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The Moon Trilogy by Edgar Rice Burroughs

The Moon Trilogy by Edgar Rice Burroughs

The Moon Trilogy is a three-part story that begins with a tale of space travel and reincarnation, becomes a tale of military dictatorship, and ends with a second American Revolution.

Book Details

Book Details

The Moon Trilogy is a three-part story that begins with a tale of space travel and reincarnation, becomes a tale of military dictatorship, and ends with a second American Revolution.

In 1919, towards the end of World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution occurred in Russia. The Russian aristocracy, from Czar Nicolas II to the lowest officers of the army, were hunted down and slaughtered. Ultimately the Communists took over the country. The Russian people hardly benefited at all, essentially trading one dictatorship for another, the Soviet, rather than the Czar.

At this time Burroughs was working on the seventh of the Tarzan series, Tarzan the Untamed. However, he took time out to write a novella entitled “Under the Red Flag,” set several hundred years in the future in which he expressed his profound distrust of the Communist dominated world he envisioned. Burroughs shopped his anti-Communist manuscript around but no publishing house would touch it. He received eleven rejections from various magazines, including from the Argosy All-Story Weekly which had already published his enormously popular A Princess of Mars (1912), Tarzan of the Apes (1912), and At the Earth’s Core (1913), among others.

In 1922, Burroughs dusted off the unsold Under the Red Flag and rewrote it. It was still set in the 22nd century but the Communists were changed into the “Kalkars,” brutal invaders of Earth from the Moon. The story was retitled as The Moon Men and became the second part of the Moon Trilogy.

Later in 1922, Burroughs wrote The Moon Maid. Argosy All-Story Weekly serialized it in the spring of 1923 to great interest from their readership. The magazine was thus boxed in and had to publish the sequel, The Moon Men, which saw print in 1925. Later in 1925, Argosy published The Red Hawk to complete the multi-generational saga of the Julians. All three stories were collected in book form as the novel The Moon Maid in 1926.

The Moon Maid (1923)
I. — An Adventure In Space
II. — The Secret Of The Moon
III. — Animals Or Men?
IV. — Captured
V. — Out Of The Storm
VI. — The Moon Maid
VII. — A Fight And A Chance
VIII. — A Fight With A Tor-Ho
IX. — An Attack By Kalkars
X. — The City Of Kalkars
XI. — A Meeting With Ko-tah
XII. — Growing Danger
XIII. — Death Within And Without!
XIV. — The Barsoom!

The Moon Men (1925)
I. — A Strange Meeting
II. — Soor, the Tax Collector
III. — The Hellhounds
IV. — Brother General Or-tis
V. — The Fight On Market Day
VI. — The Court Martial
VII. — Betrayed
VIII. — The Arrest Of Julian 8th
IX. — I Horsewhip An Officer
X. — Revolution
XI. — The Butcher

The Red Hawk (1925)
I. — The Flag
II. — Exodus
III. — Armageddon
IV. — The Capitol
V. — The Sea
VI. — Saku The Nipon
VII. — Bethelda
VIII. — Raban
IX. — Reunion
X. — Peace

Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875–1950) was one of the giants of American adventure and science-fiction writing. He will forever be known for his creations; Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, and the Pellucidar stories which took place inside a hollow earth.

The Moon Trilogy contains 3 illustrations.


  1. ERB-TheMoonTrilogy.epub
Read Excerpt

Excerpt: The Moon Maid


I  MET him in the Blue Room of the Transoceanic Liner Harding the night of Mars Day—June 10, 1967. I had been wandering about the city for several hours prior to the sailing of the flier watching the celebration, dropping in at various places that I might see as much as possible of scenes that doubtless will never again be paralleled—a world gone mad with joy. There was only one vacant chair in the Blue Room and that at a small table at which he was already seated alone. I asked his permission and he graciously invited me to join him, rising as he did so, his face lighting with a smile that compelled my liking from the first.

I had thought that Victory Day, which we had celebrated two months before, could never be eclipsed in point of mad national enthusiasm, but the announcement that had been made this day appeared to have had even a greater effect upon the minds and imaginations of the people.

The more than half-century of war that had continued almost uninterruptedly since 1914 had at last terminated in the absolute domination of the Anglo-Saxon race over all the other races of the World, and practically for the first time since the activities of the human race were preserved for posterity in any enduring form no civilized, or even semi-civilized, nation maintained a battle line upon any portion of the globe. War was at an end—definitely and forever. Arms and ammunition were being dumped into the five oceans; the vast armadas of the air were being scrapped or converted into carriers for purposes of peace and commerce.

The peoples of all nations had celebrated—victors and vanquished alike—for they were tired of war. At least they thought that they were tired of war; but were they? What else did they know? Only the oldest of men could recall even a semblance of world peace, the others knew nothing but war. Men had been born and lived their lives and died with their grandchildren clustered about them—all with the alarms of war ringing constantly in their ears. Perchance the little area of their activities was never actually encroached upon by the iron-shod hoof of battle; but always somewhere war endured, now receding like the salt tide only to return again; until there arose that great tidal wave of human emotion in 1959 that swept the entire world for eight bloody years, and receding, left peace upon a spent and devastated world.

Two months had passed—two months during which the world appeared to stand still, to mark time, to hold its breath. What now? We have peace, but what shall we do with it? The leaders of thought and of action are trained for but one condition—war. The reaction brought despondency —our nerves, accustomed to the constant stimulus of excitement, cried out against the monotony of peace, and yet no one wanted war again. We did not know what we wanted.

And then came the announcement that I think saved a world from madness, for it directed our minds along a new line to the contemplation of a fact far more engrossing than prosaic wars and equally as stimulating to the imagination and the nerves—intelligible communication had at last been established with Mars!

