Re: [barsoom] Journey to the Underground World
>>Dictionary of Imaginary Places" by Alberto Manguel & Gianni Guadalupi.I find their maps to be ... inadequate and often drawnwithout a
careful reading of the novels. Example being that Caspak has the
islands of the Weiroo NOT within Caproni as are described but to the
NE as seperate islands in the Pacific ocean.
As I pointed out in my Doorways to Pellucidar paper at ERBZine.com, if
we draw a circle to represent the "crater" of Zanthodon, then we
should place the opening in the center of that circle. THEN when we
place the Serevillo Map over that, we see more that 3/4 of that circle
to be empty and unexplored. I suepect that the land to the East and
south to be land all the way to the walls.
I also disagree withthe age of Zanthodon as if it had eben created
150,000,000 years ago, how the ,bleep. could there be life that had
become extinct 250 million years ago? Devonian life could not have
entered a cavern that was created a hundred million years after it
have died out.
That and the partially carnivorous ceratopsin implies that Prof Potter
was not as good a historian as he thought and that Zanthodon must be
connected to both Pellucidar and Pal-ul-Don as well as the
mediterranean Sea (probably closed).
Still, these problems do not interfere with my enjyment of the story
as I have been a Carter fan for as long as I have been a Burroughs
On 4/15/13, Steve <steveseg@...> wrote:
> Having recently re-read the Callisto and Green Stars series, I've just
> started the Zanthodon series. As with the Green Star, I'll post my old
> reviews of each book as I begin them. Here is my review of :Journey to the
> Underground World" from several years ago:
> Steve S. (S.J.S.)
> "Journey to the Underground World"
> I started "Journey to the Underground World" today and I'm in heaven! It's
> been about three
> years since my last read and I needed this. Being a fan of the Dray Prescot
> Saga by Ken Bulmer and the Josh Kirby illustrations, I was pleased to see
> his work in this book. More as I come to each one.
> Published by DAW in November of 1979, I see no dedication and it should have
> been to Burroughs, for this novel represents a distinct nod to Pellucidar.
> As to Eric Carstairs age, the only (vague) reference so far is in the
> "Editor's Note."
> Carter writes: "I have known Carstairs off and on for several years.
> Although the rugged
> young adventurer is many years my junior, we seem to have hit it off from
> the start." Lin
> was born in June of 1930 and was about 49 years old when he wrote "Journey."
> So, "many
> years" could be anywhere from ten to thirty. Thus, Eric is somewhere between
> 19 and 39. I'd
> like to think 23, but he has seen so much action in the world prior to these
> adventures in
> Zanthodon that he probably is older. Like I said, vague.
> I enjoyed Carter's "Editor's Note" overall but this line especially:
> "...there are still
> lost lands in the remote corners of the earth where fantastic monsters roam,
> where chaste
> and beautiful women remain to be rescued from sneering villains, and where
> adventure and
> peril and heroism thrive amid exotic and bizarre scenery." What more could I
> ask for!
> One thing I was bothered by (big time!) is that Lin provided no map of the
> known areas of
> Zanthodon. Well, I made my own and though absolutely out of scale and
> juvenile in quality, I
> find it helpful in my reads of this series. I recalled that there was a map
> of Zanthodon in "The Dictionary of Imaginary Places" by Alberto Manguel &
> Gianni Guadalupi. On page 421 the map shows a vastly different conception.
> For one, it shows the entire land mass surrounded by the Sogar-Jad while I
> believe there was still unexplored land to the east and thus was left off my
> map. Plus, the Northern Isles and El Cazar. This may be due to only the
> first two or three books being referenced. Still, I will consult both maps
> during my read and see if I am in error. Perhaps I could put together a map
> that contains the best of both.
> Events begin in Port Said Egypt before moving to a desolate section of the
> Sahara Desert.
> Eric Carstairs saves Professor Percival Penthesileia Potter from thugs and
> they strike up a
> friendship and partnership. For Potter knows the location of one of the
> entrances to
> Zanthodon. Only this one is ever disclosed but others (one at least) are
> referred to, later
> on in the series.
> There is much humor to be found and I for one appreciate it. On page 18,
> Potter and
> Carstairs spar on the professor's middle initial P. He alternates between
> "suspiciously reticent," giving "frosty, reproving glares" and "clearing his
> throat and
> giving a sniff," I was amused.
> On page 14, when Eric proposes a drink after their initial meeting, Potter
> begs off but
> finally, for medicinal purposes only caves in with: "Straight gin," he
> snapped to the
> waiter. "Gordon's, if you stock it; Boodle's will do." Carstairs then opines
> that gin is gin
> and on that point I quite disagree.
> One last example of humor in "Journey" occurs on page 44 where Potter had
> just declared that triceratops were vegetarians and this one starts eating a
> pterodactyl Carstairs had just
> killed and then trees the duo, looking for another meal. "Mostly
> vegetarians, eh?" I (Eric)
> said sarcastically. Looking remarkably unhappy, the Professor made no
> The incredible descent to the Underground World is described on pages 29-33
> and while not as detailed or fraught as that of David Innes and Abner Perry,
> it still makes for brave reading
> as "Babe" the helicopter of Carstairs wends its way ever deeper into the
> Earth's crust. But
> unlike Pellucidar, Zanthodon is not at the so-called Earth's Core (500 miles
> down, I
> believe), but in a huge cavern, about 100 miles down, beneath the Sahara.
