Just to be clear, this novel is not in any way related to Edgar Rice Burroughs or Barsoom. It was clearly a knock-off meant to cash in on the popularity of ERB's books.

I remember the following about the novel:

It had an off-white cover with a man fighting a green martian (but not an ERB green martian).

The novels production value seemed like a pulp-reprint, even though I read it in the 1980s. Probably reprinted in the 1970s, or so I thought at the time.

Plot points:

  • Man grows up next door to a French fencing master that teaches him how to sword fight.

  • He takes part in a teleportation experiment that takes him to Mars.

  • Adventures ensue, including a gladiatorial fight where the hero has to stall for time, so he slowly cuts his less-skilled opponent into hamburger.

  • Runs into an issue where he cannot marry the girl of his dreams if he kills her fiance. Some cultural taboo.

  • He eventually returns to Earth with only a few seconds passing, but coming back with scars from his adventure.


It could be Warriors of Mars by "Edward Powys Bradbury", later republished as City of the Beast by Michael Moorcock.

It begins a trilogy featuring Michael Kane, an incarnation of Moorcock's Eternal Champion.
The trilogy is:

  1. Warriors of Mars / City of the Beast
  2. Blades of Mars / Lord of the Spiders
  3. Barbarians of Mars / Masters of the Pit

book cover, man jumping on a blue alien

book cover, alien gets speared by man

book cover, man faces an alien riding an alien beast

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  • beat me to the answer by 2 minutes – Dai Dec 27 '14 at 14:37
  • Yes, this is the one. A bit of research turned up some character names I recognized. Oddly, I never knew it was a Moorcock novel. Learn something new every day. – Vicpylon Dec 27 '14 at 15:45
  • Wow, never knew Moorcock used such a ridiculous pseudonym! – Jason K Feb 2 '18 at 15:05

I think this is the Michael Kane series by Michael Moorcock (as Edward P Bradbury).

  1. Warriors of Mars (1965) aka The City of the Beast

  2. Blades of Mars (1965) aka Lord of the Spiders

  3. Barbarians of Mars (1965) aka Masters of the Pit

I had an omnibus of this trilogy with the stories all named under the alternate titles listed above but I'm buggered if I can find the book. Goodreads shows the cover of the copy I had.

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