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1922. After a rambunctious youth and series of short-lived jobs including door-to-door salesman, accountant, a peddler for a quack alcoholism cure and finally pencil sharpener wholesaler, Burroughs found his calling as writer. As the story goes, one of Burroughs' duties was to verify the placement of advertisements for his sharpeners in various magazines. These were all-fiction pulp magazines, a prime source of escapist reading material for the expanding middle class. Burroughs spent time reading those magazines and decided he could write those stories just as well. He was lucky his first time out and sold Under the Moon of Mars. The Tarzan series followed this and Burroughs was now a full-fledged writer. In this volume of the Mars series, Helium, a spoiled princess and John Carter's daughter, rejects Gahan, Jed of Gathol, as a suitor and foolishly flies off into a great storm. Gahan gives chase. By the time he finally catches up to Tara, she has forgotten who he is, and he assumes the name Turjun, a panthan mercenary. Together they challenge the power of O-Tar, Jeddak of Manator, whose barbaric nation of Red Men have preyed upon Gathol for centuries. The Manatorians have elevated Jetan, Martian chess, to an unprecedented level of skill and excitement: they use live chessmen who fight for live princesses. Gahan finds himself fighting for Tara on the chessboard of Manator, and haunting O-Tar's palace. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.
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