Thursday, July 23, 2009

“The Man the Martians Made,” a 1950s short story by Frank Belknap Long

Thanks to a recent post by Dave Tackett of the blog QuasarDragon, I spent an enjoyable evening reading “The Man the Martians Made,” a short story by renowned science fiction, fantasy, and horror writer Frank Belknap Long. Originally published in the January 1954 issue of Fantastic Universe magazine and downloadable for free from either ManyBooks or Project Gutenberg, "The Man the Martians Made" is set on a crudely colonized Mars and involves love, murder, and the legend of Larsen. Here are the opening lines of the story:

No mortal had ever seen the Martians, but they had heard their whisperings -- without knowing the terrible secret they kept hidden.

There was death in the camp.

I knew when I awoke that it had come to stand with us in the night and was waiting now for the day to break and flood the desert with light. There was a prickling at the base of my scalp and I was drenched with cold sweat. ...

Frank Belknap Long is also the author of the novels Mars is My Destination (1962) and The Martian Visitors (1964).

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