The Gods of Mars is a science fantasy novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the second of his Barsoom series. It was first published in The All-Story as a five-part serial in the issues for January–May 1913. It was later published as a complete novel by A. C. McClurg in September, 1918.
As in many of his novels, Burroughs begins with a frame story that explains how he (Burroughs) came into possession of the text, implying it recounts true events.
At the end of the first book, A Princess of Mars, John Carter is unwillingly transported back to Earth. The Gods of Mars begins with his arrival back on Barsoom (Mars) after a ten-year separation from his wife Dejah Thoris, his unborn child, and the Red Martian people of the nation of Helium, whom he has adopted as his own. Unfortunately, Carter materializes in the one place on Barsoom from which nobody is allowed to depart: the Valley Dor, which is the Barsoomian afterlife.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
By 1916, Edgar Rice Burroughs was already a popular and regular contributor to the pulp periodicals of the day. Though a late starter–his first work, the John Carter story “Under the Moons of Mars,” was serialized in “All-Story Magazine” in 1912, when Burroughs was 36–his output increased rapidly, to the point that by 1916, he had already seen the first three Carter works including The Gods of Mars, the first two Tarzan titles, the first Pellucidar entry (“At the Earth’s Core“), plus such various works as “The Eternal Savage,” “The Monster Men,” “The Lost Continent” and “The Cave Girl,” all printed in that same magazine. But despite his reputation at “All-Story,” he still managed to get his manuscript for “Beyond Thirty” rejected there. This short novel was written between July and August 1915, and ultimately appeared in the February 1916 issue of “All-Around Magazine.”