Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pirates of Venus (Venus, #1)” as Want to Read:
Pirates of Venus (Venus, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

Pirates of Venus (Venus #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,264 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Carson Napier set out for Mars in a homemade rocket. In the ultimate "Wrong-Way Corrigan" maneuver, he landed instead on Venus!

Venus was a startling world - semi-primitive, semi-civilized. It was a place of unmapped oceans dotted with great islands, a world whose trees pierced the clouds with cities squatting on their branches; a planet whose inhabitants included men, half
Ace Science Fiction Classic F-179, 163 pages
Published 1963 by Ace Books (first published 1932)
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 Pirates of Venus, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Pirates of Venus

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I put A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court down mid-read, and said to myself, "I want a real adventure. One without out the dry preachings of politics. I want a simple epic story."

After saying this, I went down to my local Pike's Peak library and picked up the first two books in Edgar Rice Burrough's Venus series. I, being a virgin to Burroughs, did not know what to expect.

I was hooked by the first couple of chapters. Missing Mars for Venus, exploring a new planet, fighting alien spider
Ignacio Senao f
Lo mismo de siempre pero con diferentes personajes y planeta.
Aventurero guapetón terrícola, quiere viajar a Marte porque se aburre de su placentera vida. Consigue que le concedan el placer gracias a un cohete. Este pepino se desvía de su trayectoria y llega a Venus, planeta dominado por razas diferentes. El honorable terrestre se enamorara y luchara.

Se lee en nada y se disfruta como nada.
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Did not finish. Reasons to come soon.
Although a case can be made for “science fiction” either inspiring or anticipating scientific developments over the course of the last century, there is very little “science” in the “science fiction” of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Pirates of Venus is no exception. Outside of the speculative suggestion of launching a rocket using, essentially, “rocket sled” technology and the fascinating discussion where the protagonist attempts to use the differences in distances at the equatorial circumference of Ven ...more
Nicholas Hansen
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't let the name fool you, this isn't your typical 70's sci-fi novel, mainly because it was written in the 30's. That means that you will go on a planet hopping adventure pre lunar landing era. That was a time when most fantasy and sci-fi had heavy Greek, and Mesopotamia leanings so you will see many alien cultures coincidently resembling them. Also expect aliens who are little different then man, only altered by slight differences in stature, skin color, and bizarre alien customs.
This story
David B
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot is vintage (cliché?) Burroughs--stalwart Earthman finds himself alone on an alien world, rescues a beautiful princess, wins her love, and becomes the ruler of a mighty empire. Although there is nothing new in the plot, ERB at his best has a way of writing a tale that just zings along from adventure to adventure in a very enjoyable way, making for fast, fun, escapist reading. This is the literary equivalent of comfort food.
Jul 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I have the Ace edition of this. Carson Napier, the hero, is no John Carter, but the Venus series is fun and inventive. This is the first in the series but ends rather abruptly and you need to go immediately to the next, "Lost on Venus," to get closure.

Still, you've gotta love ERB's endless inventive imagination.
Apr 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pirates of Venus is fairly obviously a sci-fi adventure. One which was purchased for its obvious absurd title. One which has all the quirks of early sci-fi. Here, we have the daring space explorer, a bored and rich young man who is resourceful and muscular and dashing, who makes women fall for him at the sight of him. We have incredibly outdated science (after all, Venus is now known to be uninhabitable for life as we know it, let alone for complex humanoid populations and massive vegetation). W ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So politically incorrect that sometimes it's physically painful to read but seeing as this is 1930s pulp science fiction, anyone who picks it up shouldn't be shocked. Yet so grotesquely campy, it was impossible for me to stop reading. It's like a train wreck in slow motion.

Swashbuckling aliens in loin cloths battling with ray guns and swords. Oh and bird men. And a supremely virginal princess complete with heaving bosom...

God forgive me, it was too ridiculously funny to put down.
Lilyn G. (Scifi and Scary)
In our quest to conquer the science fiction classics, we ended up needing to read two books from Edgar Rice Burroughs. The first was Princess of Mars, the second was Pirates of Venus. Princess of Mars was rip-roaring dimestore fun that made you grin the entire time you were reading it. Pirates of Venus... was not.

