Thursday, December 11, 2008

10 Stories you wouldn’t know are Martian Science Fiction, Volume 1

This is Volume 1 of a project whose goal is to compile a long list of stories you wouldn’t know are about Mars or Martians by simply reading the titles.

For example, stories such as “The Enchanted Village” (1950), by A. E. van Vogt, and “Hellas is Florida” (1977), by Gordon Eklund and Gregory Benford, will be included on the list, while stories such as “Martian Quest” (1940), by Leigh Brackett, and “Falling Onto Mars” (2002), by Geoffrey Landis, will not.

Some of the stories you can read online or purchase through sites such as Fictionwise, but most you cannot. The Locus Index to Science Fiction and the Internet Speculative Fiction Database are good tools for obtaining citations that you can take to your local library. If your library does not have the anthology or magazine mentioned in the citation, ask your librarian about an “Interlibrary Loan Request.” I’ve been able to borrow old anthologies and get photocopies of stories from old pulp magazines with few problems.

Here are the first ten stories:

1. The Voice in the Void (1932), by Clifford D. Simak
“Considers the discovery of a sacred tomb on Mars believed to contain the relics of the Messiah.”

2. “The Treasure of Ptakuth” (1940), by Leigh Brackett
“Two men vie for The Treasure of Ptakuth.”

3. The Embassy (1942), by Donald A. Wollheim
A private investigator confronts Martians in 1940s New York City.

4. The Wilderness (1952), by Ray Bradbury
“This tale focuses on Janice Smith and Leonora Holmes on their last night on Earth as they finish their preparations to leave for Mars.”

5. Tin Lizzie (1964), by Randall Garrett
Two aged spaceboats manufactured by the Ford Motor Company and anchored on Phobos are pressed back into service.

6. Exploration (1971), by Barry N. Malzberg
“Resolutely sensible technician, passionate poetess, alarmed colonizer, each presents his very different sense of their common destination, the Mars they are separately to explore.”

7. From the Labyrinth of Night (1984), by Lillian Stewart Carl
“A scientist searching for life on Mars finds it in a most unexpected place, leading him to re-evaluate not only his own life but what it means to be human.”

8. Of Flame and Air (1998), by Mike Resnick and Josepha Sherman
“An adolescent dreamer escapes his family problems in the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs -- and falls in love with Dejah Thoris.”

9. The Me After the Rock (2002), by Patrick O’Leary
“A dialogue-only story ... two astronauts are speaking, one who has had a mystical encounter of some kind with Mars itself, and the other who is dubious.”

10. “Where the Golden Apples Grow” (2006), by Kage Baker
“The stark, inhospitable terrain of Mars almost comes alive as two stranded young colonists struggle to get home.”


Pictured above: Artwork by Bob Eggleton


John D. said...

Nice job!

Paul said...

Thanks. I should be able to get past 100 stories.