Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Synthetic Men of Mars (Barsoom, #9)” as Want to Read:
Synthetic Men of Mars (Barsoom, #9)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

Synthetic Men of Mars (Barsoom #9)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,345 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
John Carter desperately needed the aid of Barsoom's greatest scientist, Ras Thavas, who is now a prisoner of a nightmare army of his own creation.
Mass Market Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 12th 1980 by Del Rey (first published 1939)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Synthetic Men of Mars, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Synthetic Men of Mars

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Although not generally well-thought of compared with other ERB stories set on Barsoom, this is a personnal favorite aside from the openning sequence of the first three John Carter books. How can you resist a character grown in a culture vat, whose name Tor-Dur-Bar means four-million-eight, and whom the hero first encounters as a severed head which complains it can't see from where it is being carried in a net strapped to the back of a giant man-carrying bird?!?

Especially, when later on our curre
Aug 22, 2011 Sandy rated it liked it
"Synthetic Men of Mars" is the 9th of 11 books in Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series. It first appeared serially in "Argosy Magazine" in early 1939, and is one of the most way-out entries in the Carter series. The book may be seen as a sequel of sorts to book #6, "The Master Mind of Mars," in that Ras Thavas, the eponymous superbrain of that earlier work, here makes a return, and the bulk of the action once again takes place in the dismal and forbidding Toonolian Marshes of Barsoom ...more
Jul 02, 2016 Mark rated it liked it
Told from the perspective of Vor Daj, companion of John Carter as they search for Ras Thavas, the only surgeon on Mars who can help the injured Dejah Thoris. The two of them fall into the hands of the Hormads, creatures created by Thavas in vats on an island in the great Toonolian Marshes.

If all of this sounds a bit confusing, one only needs to read the previous John Carter books to make sense of it. All of these names and places stem from the previous tales.

Burroughs seems to delight in creatin
Adrian Colesberry
Apr 14, 2009 Adrian Colesberry rated it really liked it
I loved this whole series. It's pretty sexual and macho and they're all massive page-turners.

Same review for each.
Roddy Williams
John Carter, Mighty Warlord of Mars, rides to new and terrifying adventures.

Captured by deadly warriors mounted on huge birds he is taken to the ill-omened city of Morbus.
There he meets Ras Thavas, evil genius and master surgeon. A man who has succeeded in his nightmare wish of creating life in his own beings – creatures that ultimately rebel and threaten the lives of Ras Thavas, of John Carter and of all Mars.

Blurb to the 1973 NEL paperback edition.

Using more or less the same plot as ‘A Pri
Mary Catelli
This is the tale of one Vor Daj. John Carter went in search of Ras Tavas, and yielding to pleas, brought along one soldier. They quickly find that finding him will not be easy.

Indeed, they are taken prisoner, along with some others, include one woman, and taken to the city, encircled by marshes, where they find that Ras Thavas is the prisoner of his own synthetic men, and forced to produce more and more of the virtually unkillable monsters. And to transplant the brains of the most powerful of th
Jun 21, 2016 SR rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, fantasy, absurd, kindle
Johncarterus ex machina like nobody's biz; the pacing is like Burroughs got sick of writing about the privations of a Noble White-I-Mean-Red Martian dude stuck in a (functional, efficient, healthy) fug body but he didn't want to work out a plot mechanism to get out of it so he just threw good ol' J-Car on the page and had him fix everything.

The theme/subject matter had simultaneously the most potential and the least utility of any of the Barsoom books so far. The degree of disgust Burroughs (thr
Mar 20, 2016 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1940sfnovel, rglib
This was my second read of Burrough's novel; the last time was in the 1970s! This time I read it in anticipation of the pending nominations for the 1941 RetroHugos for this year at MidAmericonII.

A fun adventure story (with a little romance), new readers to Burroughs need to read with the time period of the book's writing in mind. No, you won't think everything is "politically correct"; but simply appreciate the good changes that have happened since 1940 and move on to the adventure of the story.
Robert Saunders
Feb 07, 2008 Robert Saunders rated it liked it
These were considered "planetary romances" according to one source back when this series from the creator of Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burroughs, was written. This series of about 10 books started in 1912 and culminated around 1948. There's an odd mention of a book in 1964, but the other had been dead for 14 years by then. Plus there are a few shorts published in some pulp periodicals of the 1940s (where many of these stories appeared in years prior).