Full review up later.
Stephen Gallup
My remembered impression of the Venus series was that it ranked among ERB's best, and on this return the first book of the set did not disappoint. It's a compelling yarn concerning a young man with plenty of money and not much concern about what happens to him, who constructs a rocket with the idea of going to Mars. Due to a whopper of a miscalculation, he misses that destination, begins a fall toward the Sun, and is saved only by becoming caught in the gravitational field of Venus so that he la ...more
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in Edgar Rice Burroughs' 5th sf/adventure series, and it is a huge step down from Tarzan, Barsoom, Pellucidar, and Caspak. Carson Napier, who can astrally project himself to anywhere on Earth, decides that isn't enough, and builds a spaceship to Mars. However, he did not include the Moon's gravitational pull in his calculations and misses Mars altogether. Luckily Venus stops his plunge into the Sun. Venus is a cloud-covered world. (Burroughs still playing along with Arrhenius' ...more
A space-mission gone wrong forces Carson Napier to crash-land on Venus. The ingredients for some good, classic sci-fi are all there: an unknown planet, strange creatures, a few good guys, a lot of bad guys and a beautiful extra-terrestrial woman. All this makes for an entertaining read!T

I quite enjoy Burrough's writing and he manages to put in some social criticism along the way. There has been a revolution on Venus and the lower class has forced their opponents to hide far away, after purging a
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm relatively new to the work of ERB, but it seems to me he just keeps writing the same story over and over. This was not as much fun as The Moon Maid, was a real struggle to finish, and ends on a cliffhanger.
Rick Hautala
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes Burroughs isn't so good, but in this case, in spite of a few "coincidences" that shade into disbelief, PIRATES is a fun "space" adventure with plenty of action and a fairly realistic and likeable protagonist ... Not great literature, by any means, but a fun way to pass a gloomy afternoon ...
Steve Walker
Jul 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Burroughs has a formula and all of his stories are the same. But he does it differently so well. His worlds are real. Good guys are good, bad guys are bad. Good triumphs.

This is the martian series set in Venus. I like the martian series just slightly better, but they are close. Read dozens of times over the years and every book is just as good as the first
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable - you must keep in mind that it was published in 1932, however.
This is good ol' fashioned sci-fi. Highly imaginative but not far from the human experience. Plot moves very quickly, characters although alien and somewhat shallow nonetheless work well.
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vintage-sf
One of the high-level changes that separates modern speculative fiction from the old stuff is the balkanization of science fiction among hard science fiction, social science fiction, and adventure fiction. You know that wasn’t always so, but the brain still wants to categorize based on the immediate examples to come to mind, so you wind up categorizing that old book anyway, usually as adventure fiction. Nobody would write about a hard science fiction novel today about a guy trying to fly to Mars ...more
Robin Helweg-Larsen
Aug 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This book, which is as much fantasy as science fiction, is so shoddily imagined that I could not be bothered to finish it.

Shoddy fantasy: in chapter 1 the narrator has a psychic visitation in his room. Okay, we'll allow that. Then the sender of the visitation comes to his office building, is allowed in by security, a secretary, is brought to the narrator's office by a colleague. The colleague leaves, and shortly after the sender goes out through a wall - it was another psyhic visitation. Okay, w
steve briggs
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again

I have read this book many years ago and couldn't put it down . this time was the same! On to book 2
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Mars series may be better known but E.R.B.'s ability to make up a world really shines in this.
May 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than Lost On Venus.
Roddy Williams
‘The shimmering, cloud-covered planet of Venus conceals a wondrous secret: the strikingly beautiful yet deadly world of Amtor. In Amtor, cities of immortal beings flourish in giant trees reaching thousands of feet into the sky; ferocious beasts stalk the wilderness below; rare flashes of sunlight precipitate devastating storms; and the inhabitants believe their world is saucer-shaped with a fiery center and an icy rim.
Stranded on Amtor after his spaceship crashes, astronaut Carson Napier is swep
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have read, and been a fan, of much else of Edgar Rice Burroughs work. While I was exposed to Tarzan through movies, I rediscovered him in book form, and John Carter of Mars I also discovered via books. Thus, to learn that Burroughs penned another series in the 'Planetary romance' or 'Sword & Planet' genre was interesting to me. What had the originator of the genre done with this other example.

