Saturday, September 27, 2008

Menace Under Marswood by Sterling Lanier (1983)

Menance Under Marswood, a novel by Sterling E. Lanier (1983)

At left: Paperback original (New York: Ballantine Books, 1983), a Del Rey book, $2.95. Cover art by Darrell K. Sweet. Set on a terraformed Mars in the 23rd century, here’s the blurb from the back cover of the book:

“For centuries the human outcasts of Mars have lived wild, independent lives in the Martian outback called the Ruck. But then the mysterious men of the “New Clan” came to preach total rebellion against the Mother Planet -- and that Earth's U.N. Command could not allow. So it sent a team of its best officers to learn the secrets of the “New Clan.” Unfortunately, to do the job right, the Terrans would have to cooperate with their worst enemies -- the Ruckers!”

A more detailed description of the novel is at and reader reviews are at

Interestingly, Menace Under Marswood was included on a syllabus for a recent course about imagination and the “Quest for Meaning” at Tusculum College in Tennessee.

A man of many accomplishments, Sterling E. Lanier is perhaps most well-known for his stint at Chilton Books in the early 1960s, where he championed the publication of Frank Herbert’s Dune (1965). Lanier’s death in July 2007 was widely reported and sci-fi guy John Clute wrote an obituary for The Independent, a London newspaper.

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