Monday, May 23, 2005

"The Moon Maid": a lost freedom classic

When I was 13, my parents gave me a copy of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Moon Maid for Christmas.

They did it for two reasons. First, they knew I loved Burroughs’ Tarzan and John Carter of Mars books. Second, they knew I loved science fiction.

I thanked them for the gift. Then I tossed it into the back of my closet, unread.

I did it for two reasons. First, neither Tarzan nor John Carter was in the novel. Second, it was called The Moon Maid, which stirred up images of that awful Moon Maid character from the Dick Tracy comic strip.

That old copy of The Moon Maid is probably sitting in some Salvation Army thrift store today. But I’ve been feeding a Burroughs binge lately, rereading the Tarzan stories and Carter’s adventures on Barsoom. And last week, looking for something I hadn’t read yet, I finally picked up a new copy of The Moon Maid.

What I missed at age 13 — and only now discovered at 50 — is not just a sci-fi classic but a pioneering novel of freedom and resistance that stands splendidly alongside Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Ira Levin’s This Perfect Day, and, most recently, Vin Suprynowicz’s The Black Arrow.

Continue reading "A Lost Freedom Classic...Found!"


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