Marooned on Mars

Lester del Rey
Marooned on Mars Cover

Marooned on Mars


Written in 1952, so before the Mariner mission supplied us with the stark truths about barren Mars. After that no more Barsooms etc, but at least here we could still some rather interesting martians, the weak remnants of a great culture which is running out of water and resources. Typical plucky young hero (who had stowed away on the first voyage to Mars as you do) As usual we have smoking, atomic fuelled rocket ships which have to land on three fins, and delightful make do and mend solutions to problems such as soldering holes in the walls of the rocket when the inevitable meteorite storm attacks the ship. Yep our hero just happened to have his soldering kit at hand to put things right immediately! That makes three of this series where I have seen meteorites are a problem.

One or two interesting features. The crew are typical Right Stuff types. Our hero is scared to death, but the crew dont blink an eye, and their pulses remain rock steady. Perhaps the pilot really was Chuck Yeager in disguise.

Then there was a comment at the end when as The young hero is appointed to be liaison with the martians, one of the crew rather cynically states there will be no trouble with the natives until the humans have civised them enough that there own culture will go to pieces. Not quite the gung ho tone promoted by the rest of the book! Pleasant light fun, a nice return to the old style SF that a whole generation grew up with.I am very much enjoying this series.