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New adventures await Tarzan fans

Published: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 9:06 a.m. CDT

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A new book allows those who grew up on Tarzan and the actual books behind the Lord of the Jungle to return to his world again.

Edited by Robert Garcia of Woodstock, who came up with the idea for the book and recruited authors to contribute, "Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs," contains all-new stories of Tarzan and other characters created by Burroughs.

Burroughs was the best-selling American writer of the 1920s, although many are likely more familiar with his characters than the author himself.

Along with Tarzan, Burroughs is the man behind John Carter, Warlord of Mars, as well as a series of books about Pellucidar, the strange world that exists at the Earth's Core.

"The world still needs heroes, and this book gives you a half dozen heroes to root for," Garcia said of "Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs," which contains 11 new stories written by best selling authors.

Some of those authors include Mercedes Lackey, Todd McCaffrey, Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah Hoyt.

"These are folks in the best seller lists around the country, and they still want to go back and play in the world of Edgar Rice Burroughs," Garcia said. "People jumped at the chance to do this thing."

Originally a fan of comic books that lead him to Burroughs' novels, Garcia came up with the idea for the book after attending an annual meeting of Burroughs' fans. A book designer, editor, writer and publisher, Garcia founded American Fantasy Press and has designed more than 100 publications.

Although books have been written about Burroughs since his death in 1950, no book had been written with the perspective of modern authors on the legendary novelist, Garcia said.

It took him several years to convince Burroughs' estate, which remains very protective of the author's work, to give him permission to move ahead with the book. He joined with author Mike Resnick of Chicago to create the final product.

"No one's really done anything like this before, and it should have been done," Garcia said. "Edgar Rice Burroughs is probably one of the premiere authors of the 20th century for that field. He influenced everybody. He's probably one of the most influential writers there is."

Along with allowing fans to go back in time a bit, the book could attract a new generation of fans to Burroughs' work as well as the world of fantasy and adventure science fiction, Garcia said

Become enthralled in that world by age 12 or so, and you'll keep it for the rest of your life, Garcia said.

"There's a real fun and sense of adventure captured by Tarzan and all of Edgar Rice Burroughs' characters that I think is necessary," he said. "It definitely is still part of growing up.

"I think it's important for any kid to be able to imagine. When you lose your capacity for imagining, you lose a bit of magic in life."

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