Thursday, July 02, 2009

Episode 21

The Nemesis Games web site is up at www.nemesisgames.net! If you want to know more about the semi-secret MMO project I've been babbling about, go there and sign up for an account on our forum. Cuz from this point on, if I have stuff to say about that I'll mostly be saying it there.

My air conditioning is on the fritz again, just in time for the 4th of July weekend. Funny how my pal, Mister God, arranges these things for maximum annoyance. Or is it just me? Yeah. Just me. And punctuated equilibrium.

My renewed fascination with the Barsoom novels, written beginning in 1917 by Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, continues unabated. I just discovered that the entire series is available to read online (I'd thought it was just the first 5 books, on Project Gutenberg). You can (and SHOULD) find 'em here:

http://www.barsoomian.net/

So great is my fascination that I'm hard at work, in my copious free time, preparing to run a Barsoom RPG for my gaming group using my Pocket Universe RPG rules. It's been fun doing the research to accurately model Barsoomian telepathy (wow, is it WEAK!), coming up with wierd science invention rules, writing up Barsoomian equipment lists, figuring out how to handle Mars' lower gravity, and working up a map of the planet.

Burroughs left only a single, not very detailed map of Barsoom's two hemispheres:

http://www.erbzine.com/mag28/ebmar2.jpg
and
http://www.erbzine.com/mag28/ebmars.jpg

And now, thanks to the wonders of modern science, we have quite detailed maps of the actual surface of Mars:

http://ssed.gsfc.nasa.gov/tharsis/Mars_topography_from_MOLA.new/

So Burroughs fans have been hard at work, trying to make the two things mesh. With, in my humble opinion, poor results:

http://www.erbzine.com/mag28/marsmap.jpg

What's the problem, you ask? Well, for starters, the darker areas on that map are the Martian lowlands. The creator of this map has placed the ruined city of Thark - clearly described as being at the edge of a 'dry sea bottom', out in the middle of the frickin' Martian *highlands*.

But hey, the fans have done their best. The problem is that Burroughs had no idea whatsoever what the real surface of Mars was like.

Or did he?

Tune in next time when I reveal the startling truth! Seriously.

-Jeff Dee

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9 Comments:

At 11:09 PM, Blogger By The Sword said...

My favorite was Chessmen of Mars, because it did not involve any of the super-strong Earth men characters but rather a native Barsoomian, red man who tried to win the love of a woman. It was a classic story.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger Kester Pelagius said...

Another great site for reading the novels online (with cover/art scans) can be found here: http://www.johncarterofmars.ca/books.html

 
At 4:11 AM, Blogger Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

To be truly successful takes a large amount of BAWLS. Yes, yes, we have TWO between our legs, but, yet, it really amounts to thy cranium. How so? I'll start with a quote: Why can’t we all just get along? -Rod King I’ll tell youse why (sorry, New Joisey accent). From the beginning of time, those with power and wealth, the greedy 2%ers, are doing everything they can to pit U.S. - the world, too - against each other. And, apparently, it works. YOU can most certainly follow them and perish withat on thy soul (not a wise choice), but you don’t have to!! Break-free! wiseabove!! Look forward to the Heaven Above prepared outta infinite love God has bestowed upon those that do His will!! God bless you, my friend; hang-in-there. I love you, dude. I wanna see YOU make the Great Beyond. Don’t give up. Trust Jesus.

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Sweet One said...

Hey, Jeff. I have stuff posted on erbzine too. I wrote a long pastiche about Pellucidar.

I see you all the time on atheist experience (youtube).

Sorry to say, though, I'm not an atheist. For a while I'd been an agnostic who'd given up on Christianity. turned off to religion was because Christians who tired to convert people used arguments that painted God as unjust--you know that stuff about being tortured forever. And the idea that beleif was the only requirment to get into heaven. But A book I read convinced me Christians have been lied to about the nature of God. I won't pretend that my awakening experience is evidence that Christianity is actually true. But I've since read Mathew Mark Luke John and James, and it's very diffenent than what I've been led to beleive. Page after page of Scripture tells of the importance of helping others and caring for the poor. That's not how modern Christianity would have it. It seems all we hear about nowadays is "faith not works". In truth, faith and works cannot be speparated. people today try to sell Chistianity made easy, and they end up making God to be unjust. Is that really why your not a Christian?
As for the evils done in the name of faith they are all antithetical to Christ's teaching. I beleive that much of non-Christian Christianity is actually the result of the OSAS doctrine. Matt, your co-host was an OSAS beleiver, and that's where I first heard about it.
You can read more about it here:

http://atheismvsfaith.blogspot.com/2010/01/eternal-security-is-belief-in-immoral.html

BTW I belong to a Sabbath Keeper's forum now, who don't beleive hell is eternal torture--and who very much oppose OSAS.

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger Jeff Dee said...

I'm not a Christian for the same reason that I'm not a Muslim, or a member of any other theistic religion: the is no good reason to believe in ANY god.

So don't bother trying to convince me that your personal brand of Christianity is the "true" one. FIRST prove there's a god, THEN we can fuss over the question of which of the world's gazillion religions is the "right one". If any.

 
At 1:35 AM, Blogger Sweet One said...

If you're looking for a purely rational reason for Christianity's truth, then sorry, you're looking in the wrong place. Ask any sincere Christian and they'll tell you it's something they feel and know in their heart.

 
At 6:35 AM, Blogger Jeff Dee said...

The heart is an organ for pumping blood. The claim that you "know something in your heart" is a poetic way of saying that you've become emotionally invested in a ridiculous notion for which you have no rational justification.

But hey, you have every right to believe whatever irrational bullshit you choose. And *I* have every right NOT to believe it, to criticize YOU for believing it, and to notice that believing irrational bullshit opens the door for irrational behavior.

 
At 7:05 PM, Blogger Me said...

Enjoy your participation on the Atheist Experience. I enjoyed Burrough's books as well. Pixar's Andrew Stanton is supposed to be working on a treatment of the Barsoom stories. By all accounts he is a huge fan of the stories so I am optimistic they will be spectacular.

 
At 5:07 AM, Blogger Jeff Dee said...

After a long delay, I've completed my article on Barsoomian geography. It will soon appear in print and/or online. Details coming soon.

 

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