Edgar Rice Burroughs would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Synthetic Men of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs All Rights Reserved ©

Other

Where is ras thavas?

From Phundahl at their western extremity, east to Toonol, the Great Toonolian Marshes stretch across the dying planet for eighteen hundred earth miles like some unclean, venomous, Gargantuan reptile—an oozy marshland through which wind narrow watercourses connecting occasional bodies of open water, little lakes, the largest of which covers but a few acres. This monotony of marsh and jungle and water is occasionally broken by rocky islands, themselves usually clothed in jungle verdure, the skeletal remains of an ancient mountain range.

Little is known of the Great Toonolian Marshes in other portions of Barsoom, for this inhospitable region is peopled by fierce beasts and terrifying reptiles, by remnants of savage aboriginal tribes long isolated, and is guarded at either extremity by the unfriendly kingdoms of Phundahl and Toonol which discourage intercourse with other nations and are constantly warring upon one another.

Upon an island near Toonol, Ras Thavas, The Master Mind of Mars, had labored in his laboratory for nearly a thousand years until Vobis Kan, Jeddak of Toonol, turned against him and drove him from his island home and later repulsed a force of Phundahlian warriors led by Gor Hajus, the Assassin of Toonol, which had sought to recapture the island and restore Ras Thavas to his laboratory upon his promise to devote his skill and learning to the amelioration of human suffering rather than to prostitute them to the foul purposes of greed and sin.

Following the defeat of his little army, Ras Thavas had disappeared and been all but forgotten as are the dead, among which he was numbered by those who had known him; but there were some who could never forget him. There was Valla Dia, Princess of Duhor, whose brain he had transferred to the head of the hideous old Xaxa, Jeddara of Phundahl, that Xaxa might acquire the young and beautiful body of Valla Dia. There was Vad Varo, her husband, one time assistant to Ras Thavas, who had restored her brain to her own body—Vad Varo, who had been born Ulysses Paxton in the United States of America and presumably died in a shell hole in France; and there was John Carter, Prince of Helium, Warlord of Mars, whose imagination had been intrigued by the tales Vad Varo had told him of the marvelous skill of a world's greatest scientist and surgeon.

John Carter had not forgotten Ras Thavas, and when an emergency arose in which the skill of this greatest of surgeons was the sole remaining hope, he determined to seek him out and find him if he still lived. Dejah Thoris, his princess, had suffered an appalling injury in a collision between two swift airships; and had lain unconscious for many weeks, her back broken and twisted, until the greatest surgeons of all Helium had at last given up all hope. Their skill had been only sufficient to keep her alive; it could not mend her.

But how to find Ras Thavas? That was the question. And then he recalled that Vad Varo had been the assistant of the great surgeon. Perhaps, if the master could not be found, the skill of the pupil might be adequate. Then, too, of all men upon Barsoom, Vad Varo would be most likely to know the whereabouts of Ras Thavas. And so John Carter determined to go first to Duhor.

He selected from his fleet a small swift cruiser of a new type that had attained a speed of four hundred miles an hour—over twice the speed of the older types which he had first known and flown through the thin air of Mars. He would have gone alone, but Carthoris and Tara and Thuvia pleaded with him not to do so. At last he gave in and consented to take one of the officers of his personal troops, a young padwar named Vor Daj. To him we are indebted for this remarkable tale of strange adventure upon the planet Mars; to him and Jason Gridley whose discovery of the Gridley Wave has made it possible for me to receive this story over the special Gridley radio receiving set which Jason Gridley built out here in Tarzana, and to Ulysses Paxton who translated it into English and sent it across some forty million miles of space.

I shall give you the story as nearly as possible in the words of Vor Daj as is compatible with clarity. Certain Martian words and idioms which are untranslatable, measures of time and of distance will be usually in my own words; and there are occasional interpolations of my own that I have not bothered to assume responsibility for, since their origin will be obvious to the reader. In addition to these, there must undoubtedly have been some editing on the part of Vad Varo.

So now to the strange tale as told by Vor Daj.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

vane 3071: This book taught me so much and I even began to think, no wait know, it's important that people of all ages learn more about it. I may only be 14 but all we've always been told is that there the "special kids" that they have "issues", basically that they weren't normal. If we were to associate wi...

fellipxx: I loved this novel, it was very sweet and big on the emotions I really enjoyed it and could not stop reading not even for a second, I even cried a little bit at a few touching moments too. And overall I found this book sweet, realistic and cheesy (I like the cheesy stuff).

littlebite22: This made me think. About the world around me, about what I think of others. We rarely get to see or hear what others think, and this is such a great example of not judging a book by its cover. Also very well written.

WildFlower Fire: I have only read the first chapter and I LOVE the writing style. I am excited to meet the characters and want to find out more. Looking forward to the rest.

Hadley Swiss: I loved the way you wrote this story. It was easy to recognise the characters, and it was a new plot I hadn't read ever (as in, it was different to any other, without any cliches as far as I'd read.) The dialogue was good; your characters seemed realistic. I also enjoyed the action and the settin...

Deleted User: An unusual story, well worth reading. Good conversations, excellent prose, and keeps my interest, maybe because I was there, back in the day. You won't be able to pt this book down.

Ariel: First book from the Author I've read, and am extremely impressed and very much satisfied that this story was a short-story, yet, filled with great writing, fantastic characters, and all I'd like is more, please. Malice, she is my favorite!!

More Recommendations

Mary Abigail: I have always been a serious reader but reading romance has always been an outlet for me to be happy and this, makes me happy. It's entertaining with just enough drama and maybe a bit more - I do need more.

ngonisiga: I am at loss for words in my attempt to descibe the sublimeness of this story. Kudos to you! I am so impressed at the way the story weaves itself from Navarre to England and back and finally to Sicily. You left me wanting more for this is the stuff dreams are made of in book lovers.

Jessica McAlpine: I fell in love easily with this story. In the beginning it reminded me of Studio Ghibli films where fantasy is mixed with some science, almost like steampunk but not.I continued to enjoy the world culture of The Shattered Girl. I especially love the idea of dwarves being seafaring folk instead of...

Tina Hacker: Lindsey Martin=Bowen blends humor with satiric takes on modern life. Her characters are introduced seamlessly and tell the reader their stories--if we can read them between laughs! I hesitate to write exactly what she parodies but anyone reading her book will know in a minute. Just think large-...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.