Sunday, 4 June 2017

ERBian Cosmology

SM Stirling, "The Jasoom Project" IN John Joseph Adams, Ed., Under The Moons Of Mars: New Adventures On Barsoom (New York, 2013), pp. 237-277.

How did John Carter and Dejah Thoris return from Jupiter to Mars? That is another story to be told. 

In SM Stirling's Barsoom story, Carter's great-grandson and Tars Trakas' grandson arrive on Earth just as the Lunar Kalkars attack so Tarzan shows the Barsoomians how to take refuge in Pellucidar.

In ERBian cosmology:

both Earth and the Moon are hollow with inhabited interiors;
Pellucidar, inside the Earth, has not only a central sun but also a geostationary moon;
there are Polar openings;
airships and spaceships fly by harnessing the Ninth Solar Ray;
each of the other planets has both a humanoid race and a non-humanoid intelligent species;
Martian humanoids are oviparous and very long-lived;
Phobos is inhabited by minute human beings;
as a spaceship approaches Phobos, the ship and its crew shrink until they are the same size as the inhabitants;
Jupiter has a poisonous upper atmosphere but a breathable lower atmosphere, spins so fast that centrifugal force counteracts its gravitational field and is heated and lit by many volcanoes;
another star has several planets in the same orbit with a common atmosphere.

Is the ERBian cosmos accessible from Poul Anderson's Old Phoenix? If so, then there must be very good explanations for the many features that would be absurdities in our cosmos. Some basic physical laws have to be very different...


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I can only praise and admire ERB for the boldness and imagination he showed in inventing his cosmology. But I have to balk at the idea of us SHRINKING as spaceships approach Phobos.


David Birr said...

PA showed a Lensman in the Old Phoenix, and a number of physical laws have to be very different in THAT cosmos, so I see no reason why the ERBians couldn't make the jump.

S.M. Stirling said...

Yup. In the Lensman series, you can counteract acceleration by putting big springs under the deck in your spaceship.