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Fantasy and Science Fiction (Фантазия и научная фантастика)

Учебное пособие
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Настоящее издание является учебным пособием по чтению на английском языке для студентов 2, 3 курсов отделения «Литературное творчество».
Кулинцева, Н. А. Fantasy and Science Fiction (Фантазия и научная фантастика): Учебное пособие / Н. А. Кулинцева. - 2-е изд. - Москва : Директ-Медиа, . - 176 с. - ISBN 978-5-4499-1479-8. - Текст : электронный. - URL: https://znanium.com/catalog/product/1972640 (дата обращения: 20.05.2024). – Режим доступа: по подписке.
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Н. А. Кулинцева 

FANTASY AND SCIENCE 
FICTION

(Фантазия и научная фантастика) 

Учебное пособие 

Издание второе

Москва-Берлин

2020 

УДК 811.111(075) 
ББК 81.432.1я73 
 К90 

Рецензенты: 
О. Л. Зайцева, канд. филол. наук, проф.,  
зав. каф. западноевропейских языков и культур (ПГЛУ); 
В. С. Аганесов, канд. филол. наук,  
доцент каф. западноевропейских языков и культур (ПГЛУ) 

Кулинцева, Н. А.

К90     Fantasy and Science Fiction (Фантазия и научная 
     фантастика) : учебное пособие / Н. А. Кулинцева. – 

          Изд. 2-е. – Москва ; Берлин: Директ-Медиа, 2020. – 174 с. 

ISBN 978-5-4499-1479-8 

Настоящее издание является учебным пособием по чтению 
на английском языке для студентов 2, 3 курсов отделения «
Литературное творчество». 

УДК 811.111(075) 
ББК 81.432.1я73 

ISBN 978-5-4499-1479-8 
©
     Кулинцева Н. А., текст, 2020 
© Издательство «Директ-Медиа», оформление, 2020 

Fantasy is a key term both in psychology and in the art and ar-
tifice of humanity. The things we make, including our stories, reflect, 
serve, and often shape our needs and desires. We see this everywhere 
from fairy tale to kiddie lit to myth; from «Cinderella» to Alice in 
Wonderland to Superman; from building a fort as a child to build-
ing ideal, planned cities as whole societies. Fantasy in ways both en-
tertaining and practical serves our persistent needs and desires and 
illuminates the human mind. Fantasy expresses itself in many ways, 
from the comfort we feel in the godlike powers of a fairy godmother to 
the seductive unease we feel confronting Dracula. From a practical 
viewpoint, of all the fictional forms that fantasy takes, science fiction, 
from Frankenstein to Avatar, is the most important in our modern 
world because it is the only kind that explicitly recognizes the pro-
found ways in which science and technology, those key products of the 
human mind, shape not only our world but our very hopes and fears. 
This book will try to explore Fantasy in general and Science Fiction 
in specific both as art and as insights into ourselves and our world. 

Edgar Rice Burroughs 
A Princess of Mars 

History Focus 
A Princess of Mars (1917) is a science fantasy novel by 
Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first of his Barsoom series. Full 
of swordplay and daring feats, the novel is considered a 
classic example of 20th century pulp fiction. It is also a 
seminal instance of the planetary romance, a sub-genre of 
science fantasy that became highly popular in the decades 
following its publication. Its early chapters also contain el-
ements of the Western. The story is set on Mars, imagined 
as a dying planet with a harsh desert environment. This vi-
sion of Mars was based on the work of the astronomer 
Percival Lowell, whose ideas were widely popularized in the 
late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Style Focus 
A Princess of Mars is similar to many of Burroughs' tales: 
it is characterized by copious violent action. It is basically a 
travelogue, a tale of a journey and various encounters on 
that journey, which does not necessarily have a defined 
plot. It is also a captivity narrative – involving a civilized 
hero being captured by an uncivilized culture and being 
forced to adapt to the primitive nature of the captors to 
survive. 
As is the case with the majority of the Barsoom novels 
to follow, it portrays a hero facing impossible odds and 
forced to fight a range of lurid creatures in order to win the 
love of the heroine. Burroughs' Barsoom is also morally 
unambiguous; there is no sense of moral relativity and 
characters are either good or evil. The tale portrays a hero 
with a sense of honor transcending race or politics. Com-

4 

passion, loyalty and bravery are celebrated, and callousness, 
deception, and cowardice are frowned upon. 

