Saturday, January 30, 2010

Born Under Mars, a 1967 novel by John Brunner

Born Under Mars (1967), a novel by John Brunner

Pictured: Paperback (New York: Ace Books, 1977), 157 p., $1.50. Cover art by Michael Herring. Here's the piece from the back cover:

Ray Mallin returned from the stars to find that his home planet Mars had fallen into shocking decay and apathy. Once Mars had been the great hope of the Solar System. Once men came from Earth to test their strength and adaptiveness on a harsh new world - now the progress of mankind had passed Mars by, and she had become a second-class planet, her Mars-born humans only dead-end mutations. But Ray Mallin had little time to worry about the problems of his home planet, for as soon as he landed he was abducted by agents of Earth's newer and more advanced colony planets, agents who would stop at nothing to gain information they thought he had. Though brutally tortured, and surrounded by treachery, intrigue and danger, he managed to escape. How long would it be before he realized that he was the key to a secret that would change the future of the human race!

In reviewing one of Brunner’s works in 2006, John McCarthy of Albedo: Ireland’s Magazine of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror remarked in passing: “Born Under Mars seems like a low-budget rip-off of Dune, until one discovers that it predated Herbert's classic.”

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