> Potter estimates
> (page 40) the size to be "about five hundred miles by five hundred, almost
> circular. ...A quarter of a million square miles."
> Potter crashes "Babe" while Carstairs naps but the helicopter is not totally
> wrecked. I had
> hoped that Eric would one day return for "Babe," repair her and fly across
> Zanthodon. It
> could not however, ascend back through the volcanic tunnel to the 1000 foot
> mountain in the
> Sahara it originated in (pages 39 & 41). Useless to want as it never
> happens! It seems a
> blacksmith would be necessary to repair the broken rotor blade. But what
> about the Corsairs
> of El-Cazar?
> Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan & Pellucidar), Jules Verne ("Journey to the
> Center of the Earth"), King Kong (Skull Island) and "The Lost World" of A.
> Conan Doyle are referred to in scattering fashion throughout the first 50 or
> so pages. Zanthodon stands proudly along side these staples of lost worlds
> and heroic fantasy.
> Echoing Burroughs, there is a battle between the (carnivorous) triceratops
> and a wooly
> mammoth (pages 46-48) where the former is crushed to a pulp. This battle is
> illustrated by
> Josh Kirby in the frontispiece and is supported textually on page 47. The
> two beasts are a
> little to blurry for my taste but our heroes come off well. The background
> work is top notch
> and primitive.
> The Sea is reached on page 58 and I think I had assumed that "Babe" had
> landed near a
> "lagoon" of this body of water but in retrospect, it was probably a lake,
> though Carter
> refers to it (page 34) as either a "lagoon" or a "wide river." Soon after it
> turns into a
> swamp. In any event, a plesiosaurus rears out of the sea's depths (later
> revealed as the
> Sogar-Jad). Shades of Pellucidar!
> By page 61, Potter and Carstairs are captured by the Ape-Men of Kor from the
> island of
> Ganadol and Eric was woefully unprepared for their chieftain's attack. I
> know he'll do
> better as he gets to know the dangers of the Underground World of
> It turns out the Neanderthals are known in Zanthodon as Drugars and their
> party that netted Professor Potter and Eric Carstairs is hurriedly heading
> back to their
> kingdom of Kor on the island of Ganadol which lies on the Sogar-Jad. Josh
> Kirby illustrates this slave coffle on page 67, the scene suitable barbaric.
> held captive include several Cro-Magnon men and woman. They are of the tribe
> or kingdom of
> Thandar and it is from the wrath of its king (omad), Tharn that the Drugars
> flee. For the
> woman is Tharns daughter, Dayra. Included also from Thanadar are young Jorn
> the hunter and the conniving chieftain Fumio. If this whole scene reminds
> you of "At the Earth's Core," it
> should, as Burroughs originated this scenario first in that first book of
> Other similarities to ERB's Inner World are that it is Apemen
> (Drugars/Sagoths) who are the
> slavers, both lands both lie in eternal sunshine and time is recorded in
> "sleeps." Also, the
> term the Apemen use for the Cro-Magnons is "panjan," similar to what the
> Sagoths called
> modern men, "gilaks." In an un-Burroughs-like move, bodily functions are
> mentioned on page
> The Thanadarians had actually advanced to the Bronze Age though they are
> often referred to
> as Cro-Magons, with thoughts of the Stone Age uppermost in the reader's
> mind. Potter
> suspects that they arrived in Zanthodon 50,000 years ago, fleeing an Ice
> Age. But no date of
> the Neanderthal's arrival is conjectured.
> Concerning my map, it was revealed on page 66 that the Sogar-Jad was to the
> left of the
> raiding party and I had assumed that they were traveling north along the
> western coast of
> Zanthodon though I suppose it could have been south on the eastern coast.
> Page 86 states
> that Thanadar is "down coast from Kor." Strangely enough, it is not for this
> reason that the
> map in "The Dictionary of Imaginary Places" differs from mine. Their map is
> just so
> seemingly wrong on most accounts but I'll talk more about that later.
> Just as the Drugar's began to herd their captives into dugouts, enroute to
> Ganadol, Eric
> starts a slave revolt that frees the Thanadarians but at the cost of his own
> freedom. It is
> in the aftermath of the great escape that Carstairs begins his unlikely
> friendship with the
> Drugar, Hurok, which becomes one of the rocks that the five book saga is
> based on.
> As Kirby shows on page 87, a yith (plesiosaurus) attacks the returning
> Drugars and after
> Hurok severs Eric's bound hands (to give him a fighting chance), the favor
> is returned when
> Carstairs saves the Apeman from certain death by drowning. They make their
> way to shore but which, Kor's or the mainland?
> Meanwhile, Professor Potter is mortified when Darya strips prior to bathing
> in a stream. His
> voice "rose a treble" as the princess (gomad) appears suddenly nude before
> his astonished
> eyes and ultimately "uttered a strangled croak" to accompany his retreat
> visually. Lin
> Carter handles this scene very well with his brand of humor. The site of her
> perfect breasts
> jutting forth while doing the back float is too much for the secretly
> observing Fumio and he
> knocks the professor out and begins to assault the Gomad of Thanadar...
> Steve S.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
"Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined
security will soon find that they have neither."