(June 5, 2015 – Tarzana, CA by Will Murray) I’m immensely pleased and proud to announce that I had been chosen by ERB Inc. to write the first authorized Tarzan novel in several years to be set in the series’ original time period. Although I’m perhaps best known for my Doc Savage novels, I actually discovered the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs about a year before I discovered Doc. It was the purchase of the Ballantine Books edition of “The Gods of Mars” in 1968 that started me on my lifelong love affair with all things Burroughsian.
When the opportunity came to write a Tarzan adventure, I gave a lot of thought over which phase of the ape-man’s career to set my story. From the beginning, the plan was to sequel “Tarzan the Terrible,” one of ERB’s most masterful Tarzan novels, and a personal favorite of the Burroughs’, second only to “Tarzan of the Apes” in that series.
At first, I thought we would leave the timeframe vague, but the more I delved into the series, the more I was drawn to the little-recorded phase in which John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, left his jungle home to serve in the Royal Air Force during World War Two. Burroughs portrayed his hero as an observer in “Tarzan and The Foreign Legion,” so he would likely have previously undergone flight training. Here was a great jumping-off point to depict the civilized John Clayton in a rarely-seen role––that of combat fighter pilot––from there to segue into a classic reversion to this natural state as the untamed Lord of the Jungle.
In “Tarzan: Return to Pal-ul-don,” fresh from flight school, Clayton is given a secret mission. An RAF plane has gone down in Africa, along with a military intelligence operative codenamed Ilex. His mission is to locate Ilex and bring the nameless agent back to civilization, along with the unknown Axis secret being carried to Allied leaders. As it happened, the missing plane crashed into a previously unexplored area Pal-ul-don. So when Flying Officer Clayton’s shark-mouthed P-40 Tomahawk fighter plane is attacked by pteranodons, causing him to crash land in strangely familiar territory, the ape-man discovers he’s back in the Land of Man. And so begins his quest.
In this sequel, we are not revisiting the cities and peoples encountered in “Tarzan the Terrible.” Instead, Tarzan finds himself caught in the web of a completely different tree-dwelling tribe which presents the fearless ape-man with one of the most epic challenges of his long career. Tarzan the hunter becomes Tarzan the hunted!
I don’t want to give away any more of the story, but “Tarzan: Return to Pal-ul-don” is an imaginative quest into a savage land both familiar and alien. The allies and perils the ape-man collects along the way are a tribute to the powerful imagination of Edgar Rice Burroughs, one of the great pulp adventure writers of the 20th Century.
This is Tarzan of the Apes as Burroughs originally portrayed him.
Jim Sullos, President of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., adds, “We couldn’t be more pleased to have such a talented writer as Will Murray write a sequel to one of Mr. Burroughs’ Tarzan novels. The pace is fast and the suspense never lets up, just what a reader expects when following the adventures of our Ape-Man.”
TARZAN: RETURN TO PAL-UL-DON
copyright © 2015 Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
Tarzan of the Apes copyright © 1912 Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Trademarks TARZAN®, TARZAN OF THE APES™ and EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS™
Owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. and Used By Permission.
First Edition – June 2015
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