cover image Under the Moons of Mars

Under the Moons of Mars

Edited by John Joseph Adams. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2029-8

Taking advantage of the big-screen release of the film John Carter, this competent anthology, set on Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom, includes stories featuring the eponymous hero of the series, plus other characters now brought more fully to life in tales of their own. In Joe R. Lansdale's "The Metal Men of Mars," Carter is captured by a monstrous, Borglike, steampunk society planning to conquer the planet and turn everyone into machines. In Peter S. Beagle's "The Ape-Man of Mars," Tarzan is transported to Barsoom where he meets John Carter and the two alpha males find it hard to coexist on the same planet. And in Garth Nix's "A Sidekick of Mars," a gold prospector transported to Mars by an old Indian curse explains in colorful Western lingo what it was like to be Carter's sidekick%E2%80%94and to later discover that Burroughs omitted him when retelling the tales. The works closely honor Burroughs's own, with self-assured characters, concrete storytelling, high adventure, and touches of tongue-in-cheek humor. A worthwhile introduction (or, for adult readers, a return) to one of Burroughs's most imaginative universes. Ages 12%E2%80%93up. (Feb.)