Otis Adelbert Kline
Otis Adelbert Kline (1891–1946) born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, was an adventure novelist and literary agent
during the pulp era. Much of his work first appeared in the magazine Weird Tales. Kline was an amateur orientalist and
a student of Arabic, like his friend and sometime collaborator, E. Hoffmann Price. (Wikipedia)
Known today primarily as the literary agent of Conan creator Robert E. Howard, in his day Otis Adelbert Kline was
nearly as popular as Howard and Burroughs themselves. Though Kline's famous feud with Burroughs (see Kline entry
at Wikipedia for details) may have been the creation of imaginative fans, there can be no doubt that the two authors
shared both style and subject matter. (piazo.com) Indeed, Kline has frequently been called Burroughs's only true
competitor. While he produced only a handful of novels before his death at the age of 55, Kline's presence on the
original editorial staff of Weird Tales and his sword-swinging romances on the red and green planets did much to
influence the genre, and his legacy lives on in the tradition of sword and planet novels to this day.
Kline represented Howard from the Spring of 1933 till Howard's death in June 1936, and continued to act as literary
agent for Howard's estate thereafter. It has been suggested that Kline may have completed Howard's "planetary
romance" Almuric, which Howard had submitted to Weird Tales for posthumous publication in 1939, although this
claim, too, is disputed. (Wikipedia) (go to http://www.erbgraphics.com/Kline.html for a fuller discussion.)
In the Ace edition of The Prince Of Peril in the '60s Vernel Coriell said "Though they wrote for the same publishers and
were filmed by the same movie studios, Kline never meant to compete with Burroughs. He admired the author and it
was his enthusiasm for that type of story that inspired him to create his own universe of planets of peril, peopled by
swashbuckling planeteers and stimulating sirens."
Personal NOTE: I owe much of my persona as a reader to Otis Adelbert Kline. When I turned thirteen in
Mindenhall, Mississippi, I received my adult library card, and in that heretofore forbidden section of the library I
discovered the Avalon Books edition of The Swordsman of Mars. If my recollection is correct, it took me a couple of
stops and starts to make it through the first two chapters, but once the action began, there was no putting it down. I
finished the rest in one afternoon. Luckily, I had a good library that carried the other three Kline Sword and Planet
adventures. I found my first Burroughs a year later, and I was hooked forever. Sword and planet science fiction
remains my favorite genre for sheer reading pleasure, and I always get a real rush when I find one I haven't read
before. I finally got around to Almuric by Howard (written perhaps in collaboration with Kline) recently, and once
again I recreated just a little of that thirteen-year-old sense of wonder.
The Prince of Peril - McClurg first edition dj $9.99
The Planet of Peril - G&D edition $9.99
Collecting Kline - Grosset & Dunlap never published an Otis Adelbert Kline first edition. For Kline and ERB's
works they were reprint houses only. I have a G&D edition of The Planet of Peril that clearly says "First Edition" on
the copyright page; however, the first edition was published by A. C. McClurg. This anomaly came about because
reprint houses like G&D used the first edition plates to make the cheaper 2nd and subsequent printings of the work.
They never bothered to change the copyright page, causing endless confusion among tyro collectors and sellers
On eBay and other online sales and auction houses, you'll see claims to the contrary. Ignore them and consider the
source. I and almost all other collectors have made similar errors when first starting our collections.
J. Allen St. John illustration for the Feb 1933 Weird Tales issue in which ran the third part of
Otis Adelbert Kline's novel The Buccaneers of Venus, printed in Hardcover as The Port of Peril.
The Outlaws of Mars - Avalon 1st edition $8.99
The Swordsman of Mars - Avalon 1st edition $8.99
This spot reserved for first edition facsimile
of The Planet of Peril
The Planet of Peril - McClurg first edition dj $9.99
THE PRINCE OF PERIL - click here for info about this variant DJ
Maza of the Moon - G&D edition $9.99