More Kline! Outlaws of Mars

Kline was one of the masters of the classic Good-girl / Bad-girl dichotomy, as well as the good Bad-girl, that flourished in early 20th century Sci-Fi up through the writings of Leigh Brackett.

One of Kline’s shticks was to take the All-American gentleman and stick him in an Oriental despotism, where alien sultans and viziers conspired against one another and beautiful princesses either had guards who’d kill you if you so much as looked at them wrong in their pampered towers or they were ready to throw down with a blade and carve out an empire with the rest of them.

Unlike Brackett’s bad-boy heroes who often end up with the bad-girl (if he didn’t kill her), Kline’s heroes may go after the good one and get her, but are just as likely to find the good-girl is bad and the bad-girl is good.

Morgan screws up horribly bad with the good-girl (shoots her not-Woola!), but it’s still love at first sight for both of them–she even intervenes to spare him from execution. But after a duel that leaves one of the best swordsmen on Mars dead by Morgan’s blade, the bad-girl has eyes for Morgan, too!

The roomy apartments of Nisha Novil were furnished with a splendor that was almost barbaric, and Nisha herself was the most ornate object of all. Lying on a swinging divan upholstered with alternate stripes of orange and blue plush, she shot a languishing smile at Jerry from beneath her long, curved lashes, as he was ushered in before her.

The only cloth upon her shapely body was a silken cincture of orange trimmed with blue. Her small breast-shields were of blue and amber beads. By any standard she was undeniably beautiful.

With a wave of her hand she dismissed the page. Then she spoke, her voice low, with a purring quality, like that of a kitten that is being stroked.

“You are prompt, Jerry Morgan, but why have you brought the bodyguard? Were you afraid I might injure you? As you see, I am unarmed.”

“Your highness forgets that I am a prisoner under suspended sentence of death. The guards …”

“Yes, to be sure. I had forgotten.” She addressed the two. “My slaves will give you pulcho in another room. Wait there until I send for you. I will be responsible for your prisoner.”

With respectful salutations, the two guards followed a brown slave-girl through a curtained doorway. Then Nisha waved a slim hand, and the other slave- girls who stood in attendance behind her filed out of the room. As soon as they were alone, the princess rose with feline grace, and stood before Jerry, smiling up at him beneath languorous lids. She was no bigger than Junia, and much like her in appearance. Yet there was something about her, an untamed feral something in her every look and gesture.

“Come,” she said, taking Jerry’s hand and leading him to the divan. “You must be weary after your dual with Arsad. Come and rest here beside me while we talk.”

“I did lose some blood,” Jerry replied. “That was why I was about to ask your highness’s indulgence …”

“But since I am dispensing with formality,” she cooed, drawing him down upon the divan, “you may rest here as well as in your own apartment. And what I have to say cannot wait, for there are those who plot against your life, and I would save you. Tomorrow will be too late.”

“Your highness is most generous to take an interest in my life.”

She snuggled against him. “On the contrary, I am most selfish. From the very day when I first saw you, standing before the throne of Numin Vil, I have desired you.

“I heard of the suicide of the slave in your apartment, but did not grasp the significance at the time. However, when I learned of your duel with Arsad today, I knew that you had done something to displease my brother, and that where Arsad failed, another of Thoor’s tools would eventually succeed. So I had a talk with my brother.”

“I don’t know what I ever did to him,” said Jerry, “except that I turned one of his own sarcastic remarks against him, this evening.”

“That had some weight, but it is not the true reason for his bitterness against you,” she told him. “It began when our cousin, Junia, begged your life from Numin Vil after you had slain her dalf. I may add that those of whom Thoor becomes jealous never survive long.”

“It seems that I have been exceedingly fortunate, then.”

“Your skill with the sword saved you tonight,” she answered, “but other means of compassing your death have already been planned. Thoor Movil’s spies are everywhere, and when he heard of the look which Junia gave you in her apartment today, you were marked for death.”

“And just what can you do about all this?” Jerry asked.

“Everything,” she replied. I have made a pact with my brother. Your life is to be spared to me on condition that you never again cast your eyes toward our fair cousin.”

“So you have arranged the whole thing between you. Thoughtful of your highness. But did it not occur to you that I might have some ideas of my own on the subject?”

