that Metropolitan published approximately 10,000 copies").
"In the Foreword to A FIGHTING MAN OF MARS, there is mention of Jason Gridley's work at Tarzana in establishing radio communication with Pellucidar, which eventually led to contact with Mars. This was one of Burroughs' favorite devices, to create connecting links between one of his series and another" (Heins, page 125).
"Before 'Tarzan,' Edgar Rice Burroughs had entered the realm of Martian adventure with his first novel, 'A Princess of Mars.' Now with his latest novel, 'A Fighting Man of Mars,' he turns back to the field of his first inspiration. It is a field in which he has been compared to Jules Verne and H. G. Wells of the early scientific novels. These writers foreshadowed much that has actually happened. Yet, all their contemporaries saw in their novels was a fascinating play of fantastic imagination. So Edgar Rice Burroughs may be describing not too remote possibilities in 'A Fighting Man of Mars' with its great fleet of giant air cruisers and flying battle ships dealing death ray destruction from cloaks of invisibility. Here, radio communication with the earth reveals the appalling war of the Martians, and the story of Hadron of Hastor, a gallant hero bent upon the rescue of an abducted maiden. It is a story that moves with flashing action and breathless pace, a stirring tale of romantic love amid the sizzling menace of strange and terrible inventions; a story that combines the wonder and beauty of a fairy-tale with the wonder and fascination of a laboratory" (front flap of dust jacket).
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