Genre Focus 
While the novel is often classed as science fantasy, it al-
so belongs to the sub-genre of planetary romance, which 
has affinities with fantasy and sword and sorcery; it is dis-
tinguished by its inclusion of scientific (or pseudo-
scientific) elements. Planetary romances take place primari-
ly on the surface of an alien world, and they often include 
sword-fighting and swashbuckling; monsters; supernatural 
elements such as telepathic abilities (as opposed to magic); 
and cultures that echo those of Earth in pre-industrial eras, 
especially with dynastic or theocratic social structures. 
Spacecraft may appear, but are usually not central to the 
story; this is a key difference from space opera, in which 
spacecraft are usually key to the narrative. While there are 
earlier examples of this genre, A Princess of Mars and its se-
quels are the best known, and they were a dominant influ-
ence on subsequent authors. Initially published in 
magazines with general readership, by the 1930s the plane-
tary romance had become very popular in the emerging 
science fiction pulp magazines. The novel also shares a 
number of elements of Westerns, such as desert settings, 
women taken captive, and a climactic life-or-death confron-
tation with the antagonist. 

Plot Focus 
John Carter, a Confederate veteran of the American 
Civil War, goes prospecting in Arizona immediately after 
the war's end. Having struck a rich vein of gold, he runs 
afoul of the Apaches. While attempting to evade pursuit by 
hiding in a sacred cave, he is mysteriously transported to 
Mars, called «Barsoom» by its inhabitants. Carter finds that 
he has great strength and superhuman agility in this new 

5 

environment as a result of its lesser gravity. He soon falls in 
with a nomadic tribe of Green Martians, or Tharks, as the 
planet's warlike, six-limbed, green-skinned inhabitants are 
known. Thanks to his strength and martial prowess, Carter 
rises to a high position in the tribe and earns the respect 
and eventually the friendship of Tars Tarkas, one of the 
Thark chiefs. 
The Tharks subsequently capture Dejah Thoris, Prin-
cess of Helium, a member of the humanoid red Martian 
race. The red Martians inhabit a loose network of city-
states and control the desert planet's canals, along which its 
agriculture is concentrated. Carter rescues Dejah Thoris 
from the green men in a bid to return her to her people. 
Subsequently Carter becomes embroiled in the political 
affairs of both the red and green Martians in his efforts to 
safeguard Dejah Thoris, eventually leading a horde of 
Tharks against the city-state of Zodanga, the historic enemy 
of Helium. Winning Dejah Thoris' hand, he becomes 
Prince of Helium, and the two live happily together for 
nine years. However, the sudden breakdown of the Atmos-
phere Plant that sustains the planet's waning air supply en-
dangers all life on Barsoom. In a desperate attempt to save 
the planet's inhabitants, Carter uses a secret telepathic code 
to enter the factory, bringing an engineer along who can 
restore its functionality. Carter then succumbs to asphyxia-
tion, only to awaken back on Earth, left to wonder what 
has become of Barsoom and his beloved. 
 

6 

CHAPTER III 
MY ADVENT ON MARS 
I opened my eyes upon a strange and weird landscape. I 
knew that I was on Mars; not once did I question either my 
sanity or my wakefulness. I was not asleep, no need for 
pinching here; my inner consciousness told me as plainly 
that I was upon Mars as your conscious mind tells you that 
you are upon Earth. You do not question the fact; neither 
did I. 
I found myself lying prone upon a bed of yellowish, 
mosslike vegetation which stretched around me in all  
directions for interminable miles. I seemed to be lying in a 
deep, circular basin, along the outer verge of which I could 
distinguish the irregularities of low hills. 
It was midday, the sun was shining full upon me and 
the heat of it was rather intense upon my naked body, yet 
no greater than would have been true under similar condi-
tions on an Arizona desert. Here and there were slight out-
croppings of quartz-bearing rock which glistened in the 
sunlight; and a little to my left, perhaps a hundred yards, 
appeared a low, walled enclosure about four feet in height. 
No water, and no other vegetation than the moss was in 
evidence, and as I was somewhat thirsty I determined to do 
a little exploring. 
Springing to my feet I received my first Martian sur-
prise, for the effort, which on Earth would have brought 
me standing upright, carried me into the Martian air to the 
height of about three yards. I alighted softly upon the 
ground, however, without appreciable shock or jar. Now 
commenced a series of evolutions which even then seemed 
ludicrous in the extreme. I found that I must learn to walk 
all over again, as the muscular exertion which carried me 
easily and safely upon Earth played strange antics with me 
upon Mars. 

