I hate to admit it, but Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Mars" books were an important part of my youth. I read a lot of scientifiction in those days, and I didn't realize it at the time but early SF was anything but sexy (I'm looking at you, Asimov and Heinlein and Verne and the rest). I didn't know, frankly, that books could be sexy until I read A Princess of Mars (or was it John Carter, Warlord of Mars?). Dejah Thoris? Oy vay Maria, boys. Especially with the Boris Vallejo covers.
It puzzles me that nobody's made these books into films yet (they're 100 years old next year, for God's sake), but that, at long last, is changing. Disney (I know, but still) is making a trilogy of films, the first one to be released in 2012. I should be cool and intellectual and indifferent, but I'm not: I'm really excited. I could totally geek out over this. I really hope the films aren't just pure crap (like, you know, almost every movie made is pure crap) because I really don't want to be disappointed. Not that, mind you, I even remember much about the books. I just know that I loved them when I was a kid and I might be in the mood for something cheesy come the fall.
I am tempted to read one of these books, to run out to the used shops and find an old copy, just to see how much of ERB's pulpy style has influenced my ideas of narrative design and characterization and plot and writing in general. I hesitate because I don't want to know. One likes to maintain at least a pretense of sophistication.