Monday, February 16, 2009

10 Stories you wouldn’t know are Martian Science Fiction, Volume 3

This is Volume 3 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. (See Volume 1 for stories #1 through #10 and Volume 2 for stories #11 through #20)

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 "The Raid from Mars"(1939), by Miles J. Breuer, and “The Day the Martians Came” (1967), by Frederik Pohl, 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:

21. Via Etherline (1937), by Eando Binder
“Radio bulletins from the first expedition unfold the terrors of huge Martian insect foes, ruled by still larger creatures.”

22. Dark Mission (1940), by Lester del Rey
A man with amnesia wakes up inside the wreckage of a crashed spaceship and later discovers he is a Martian.

23. Lady Killer (1952), by Chad Oliver
“An expedition is mounted to Mars in the hopes of finding humanoid females there who are interfertile.”

24. A Rose for Ecclesiastes (1963), by Roger Zelazny
A poet and linguist stationed on the Red Planet falls in love with a Martian after being invited into an ancient temple to study their sacred texts.

25. "Sad Solarian Screenwriter Sam" (1972), by Frederik Pohl
The discovery of Martians on the Red Planet has screenwriter Sam Harcourt dreaming of a movie titled Barsoom.

26. The Catharine Wheel (1984), by Ian McDonald
“Alternates between the last voyage of the Catharine of Tharsis, the famous locomotive of the Bethlehem-Ares line on Mars, and the last days of the life of that engine's namesake.”

27. Soft Clocks (1989), by Yoshio Aramaki
“Story of a surreal Mars ruled by a latter-day [Salvador] Dali, whose cyborg daughter, Vivi, is afflicted with anorexia.”

28. "Heinlein's Children" (1995), by Arlan Andrews
“SF writers, hackers, and others of that ilk, intercept and modify the signals from the Mars probe to make it appear that the Face and other structures on Mars are real and evidence of an alien civilization.”

29. Ulla, Ulla (2002), by Eric Brown
“About an expedition to Mars, finding the truth behind H. G. Wells’ novel.”

30. “La Malcontenta” (2005), by Liz Williams
An imprisoned woman known as the Malcontent of Calmaretto is let out for the festival of Ombre in the city of Winterstrike on Mars.


Pictured above: Artwork by Bob Eggleton

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