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Gulliver of Mars

Edwin Lester Linden Arnold

Book Overview: 

This escapist novel, first published as Lieutenant Gullivar Jones: His Vacation, follows the exploits of American Navy Lieutenant Gulliver Jones, a bold, if slightly hapless, hero who is magically transported to Mars; where he almost outwits his enemies, almost gets the girl, and almost saves the day.

Somewhat of a literary and chronological bridge between H.G. Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jones’ adventures provide an evocative mix of satire and sword-and-planet adventure.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .he walls, muttering below her breath something about trying to hide with flower garlands the marks they could not banish, but it was plain the conversation was not pleasing to her. So unpleasant was talk or sight of woodmen (Thither-folk, as she called them, in contradiction to the Hither people about us here), that the girl was clearly relieved when we were free of the town and out into the open playground of the people. The whole place down there was a gay, shifting crowd. The booths of yesterday, the arcades, the archways, were still standing, and during the night unknown hands had redecked them with flowers, while another day's sunshine had opened the coppice buds so that the whole place was brilliant past expression. And here the Hither folk were varying their idleness by a general holiday. They were standing about in groups, or lying ranked like new-plucked flowers on the banks, piping to each other through reeds as soft and melodious as running water. They we. . . Read More

Community Reviews

If you took a second-rate version of Jonathan Swift and combined him with a second-rate version of Edgar Rice Burroughs, you'd wind up with the author of GULLIVAR OF MARS.
It's very hard to know what to make of this book. At certain times, it feels like parody or satire; at others, it comes across...more

"Lieutenant Gullivar Jones: His Vacation" is the last fictional book from Edwin Lester Lindon Arnold (1857 - March 1, 1935). The book is also known as "Gullivar of Mars", and in both cases there are editions of the books using the alternate spelling "Gulliver". Along with his book "The Wonderful...more

I find myself liking it piecemeal; interesting ingredients are present, but something about their assembly and presentation doesn't work. I can't tell if Arnold is doing this deliberately--reflecting Gulliver Jones's essential obtuseness and failings as a hero--or if Arnold hadn't the craft to ma...more

Edwin L. Arnold had some reputation in his own day as a writer of highly melodramatic science fiction, mostly based on this book and on his Phra the Phoenician --which I haven't read; and based on this one, won't!-- both are mentioned in older editions of The Anatomy of Wonder, and some critics,...more

An adventure on Mars to rescue a princess.

This is one of those Ur-adventures of the "wander through weird landscape facing weirder monsters, on the thinnest of pretexts" type. If this didn't inspire A Princess of Mars, it drew on the same inspirations.

Racist, sexist, and colonial. Good descripti...more

I have a much older Ace edition. Some folks say that this is the book that inspired Burroughs' John Carter series. It came first, certainly, and there are some similarities, but they are relatively minor. I give it a three for being a very early and imaginative book, but the story itself probably...more

On those rare occasions when it is discussed at all today, British author Edwin L. Arnold's final book, "Lt. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation," is primarily spoken of as a possible influence on Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter novels. But this, it seems to me, is doing Arnold's last writing endeavor...more

Written in 1905 Gullivar of Mars predates Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars by some 7 years and in many respects it is remarkably similar - our human hero (here a navel man) gets mysteriously transported to Mars and falls in love with a Martian princess. She gets abducted and he has to res...more

"Gulliver of Mars" is old and time has not fared well with it. The science content is zero but I guess at the time it was a good fairy tale about humans arriving on the planet Mars.

This is another entry in a long quest to read through the origins of my favorite waves of pulp science-fantasy. I imagine I came to this book for the reason most other folks did: to see what (if anything) inspired Burroughs' immortal Barsoom books. Richard A. Lupoff's introduction to the ACE edi...more

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