Tuesday, January 6, 2009

10 Stories you wouldn’t know are Martian Science Fiction, Volume 2

This is Volume 2 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. (Volume 1 contains stories #1 through #10)

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 "A Martian Odyssey" (1934), by Stanley G. Weinbaum, and “Mars Ain’t No Place For Ladies” (2007), by Filamena Young, 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 next ten stories:

11. "Valley of Dreams" (1934), by Stanley G. Weinbaum
The sequel to Weinbaum’s classic “A Martian Odyssey” (1934).

12. "Vault of the Beast (1940), by A. E. van Vogt
“Time is running out. The time-lock on the Beast's millennia-old Martian cage is about to open, and mankind will never be able to deal with the threat!”

13. The Sound of Bugles (1949), by Robert Moore Williams
“A thriving Martian civilization baffles U.N. investigators; food and water abound -- with no visible source.”

14. Ministering Angels (1958), by C. S. Lewis
“Two women volunteer to bring sexual solace to a team of male scientists on Mars.”

15. Purple Priestess of the Mad Moon (1964), by Leigh Brackett
“A visitor from the Earth falls into the trap of believing that some of the more lurid tales about the Martians are simply myth.”

16. One Step from Earth (1970), by Harry Harrison
The first human to set foot on Mars concludes that, despite the likelihood of dying from a Martian disease, returning to live alone on the Red Planet is far more appealing than remaining on Earth.

17. The Love Affair (1982) by Ray Bradbury
A Martian develops an infatuation with a beautiful Earth woman who has settled near his cave on Mars.

18. Zwarte Piet’s Tale (1998), by Allen Steele
“Amid political strife and economic struggles, a thin, white-bearded doctor reinvents himself as the original Sinterklaas to bring toys, candy, and much-needed medical care to the children of the Red Planet colonies.”

19. The Real Story (2002), by Alastair Reynolds
“A journalist receives a mysterious invitation from the captain of the first Martian expedition to hear the real story of his strange mission.”

20. “The Water Thief” (2007), by Ben Bova
On Mars, where wasting water is strictly forbidden, three youths try to catch a water thief.


Pictured above: Artwork by Bob Eggleton

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