In many ways, Pirates of Venus is very similar to his other work. The main character travels, by a
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I enjoyed this series. The writing improved vastly as the stories progressed. There was a weird premise to explain how "we" learned of Carson's experience, but that was dropped soon enough.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, I'm a little surprised by this book. I've been reading Burroughs for 15 years (and I think this is like the 16th thing I've read from him... yeah, I'm a little obsessed) and I think I've been putting off reading this one for almost as long, partly because the first time I tried to read this it was a crappy modern illustrated edition by brother had bought. Anyhow, it's today and I've actually read it now, in a sweet Ace printing which recycles the Roy Krenkel cover for “A Fighting ...more
Jeff Stockett
This was my first experience with Edgar Rice Burroughs outside of John Carter's (and friends) many adventures on Mars (or Barsoom as the locals call it.)

Having read and greatly enjoyed John Carter on Mars, this book seems to sit squarely in the shadow of that series. He's clearly treading very familiar territory here. We have a good hearted but headstrong earth man (John Carter/Carson Napier) who is out of his depth on a strange world (Mars/Venus) that has a different name given by the locals (B
Jun 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even thinner than Burroughs' Mars series, it's even more of a pulp adventure dime store novella than those books. We also see Burroughs' belief in eugenics and the notion of a human ideal shining bright here (there's a lot of it in Mars, but the whole series here is based around it). Progressive for his time in many areas (sexual mores, skin color and its relation or lack thereof to ability, science over religion), he is still a product of a time in America (and, uncomfortably, Nazi Germany) whe ...more
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recognize I am in a bit of the minority rating this book 5 stars but for this genre it is hard to beat this first offering of Burrough's Venus series. My review comes from already reading many of the 'Mars' series, which I enjoyed. I like this series more as I believe ERB had already put a lot into the John Carter series, and as much as this is the same formulaic pattern one reads in that series the Venus series is just as engaging. We discover a whole new world with Carson Napier, meet new ch ...more
Ed Wyrd
Mar 15, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erb
I first read this when I was 15. On the reread, I noticed the story seems weighed down by Burroughs trying to make this story more science-based than his Barsoom adventures. Instead of arriving on Venus via astral projection, Carson Napier arrives via rocket and a good portion of the beginning deals with his attempt at science facts (as known in 1934). His destination is Mars, but they don't take the moon's pull into account and slingshot toward the sun. Luckily, Venus gets in his way and he lan ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Edgar Rice Burrou...: Pirates of Venus 2 4 Aug 06, 2017 07:46AM  
What's The Name o...: Science fiction story set in Venus [s] 4 98 Oct 01, 2011 05:40PM  
  • Almuric
  • Dwellers in the Mirage
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs : Master of Adventure
  • The Blue Star
  • Flesh
  • Seas of Venus (Seas of Venus, #1-2)
  • Masters Of The Pit Or Barbarians Of Mars (Michael Kane, Vol. 3)
  • Transit to Scorpio (Dray Prescot, #1) (Delian Cycle, #1)
  • Jandar Of Callisto
  • The Defiant Agents (Time Traders/Ross Murdock, #3)
  • Enterprise Stardust (Perry Rhodan - English, #1)
  • Ardneh's World (Empire of the East, #3)
  • The Return Of The Sorcerer: The Best Of Clark Ashton Smith
  • Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus (Lucky Starr, #3)
  • The Fallible Fiend (Novarian, #3)
  • Saucer Country Vol. 1: Run
  • Hiero's Journey (Hiero, #1)
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

Venus (5 books)
  • Lost on Venus (Venus, #2)
  • Carson of Venus (Venus, #3)
  • Escape on Venus (Venus, #4)
  • The Wizard of Venus (Venus, #5)
“I had aimed at Mars and was about to hit Venus; unquestionably the all-time cosmic record for poor shots.” 0 likes
More quotes…