A Princess of Mars is a science fiction 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. The story is set on Mars, imagined as a dying planet with a harsh desert environment. This vision 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.
Born September 1, 1875, Edgar Rice Burroughs was a ranch hand, a salesman and an advertising copywriter before trying fiction in 1911. He found success writing serialized stories for pulp magazines. His jungle adventure novel Tarzan of the Apes (1912) became the first of 25 books featuring Tarzan, the son of an English nobleman abandoned in Africa and raised by apes. He wrote 43 other novels.