7 

Instead of progressing in a sane and dignified manner, 
my attempts to walk resulted in a variety of hops which 
took me clear of the ground a couple of feet at each step 
and landed me sprawling upon my face or back at the end 
of each second or third hop. My muscles, perfectly attuned 
and accustomed to the force of gravity on Earth, played the 
mischief with me in attempting for the first time to cope 
with the lesser gravitation and lower air pressure on Mars. 
I was determined, however, to explore the low structure 
which was the only evidence of habitation in sight, and so I 
hit upon the unique plan of reverting to first principles in 
locomotion, creeping. I did fairly well at this and in a few 
moments had reached the low, encircling wall of the enclo-
sure. 
There appeared to be no doors or windows upon the 
side nearest me, but as the wall was but about four feet 
high I cautiously gained my feet and peered over the top 
upon the strangest sight it had ever been given me to see. 
The roof of the enclosure was of solid glass about four 
or five inches in thickness, and beneath this were several 
hundred large eggs, perfectly round and snowy white. The 
eggs were nearly uniform in size being about two and one-
half feet in diameter. 
Five or six had already hatched and the grotesque cari-
catures which sat blinking in the sunlight were enough to 
cause me to doubt my sanity. They seemed mostly head, 
with little scrawny bodies, long necks and six legs, or, as I 
afterward learned, two legs and two arms, with an interme-
diary pair of limbs which could be used at will either as 
arms or legs. Their eyes were set at the extreme sides of 
their heads a trifle above the center and protruded in such a 
manner that they could be directed either forward or back 
and also independently of each other, thus permitting this 
queer animal to look in any direction, or in two directions 
at once, without the necessity of turning the head. 

8 

The ears, which were slightly above the eyes and closer 
together, were small, cup-shaped antennae, protruding not 
more than an inch on these young specimens. Their noses 
were but longitudinal slits in the center of their faces, mid-
way between their mouths and ears. 
There was no hair on their bodies, which were of a very 
light yellowish-green color. In the adults, as I was to learn 
quite soon, this color deepens to an olive green and is dark-
er in the male than in the female. Further, the heads of the 
adults are not so out of proportion to their bodies as in the 
case of the young. 
The iris of the eyes is blood red, as in Albinos, while the 
pupil is dark. The eyeball itself is very white, as are the 
teeth. These latter add a most ferocious appearance to an 
otherwise fearsome and terrible countenance, as the lower 
tusks curve upward to sharp points which end about where 
the eyes of earthly human beings are located. The whiteness 
of the teeth is not that of ivory, but of the snowiest and 
most gleaming of china. Against the dark background of 
their olive skins their tusks stand out in a most striking 
manner, making these weapons present a singularly formi-
dable appearance. 
Most of these details I noted later, for I was given but 
little time to speculate on the wonders of my new discov-
ery. I had seen that the eggs were in the process of hatch-
ing, and as I stood watching the hideous little monsters 
break from their shells I failed to note the approach of a 
score of full-grown Martians from behind me. 
Coming, as they did, over the soft and soundless moss, 
which covers practically the entire surface of Mars with the 
exception of the frozen areas at the poles and the scattered 
cultivated districts, they might have captured me easily, but 
their intentions were far more sinister. It was the rattling of 
the accouterments of the foremost warrior which warned 
me. 

9 

On such a little thing my life hung that I often marvel 
that I escaped so easily. Had not the rifle of the leader of 
the party swung from its fastenings beside his saddle in 
such a way as to strike against the butt of his great metal-
shod spear I should have snuffed out without ever knowing 
that death was near me. But the little sound caused me to 
turn, and there upon me, not ten feet from my breast, was 
the point of that huge spear, a spear forty feet long, tipped 
with gleaming metal, and held low at the side of a mounted 
replica of the little devils I had been watching. 
But how puny and harmless they now looked beside 
this huge and terrific incarnation of hate, of vengeance and 
of death. The man himself, for such I may call him, was 
fully fifteen feet in height and, on Earth, would have 
weighed some four hundred pounds. He sat his mount as 
we sit a horse, grasping the animal's barrel with his lower 
limbs, while the hands of his two right arms held his im-
mense spear low at the side of his mount; his two left arms 
were outstretched laterally to help preserve his balance, the 
thing he rode having neither bridle or reins of any descrip-
tion for guidance. 
And his mount! How can earthly words describe it! It 
towered ten feet at the shoulder; had four legs on either 
side; a broad flat tail, larger at the tip than at the root, and 
which it held straight out behind while running; a gaping 
mouth which split its head from its snout to its long, mas-
sive neck. 
Like its master, it was entirely devoid of hair, but was of 
a dark slate color and exceeding smooth and glossy. Its bel-
ly was white, and its legs shaded from the slate of its shoul-
ders and hips to a vivid yellow at the feet. The feet 
themselves were heavily padded and nailless, which fact 
had also contributed to the noiselessness of their approach, 
and, in common with a multiplicity of legs, is a characteris-
tic feature of the fauna of Mars. The highest type of man 

10 

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