Friday, April 9, 2010

Devil’s Planet, a 1942 scientifiction novel by Manly Wade Wellman

Thanks to the folks at the Internet Archive, you can read or download Devil’s Planet, a complete book-length scientifiction novel penned by American writer Manly Wade Wellman (1903-1986) that was published in the Vol. 7, No. 1, January 1942 issue of Startling Stories magazine. Set on the Red Planet, the plot revolves around an intrepid Earthman and Pulambar, a Martian city of pleasure. Here are the opening lines:

       YOUNG Dillon Stover woke easily and good-humoredly, as usual. He knew he was in bed, of course -- but was he? He felt as though he were floating on a fleecy cloud, or something.

He stretched his muscular long legs and arms, yawned and shook his tawny-curled head. He felt light as a feather, even in the first waking moment. He was alert enough to remember now. This was Mars, where he weighed only forty percent of what he weighed at home in the Missouri Ozarks. He'd come here to carry on the scientific labors of his late grandfather, which labors he'd inherited along with old Dr. Stover's snug fortune. For the first time in his life Dillon Stover had fine clothes, independence, money in his belt-pouch -- and responsibility.

That responsibility had brought him to Pulambar, Martian City of Pleasure, for study and decision...

Devil's Planet was republished as a stand-alone novel in 1951.

Pictured: Mars art by Rudolph Belarski depicting a scene from Devil's Planet.

[via Tinkoo Valia of Variety SF]

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