Today we call this stuff sci-fi, but it's quite diff
Mar 31, 2013 Eero rated it it was ok
Shelves: free-ebook
In this book, we meet again Ras Thavas, the Master Mind of Mars, whose latest invention, the vat-grown synthetic men or hormads, have gotten out of his control and taken over his base, the island city of Morbus in the marshes of Toonol. John Carter has need of the Master Mind's surgical skill to save the life of Dejah Thoris, who has been injured in a flier accident (offstage; we never meet her in this book). Thus he sets out to search for Ras Thavas with Vor Daj, the narrator of the story.

Joe Aguiar
Apr 14, 2012 Joe Aguiar rated it really liked it
Synthetic Men of Mars is the 9th book in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Martian Tales and it is also one of the best of the latter part of the series. The story opens with John Carter's beloved Dejah Thoris being gravely injured in an accident and Carter sets out with faithful padawan, Vor Daj to find the Mastermind of Mars, Ras Thavas to use his surgical genius to save her. They find Thavas after being captured and brought to Morbus, an island in the middle of the Great Toonolian Marshes, where Thavas i ...more
Jun 27, 2012 Joseph rated it liked it
Edgar Rice Burroughs had this problem in all of his series: After a while, the quality of the books would start to slip -- maybe he was getting bored or maybe he'd just start repeating himself. Arguably, this is where the Mars series begins its downhill slide (which means that, percentage-wise, John Carter has less dross than the other major series -- Tarzan, Venus and Pellucidar).

This book is again narrated from the perspective of a native Barsoomian, Vor Daj, who accompanies John Carter on one
Jun 02, 2016 Tomislav rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is book 9 of Burroughs' Barsoom (Mars) series. The story was originally published in Argosy Magazine, during 1938-1939. Burroughs started the series in 1917, and this book was written 22 years later, after his fame had been well established for a generation. It's a reunion of a few established characters, but mostly the adventure of Vor Daj, a young guard serving John Carter, the Warlord of Mars. Shortly after the action begins, Vor's brain is transplanted into the body of a vat-bred brute ...more
Àlvar Mercadé Ibáñez
Feb 19, 2015 Àlvar Mercadé Ibáñez rated it really liked it
La novena novela de Marte es probablemente la más entretenida ya que tiene elementos de los más originales (con respecto a los otros libros de la saga) y las situaciones más divertidas e inesperadas usando nuevas razas y territorios de Marte a la vez que recupera a Ras Thavas, The Master Mind of Mars.

Imprescindible haber leído antes el libro The Master Mind of Mars. De lectura muy recomendable.
Richard Tolleson
Jun 15, 2014 Richard Tolleson rated it really liked it
A lot of reviews think this is one of the weaker books in the series, but it certainly held my interest. Granted, the last third of the book is too long, with too many dead plot ends, but the part in the laboratory at the beginning of the book is as exciting as anything ERB wrote.
Dec 15, 2008 Ikonopeiston rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, fantasy
This serves the purpose of diverting the mind from more serious if tedious reading. Alas, the vigour of the earlier Barsoomian stories has grown attenuated and repetitive in this book. Still it has its moments, one almost Swiftian, in which Burroughs mocks the pretensions of some aspects of society which he knew.

I have noticed as I read through this series that Burroughs becomes more explicit and suggestive as he goes along. In the first several books, no hint of prurience is tolerated and it i
Jun 08, 2016 Susan rated it liked it
Edgar Rice Burroughs continues to come up with engaging tales set in Barsoom. In this book the topic of genetic engineering is explored and the Mastermind of Mars is reintroduced. While this is not my favorite book in the series and I found the repeated captures a little monotonous the discussion of genetic manipulation and its consequences made this a worthwhile read.
Aug 06, 2014 John rated it really liked it
Another solid pulp fiction entry in the John Carter series. Damsels in distress, chivalry, gelatinous mutant flesh blobs, sword play, and space ships - Yes please! I'll be sad to say goodbye to this series in a few more books.
Stephen Brooke
Oct 23, 2012 Stephen Brooke rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Typical of Burroughs's later Barsoom novels, 'Synthetic Men of Mars' is more slowly paced, with its characters spending more time plotting than sword-fighting. It remains inventive, even if the science part of the science fiction here is often a bit preposterous. ERB, as usual, manages to throw in his social commentary -- the dry humor involved sometimes works, sometimes comes off as heavy-handed.

