Thursday, September 17, 2009

"One Martian Afternoon," a 1950s short story written by Tom Leahy

Originally published in the July 1953 issue of If: Worlds of Science Fiction magazine, "One Martian Afternoon,” a short story written by Tom Leahy, is a disturbing tale set on a moist Mars. Revolving around a young girl from Earth, a “sort of Martian Old Mother Hubbard,” and purple river apple cobbler, here are the opening lines of "One Martian Afternoon":

The clod burst in a cloud of red sand and the little Martian sand dog ducked quickly into his burrow. Marilou threw another at the aperture in the ground and then ran over and with the inside of her foot she scraped sand into it until it was filled to the surface. She started to leave, but stopped.

The little fellow might choke to death, she thought, it wasn't his fault she had to live on Mars. Satisfied that the future of something was dependent on her whim, she dug the sand from the hole. His little yellow eyes peered out at her. …

You can read "One Martian Afternoon” online or download it for free from either or Project Gutenberg.

[via Dave Tackett of QuasarDragon and John DeNardo of SF Signal]

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