To his surprise, she flung her arms around his neck—pressed her warm lips to his.

Had he never seen Junia, it is quite possible that the Earthman might have capitulated. Gently he disengaged the clinging arms from around his neck, and arose.

Nisha fell back on the divan, panting. Then she sprang straight for the Earthman. Screeching curses, she beat upon his breast, scratched his bare flesh until the blood welled forth. And through it all he stood immobile, hands at his sides, teeth clenched in a grim smile.

Her fit of fury passed almost as suddenly as it had begun. With horror in her eyes, she stood limply before him.

“Deza help me!” she moaned. “What have I done?”

“Have I your highness’s leave to go?” he asked, with studied calm.

“No, wait! You must not leave me thus!”

She turned and ran into another room, reappearing a moment later with a basin of water, a handful of soft moss, and a bottle of jembal. Jerry stood like a statue while she washed away the blood and applied the healing gum to the scratches she had inflicted. Her ministrations finished, she looked up at him, tears swimming in her large black eyes and pearling the long lashes.

“Forgive me, my dear lord,” she begged, contritely. “Strike me! Break me with those strong hands of yours! But do not leave me with anger in your heart. Only say that you forgive me, and Deza will grant me strength to go on, knowing that I may some day win your love.”

“It is I who should ask forgiveness,” Jerry told her, “since you have only wounded my body. But I, it seems, have unwittingly wounded your heart.”

“You are generous, my lord,” she cried, and flinging her arms around his neck, crushed her lips to his. “Now go. But remember—Nisha loves you, and will be waiting.”

I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

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Quick Round-Up and Some News!

Our upcoming issue was mentioned in the latest Pulp Coming Attractions.

JD Cowan has reviewed Cirsova #8 here.

Deuce over at DMR Books did a spotlight on the new Tarzan story here.

We finished doing our taxes for the business yesterday. It was grueling. Our losses for 2018 were $1k less than our losses for 2017, and the losses for both years combined were less than what we’ve invested in Illustrated Stark and Duel Visions which will be released this year.

Sometime today, we have an interview going up on Toto in Hollywood (maybe).

We’re trying to get the Duel Visions pages for ebooks and print synced up. That should happen soon. You’re not going to want to miss it!

We’ll be doing the same for Illustrated Stark books once we find out why Enchantress of Venus isn’t populating on Amazon yet.

This Saturday, Michael Tierney will be on with Critical Blast alongside Peter Simeti of Alterna Comics.

Also, we finished doing layout for John E Boyle’s new book in his Children of Khetar series earlier this month; Raven’s Blood is available now. John’s been a big supporter of Cirsova, both through his advertising and by hiring me freelance on projects like this. There’s a lot of Cirsova goodness that wouldn’t have been possible without him, so be sure to show his new book some love.

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Young Tarzan and the Mysterious She FOUND!

Per Michael Tierney, the original fragment that Burroughs wrote was just found this morning.

Apparently, Danton Burroughs had sent it to be transcribed by Bill Hillman of ERBzine.com, who has announced today in a thread on the ERBzine facebook group that it is still in his possession!

Danton sent me this ERB handwritten script. I typed it out and returned the typed copy to him. He offered it to a few writers to see if they would be interested in finishing it.
I still have the handwritten copy plus my transcription.

We have updated the copy in the original piece.

Cirsova’s spring issue featuring Young Tarzan and the Mysterious She is available for digital pre-order now and physical pre-order in February.

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Young Tarzan and the Mysterious She

As some of you know, Cirsova will be publishing a “lost” Tarzan story in our spring issue. Michael Tierney tells in his own words how this story came into being. (Originally published here on Michael’s Facebook).

Update! The original manuscript’s whereabouts has resurfaced as of Jan 17, 2019; Bill Hillman of ERBzine.com has claimed that the original handwritten manuscript is in his possession. Corrected text is marked within the original:

It’s an old question of, if you could, who you would visit from the past? Take that question a step further and ask if you could collaborate with literary giant on their greatest creation, who and what would it be?

Here’s my answer: Young Tarzan and the Mysterious She.
Releases March 2019 from Cirsova magazine.