An enjoyable enough escapist read, SMOM is not the equal of the early Barsoom work. The wonder of hi
Apr 25, 2015 Joanne rated it it was amazing
great book, very exciting, couldn;t stop reading!!! this is gonna rank in my top 10 favorite series of all time!!!!
May 17, 2012 Christopher rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
A return to the scene of Mastermind of Mars. There's a little body-swapping, plus clone warfare and a gray goo scenario. The romance this time has a strong "beauty's only skin deep" theme, which (like book 7) represents a welcome twist relative to the love-at-first-sight plot driver otherwise so prevalent on Barsoom. But this wasn't in the top half of the series. There's nothing very complicated or interesting about the plot. Stupidity is a repeated motif. The discussion of air traffic patterns ...more
Aug 08, 2016 Lee rated it it was ok
Not the strongest Mars novel. Definitely the most gruesome.
I wrote a musical book review. Enjoy.
S. G.
My edition, #01529, 4th printing, February 1969
Jessica Baumgartner
Sep 15, 2014 Jessica Baumgartner rated it it was amazing
I love Burroughs, this story has a Beauty and the Beast type story that I absolutely love.
Nov 14, 2015 Abel rated it it was amazing
I will read any of his books.
Fraser Sherman
Jan 14, 2014 Fraser Sherman rated it it was ok
The weakest in the series so far. Burroughs spends too much time on the artificial lifeforms of the title (who to be fair would have seemed a lot weirder at the time) and lots of games as peoples' brains get transferred into different bodies.
Bill Zodanga
Mar 06, 2010 Bill Zodanga rated it it was amazing
Please note, this 5 star rating is based on my long ago memories of this book - I may have read it greater than 20 years ago. I recall reading and really liking it, and even kept the book to read again in the future (something I only do with good, or otherwise significant books). The memories of an old man are sometimes faulty so this could really only warrant 3.5 to 4.5 stars, instead of the 5 I gave it. Once I re-read the book I will update this rating/review to more accurately reflect my thou ...more
Sep 01, 2014 Trish rated it liked it
Kevin Beverley introduced me to Goodreads through his posts on Facebook. Following Kevin's example, I explored the program and developed a list of books to read. Synthetic Men of Mars is a science fiction novel written by Tarzan's creator Edgar Rice Burroughs. A bit old-fashioned when compared with today's Sci Fi novels and not so well written as other books by Burroughs, it nevertheless moves quickly; it has a romantic theme and a happy ending, in which the hero wins the princess.
Nov 26, 2013 Rodney rated it liked it
It's the Barsoom series, so this is pretty par for the course. Like many of the others, an interesting read, albeit somewhat predictable. However, the plot line is enough to keep me reading, and will not deter me from reading the last two in the series. What is interesting about this series is how Burroughs finds ways to bring new life to past characters and his ability to simply create a new species of people for the purposes of a new book. It works. It's formulaic, but it works.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Lord Of The Spiders Or Blades Of Mars (Michael Kane, Vol. 2)
  • Sinister Barrier
  • Almuric
  • Star Light
  • A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan: The Land That Time Forgot
  • The Spoils of War (The Damned, #3)
  • Space Viking
  • The Repairman
  • In Paul Klee's Enchanted Garden
  • Sunborn (Chaos Chronicles, #4)
  • Planets of Adventure
  • Cross The Stars
  • Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life
  • The Defiant Agents (Time Traders/Ross Murdock, #3)
  • Lucky Starr and the Big Sun of Mercury (Lucky Starr, #4)
  • The Lost Oasis (Doc Savage, #6)
  • Goat Girls (Weetzie Bat, #2-3)
Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.
More about Edgar Rice Burroughs...

Other Books in the Series

Barsoom (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • A Princess of Mars (Barsoom, #1)
  • The Gods of Mars (Barsoom, #2)
  • The Warlord of Mars (Barsoom, #3)
  • Thuvia, Maid of Mars (Barsoom, #4)
  • The Chessmen of Mars (Barsoom, #5)
  • The Master Mind of Mars (Barsoom, #6)
  • A Fighting Man of Mars (Barsoom, #7)
  • Swords of Mars (Barsoom, #8)
  • Llana of Gathol (Barsoom, #10)
  • John Carter of Mars (Barsoom, #11)

Share This Book