looking for a long lost book very similar to John Carter of Mars. Details are a bit hazy but the story is as follows. Man/soldier finds ancient ruins in i think Vietnamese jungle when hiding from enemy troops. In those ruins he falls into nephrite jade well which transports him to Mars where he discovers planet full of live and medieval civilization. Dont remember the rest of story but he learns fencing with sword and rides giant birds.

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    Just to help eliminate a few things: That does not sound like the opening of Michael Moorcock's trilogy about Kane of Old Mars (a shameless pastiche of the way ERB wrote the John Carter books); nor does it remind me of the opening pages of Tarnsman of Gor by John Norman (the first three volumes in particular were also obviously trying to imitate Burroughs). Doesn't sound like Otis Kline's efforts from the 1930s, either. (Does it show that I once went through a phase where I was trying to find Burroughs pastiches that might give me the same thrill that his books about Barsoom did?)
    – Lorendiac
    May 29, 2019 at 1:08
  • Yeah, just red Tarnsman of Gor it is not what im looking for. The key point that i remember about this book are ancient ruins and well made of nephrite jade that teleports main character to Mars.
    – Bobroklad
    May 29, 2019 at 1:16
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    Are you sure it was Mars, and not Callisto? The Jandar books by Lin Carter feature a jade lined well in the Cambodian jungle that teleports the hero May 29, 2019 at 12:32
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    @WinchellChung I think you're right. I read those Callisto novels during the "Burroughs pastiche kick" I was once on, but that was a great many years ago, and they simply didn't pop into my head yesterday. I couldn't remember how the main character got to Callisto in the first place, but a little Googling suggests it was along the lines described in the question. So I figure you nailed it. Ought to post it as an Answer!
    – Lorendiac
    May 29, 2019 at 23:37
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    Yes, Jandar of Callisto is the book im looking for. Thanks a lot your help.
    – Bobroklad
    May 29, 2019 at 23:39

1 Answer 1


Sounds like it could be "Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation" (1905) by Edwin Lester Arnold. As Wikipedia explains, the work predates Edgar Rice Burroughs and might have likely been the inspiration for John Carter on Barsoom. The similarities are striking, though Lt. Jones is (in the novel) not nearly the heroic swashbuckler that was Cpt. Carter

The Question's reference to Vietnam suggests you might have been reading the Marvel Comic adaptation from 1972. I remember the comic well, where they "butched up" Gullivar considerably.

Marvel's version modernized the setting, recasting Gullivar as a Vietnam War veteran. Though this official adaptation used many of Arnold's characters and concepts, it was not a strict adaptation of the original book.

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