Editing The Land That Time Forgot

The Book

The Land That Time Forgot is a fantasy novel that starts with a harrowing wartime sea adventure and then develops into a mysterious lost world story. Written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, it was published as a novel by A. C. McClurg in 1924. 

Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American speculative fiction writer. He created works in the adventure, science fiction and fantasy genres. His stories are creative and entertaining, but filled with misogynistic and racist narratives woven by characters that personified toxic masculinity (e.g. ‘Tarzan of the Apes’).

This book is a classic literary treasure, loved by both sci-fi and naval fiction fans who are willing to look past the misogyny. 

The Philosophy

"The Lost U-Boat." was the author's original working title for the story. A 'U-Boat' is a submarine. The book features the bravery and danger faced by submariners and other Navy personnel. 

My partner served in Oberon Class submarines for many years. He has told me some wildly entertaining stories that illustrate the unique grit and 'culture' of submariners. Some of his adventures sounds like total insanity, but also like the kind of marvelous insanity that builds unique bonds, character and medical records!

But, women were not allowed to serve in these roles at the time this book was written. We couldn't benefit from these experiences and contribute such service.

This has changed... slowly. For example, in 2019 the American Navy's effort to integrate submarine crews with women reached an important milestone. Officials announced a “gender-neutral” process for female sailors seeking to join the silent service. Female officers officially started going to sea in submarines since 2011, and plans to incorporate enlisted women were announced three years later. Female sailors were then selected to convert their careers into submarine ratings and the integration commenced.

Strong leaders are driving this important change into submarine crews throughout the world.

So, now, it's a perfect time to celebrate women in the Navy. And The Land That Time Forgot is a great book to edit for that purpose!

Editing Method

As per Editing History style, I've simply swapped the gender of characters throughout the book while otherwise preserving the text original work. Bowen J Tyler's name has been changed to Mary J Tyler, to give a connection to historic author Mary Wollstonecraft. 

Mary Wollstonecraft wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, released in 1792. She tabled the the idea of women as the natural and intellectual equals of men. Her revolutionary work suggested that women deserved equal treatment and opportunities nearly a hundred years before the word “feminist” even existed.

The change in genders brings a new life to this classic story. You'll surely pause for thought during key events. The switch means that the women leave the men and children behind to drown, for example! 

I've also found and switched or deleted a couple of racist words and phrases that were just too extreme to re-publish nowadays. 

The way Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote was truly marvellous. This Special Edition of his book holds true to his original prose. And, his story flows even better without the jarring misogyny. It draws you into a wartime nautical adventure and incredible revolutionary lost world experience full of character and daring. It's absorbing. It's bizzare. And, it's simply a joy to read!

Editing The Land That Time Forgot was very entertaining. I hope you'll enjoy seeing this incredible adventure through new eyes too!

First Publication

The publication has been scheduled for the 2nd of April 2021, and submitted for release via Amazon Kindle.

I'll update this post to add the links as the book's pages go live.

Next Steps

The whole time I was editing, I was searching for a strong woman who could provide the right introductory commentary for this Special Edition. 

It would be incredible to reinforce the story's edits with an introduction or forward that celebrates the role of women in the Navy. Most women in the silent service are, well, silent. So, that's probably unfeasible.

Can you suggest a great personality for the forward? If I find the right person, I'll re-publish the book as a Second Edition. 

Watch this space. 😸

 xox Penelope