Tuesday, January 26, 2010

“Under the Sand-Seas,” a 1941 novelette by Oliver E. Saari

Over at the Internet Archive, you can read or download the January 1941 issue of Super Science Stories magazine, which contains “Under the Sand-Seas,” a little-known novelette penned by Oliver E. Saari. The plot revolves around a scientific expedition on Mars which is “assaulted by a semi-intelligent form of life resembling prairie tumble-weed.” I haven't had a chance to read the story, but here are the opening lines:

FRED WELLS sighed. A pair of firm hands were passing over his body, swiftly and efficiently. They slid along his limbs, fondled his collar bone, and passed on into the regions of his lower ribs.

“That’s far enough,” he muttered, trying to get up on elbow, opening his eyes.

He saw a face -- a face that was made of furrowed leather and white bristle -- a face that was as dry as the desert itself, and as old. The eyes squinted down at him in quiet approval.

“You’ve got luck, son,” said the face. “You can thank old Mars’ gravity for that. Not a bone broken..."

“Under the Sand-Seas” was reprinted in the anthology Great Science Fiction Stories about Mars (1966), edited by T. E. Dikty.

No comments: