John Carter
from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
Hero of E R Burroughs' Barsoom series, this fearless and invincible swordsman (his Earthly strength was three times a Martian's), arriving on Mars in his astral body, rapidly rose thru the ranks to marry the heiress-apparent to the Heliumetic Empire, become Warlord of the civilized races of Mars, and generally be a success in the largest way known to pre-Skylark fantasy. The stories were just as corny as the Tarzan tales, but immensely popular. (This popularity, in fact, may explain the curious penchant of pre-Tremaine stf for having interplanetary-pilot heroes transport planet-conquering armies across millions of miles of ether in their atomic-powered ships and then fight things out with longswords, tho that anachronism's more likely in order to explain the hero's victories by preternatural skill rather'n incredible luck.) Several fan-words trace back to the John Carter series: Barsoom itself (the Martian for "Mars"); Helium, the mighty empire whose red-and-yellow towers are triple-starred in Baedecker's appendix; Tharks, green six-limbed BEMs whose barbarian hordes are sure to show up whenever action begins to drag a trifle. Of interest to the historian is the appearance, in these 1910-vintage tales, of atomic guns and radar fire control.