Generations of wars had done their part to stimulate scientific research to the end that we might kill one another more expeditiously, that we might transport our youth more quickly to their shallow graves in alien soil, that we might transmit more secretly and with greater celerity our orders to slay our fellow men. And always, generation after generation, there had been those few who could detach their minds from the contemplation of massacre and looking forward to a happier era concentrate their talents and their energies upon the utilization of scientific achievement for the betterment of mankind and the rebuilding of civilization.

Among these was that much ridiculed but devoted coterie who had clung tenaciously to the idea that communication could be established with Mars. The hope that had been growing for a hundred years had never been permitted to die, but had been transmitted from teacher to pupil with ever-growing enthusiasm, while the people scoffed as, a hundred years before, we are told, they scoffed at the experimenters with flying machines, as they chose to call them.

About 1940 had come the first reward of long years of toil and hope, following the perfection of an instrument which accurately indicated the direction and distance of the focus of any radio-activity with which it might be attuned. For several years prior to this all the more highly sensitive receiving instruments had recorded a series of three dots and three dashes which began at precise intervals of twenty-four hours and thirty-seven minutes and continued for approximately fifteen minutes. The new instrument indicated conclusively that these signals, if they were signals, originated always at the same distance from the Earth and in the same direction as the point in the universe occupied by the planet Mars.

It was five years later before a sending apparatus was evolved that bade fair to transmit its waves from Earth to Mars. At first their own message was repeated—three dots and three dashes. Although the usual interval of time had not elapsed since we had received their daily signal, ours was immediately answered. Then we sent a message consisting of five dots and two dashes, alternating. Immediately they replied with five dots and two dashes and we knew beyond peradventure of a doubt that we were in communication with the Red Planet, but it required twenty-two years of unremitting effort, with the most brilliant intellects of two worlds concentrated upon it, to evolve and perfect an intelligent system of inter-communication between the two planets.

Today, this tenth of June, 1967, there was published broadcast to the world the first message from Mars. It was dated Helium, Barsoom, and merely extended greetings to a sister world and wished us well. But it was the beginning.

The Blue Room of the Harding was, I presume, but typical of every other gathering place in the civilized world. Men and women were eating, drinking, laughing, singing and talking. The flier was racing through the air at an altitude of little over a thousand feet. Its engines, motivated wirelessly from power plants thousands of miles distant, drove it noiselessly and swiftly along its overnight pathway between Chicago and Paris.

I had of course crossed many times, but this instance was unique because of the epoch-making occasion which the passengers were celebrating, and so I sat at the table longer than usual, watching my fellow diners, with, I imagine, a slightly indulgent smile upon my lips, since—I mention it in no spirit of egotism—it had been my high privilege to assist in the consummation of a hundred years of effort that had borne fruit that day. I looked around at my fellow diners and then back to my table companion.

He was a fine looking chap, lean and bronzed—one need not have noted the Air Corps overseas service uniform, the Admiral’s stars and anchors or the wound stripes to have guessed that he was a fighting man; he looked it, every inch of him, and there were a full seventy-two inches.

We talked a little—about the great victory and the message from Mars, of course, and though he often smiled I noticed an occasional shadow of sadness in his eyes and once, after a particularly mad outburst of pandemonium on the part of the celebrators, he shook his head, remarking: “Poor devils!” and then: “It is just as well—let them enjoy life while they may. I envy them their ignorance.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

He flushed a little and then smiled. “Was I speaking aloud?” he asked.

I repeated what he had said and he looked steadily at me for a long minute before he spoke again. “Oh, what’s the use!” he exclaimed, almost petulantly; “you wouldn’t understand and of course you wouldn’t believe. I do not understand it myself; but I have to believe because I know—I know from personal observation. God! if you could have seen what I have seen.”

“Tell me,” I begged; but he shook his head dubiously.

“Do you realize that there is no such thing as Time?” he asked suddenly—”That man has invented Time to suit the limitations of his finite mind, just as he has named another thing, that he can neither explain nor understand, Space?”

“I have heard of such a theory,” I replied; “but I neither believe nor disbelieve—I simply do not know.”

I thought I had him started and so I waited as I have read in fiction stories is the proper way to entice a strange narrative from its possessor. He was looking beyond me and I imagined that the expression of his eyes denoted that he was witnessing again the thrilling scenes of the past. I must have been wrong, though—in fact I was quite sure of it when he next spoke.

“If that girl isn’t careful,” he said, “the thing will upset and give her a nasty fall—she is much too near the edge.”

I turned to see a richly dressed and much disheveled young lady busily dancing on a table-top while her friends and the surrounding diners cheered her lustily.

My companion arose. “I have enjoyed your company immensely,” he said, “and I hope to meet you again. I am going to look for a place to sleep now— they could not give me a stateroom—I don’t seem to be able to get enough sleep since they sent me back.” He smiled.

“Miss the gas shells and radio bombs, I suppose,” I remarked.

“Yes,” he replied, “just as a convalescent misses smallpox.”

“I have a room with two beds,” I said. “At the last minute my secretary was taken ill. I’ll be glad to have you share the room with me.”

He thanked me and accepted my hospitality for the night—the following morning we would be in Paris.

As we wound our way among the tables filled with laughing, joyous diners, my companion paused beside that at which sat the young woman who had previously attracted his attention. Their eyes met and into hers came a look of puzzlement and half-recognition. He smiled frankly in her face, nodded and passed on.

“You know her, then?” I asked.

“I shall—in two hundred years,” was his enigmatical reply.

Excerpt From: Edgar Rice Burroughs. “The Moon Trilogy.”

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