The fragment I worked with was first hand-written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1930. It was left unfinished, and then lay hidden in his safe for decades after his death. When it was rediscovered, many well-known writers were offered the chance to complete the story, but there were elements that they considered problematic, and they passed.

Around the year 2000, ERB’s grandson, Danton Burroughs, offered me the chance. I found the problems to be opportunities to explain what I considered to be inconsistencies in the jungle lord’s established history.

But on the day of Danton’s greatest accomplishment, when he became President of his grandfather’s company, Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., there was a fire in the offices that destroyed many of his father, John Coleman Burroughs’ paintings–some of them were lost forever without a record. Danton tragically died that night of a heart attack.

What I didn’t learn until recently was that the fire left ERB, Inc. with no record of the story. Danton took his knowledge with him, and the fire apparently took the fragment.and the fragment was essentially lost to the company his Grandfather founded.

Fortunately, I still had my digital files, and the file Danton sent.and the original fragment was discovered after the announcement of this publication.

Danton had sent it to be transcribed into digital format by Bill Hillman, webmaster of ERBzine.com, who announced this very day that he still has it.

While I was creating the Edgar Rice Burroughs 100 Year Art Chronology, I’d asked current President Jim Sullos for an opportunity to do something with the story. What I didn’t realize until recently was that he thought this was all my creation. We didn’t both put all the pieces together until just a few weeks ago.

That’s the story behind the story of Young Tarzan and the Mysterious She.

 

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Michael Tierney has been a regular contributor to Cirsova Magazine, whose stories Shark Fighter, The Bears of 1812, The Criteria for Admission Into the Galactic Community, and Jack’s Basement have been published in Cirsova 2, 5, 7, and 9 respectively, and his 4-volume Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 100 Year Art Chronology was published last year by Chenault & Gray. Last Summer, Cirsova published his sold-out Wild Stars Novella, Wild Stars III: Time Warmageddon.

Cirsova’s Spring issue featuring Young Tarzan and the Mysterious She will be out March 15th.

Kindle eBooks are available for pre-order now.

Print and other digital formats will be available for pre-order soon.

While you’re waiting, feel free to grab a coffee mug or T-Shirt featuring our cover artist Anton Oxenuk‘s fantastic original Tarzan art.

tarzan mug

Also, don’t forget that we have Duel Visions, a new anthology of Weird New Wave Horror from Misha Burnett and Louise Sorensen, coming out in February.

Tarzan(R) is a register trademark of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.; Young TarzanTM and Young Tarzan and the Mysterious SheTM are trademarks of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.; and appear in Cirsova by permission of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.

Duel Visions

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About a year ago I started toying with the idea of publishing a book of short fiction. More than that, I wanted to publish a book of New Wave short fiction. I didn’t want to just do Collected Stories Of Misha Burnett, I wanted a collection that would be a tribute to the kind of stories that captivated me as a young reader.

Authors like Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Clive Barker, George Alec Effinger crafted pocket fantasies, little reality excursions that could be read in minutes but stayed with you for a lifetime. And I believe the short story is the ideal medium for Weird Fiction precisely because the format makes you pare down an idea to its essentials. It’s an icepick jab, a short sharp shock that hits you and then vanishes away again into the night.

The problem was that I just didn’t have enough stories that…

View original post 747 more words

Duel Visions – New Anthology of Horror and Weird from Misha Burnett and Louise Sorensen (Feb 14th)

front cover only jpgCirsova Publishing is thrilled to announce Duel Visions, an all-new anthology of horror and macabre by Misha Burnett and Louise Sorensen.

Duel Visions marks Cirsova Publishing’s second departure from its flagship publication, Cirsova Magazine, and its first ever traditional format book release.

A literary venture in the spirit of the classic horror showcases, such as Tales that Witness Madness and Tales from the Crypt, this new volume collects ten tales that approach terror from all angles, supernatural to science fiction, monstrous to mundane, encompassing the occult to the simply odd.

Misha Burnett has been regularly published in Cirsova Magazine and is known for The Book Of Lost Doors series of novels as well as the Eldritch Earth shared setting.

Louise Sorensen is also a veteran of Cirsova Magazine and has been published in several issues of Just a Minor Malfunction…

Duel Visions will be out in Paperback and eBook online and at retailers February 14, 2019!

Additional outlets and formats will be listed soon!