Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Top 10 Marooned Posts for January 2012

1) Preview of comic book Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #3

2) Preview: Dynamite comic book Warlord of Mars #11

3) Preview of new comic book Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #6

4) Mayfair mammographic Mars art for Graham Masterton's 1969 story "I, the Martian"

5) Top 10 Marooned posts for April 2011

6) Preview: Dynamite comic book Warlord of Mars #9

7) Top 10 Marooned posts for March 2011

8) Comic book review round-up: Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #2

9) Frank Frazetta preliminary watercolor of John Carter and the Savage Apes of Mars

10) New alternate Steampunk SF novel: The Queen's Martian Rifles by M.E. Brine

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

1950's short story: "Catch That Martian" by Damon Knight

Thanks to another generous fan of old pulp magazines at the Internet Archive, you can read or download for free "Catch That Martian", a short story written by influential writer, editor, critic and fan Damon Knight, and illustrated by Karl Rogers, as it was originally published in the March 1952 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction magazine.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: New Marvel comic book John Carter: World of Mars #3

JCOM Reader, a blog devoted to news and reviews from Barsoom, Mongo & other planets, has a nice balanced review of John Carter: World of Mars #3, the third chapter in Marvel’s new four-issue comic book series that is the prequel, not to the original John Carter of Mars novels penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs, but to the long-awaited forthcoming Disney film John Carter (March 9th, 2012).

The thrilling prequel to the Disney adaptation of John Carter: World of Mars continues! Taken prisoner in an underground city controlled by the Warhoon, Dejah Thoris, the Princess of Mars, is forced into an arena to fight for her life! And the only person who can possibly save her is a man who is her sworn enemy.

Set on Barsoom in the centuries before the arrival of John Carter, the John Carter: World of Mars comic book series has the full support and cooperation of Disney, and is just one offensive in a colossal Barsoomian comic book battle between Marvel and its rival Dynamite Comics.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

1930’s novelette: “The Martian Revenge” by Henrik Dahl Juve

Thanks to another generous fan of old pulp magazines at the Internet Archive, you can read online or download for free “The Martian Revenge”, a novelette written by Hendrik Henrik Dahl Juve  and illustrated by pioneering SF artist Frank R. Paul, as it was originally published in the August 1930 issue of Wonder Stories magazine.

“Suddenly the Martians' friendliness vanished and they became merciless killers ...”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Essay: “Where is Jules Verne's Mars?” by Terry Harpold

I’m still reading my way through Visions of Mars: Essays on the Red Planet in Fiction and Science (McFarland 2011), an academic volume which examines the way Mars has been depicted in literature, film and popular culture that I purchased last Spring for my Kindle e-reader.

One of the more interesting essays is “Where is Verne’s Mars?” by Terry Harpold. Establishing that the Red Planet is seldom discussed in the sixty-two novels and two collections of short stories that make up Jules Verne's Extraordinary Voyages (1863-1919) and that there is only one mention of Mars in Verne's published nonfiction, Harpold argues that Verne wasn’t much interested in the fourth planet. Why? “Should we be surprised that the most influential author of the scientific romance mostly ignored spaces that have become exemplary terrains of modern science fiction?”

In short, Harpold concludes that Verne’s lack of interest in Mars is attributed to the “fundamental patterns” of Verne's fiction, which describe “paths, not places. Narrative action in the novels is tightly, we might say obsessively, bound to systems of motion. These may be halting, digressive, or recursive -- but things in Verne's fictional universe are always moving.”

“If Verne rarely included Mars in his fictional systems, it may be that he didn't need to go beyond terrestrial circuits in order to demonstrate the effects of his literary mechanisms. The artistic economy of staying closer to home in this way is easy to see once you accept the principle that in Verne the North and South Poles, equatorial Africa, Magellania -- or for that matter, the streets of Paris, London, and Chicago -- are no less literary constructs than are the dry sea beds, canals, and abandoned cities of Barsoom.”

Terry Harpold is Associate Professor of English, Film, and Media Studies at the University of Florida.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New flash fiction: “Dry Lightning & Providence” Shaun Adams

The long-running free SF story site 365 tomorrows recently published a new piece of flash fiction titled “Dry Lightning & Providence” by guest writer Shaun.K.Adams. It’s about a Martian dust storm and a human baby. Here’s the first line: “South of his lofty position in Tempest stations observation tower, Kane De Souza observed a vast cyclonic column of dust drifting across the Syria Planum.”

1960's Outer Limits trading card: “Bring in the Earthmen”

First, check out this creepy 1960’s trading card, “Bring in the Earthmen,” #36 in the oft-forgotten Outer Limits 50-card SF-Horror set that was issued in 1964 by a company called Bubbles Inc., more commonly known as Topps! Then, read this neat 2011 chat with Len Brown, the Topps writer & editor who penned the little stories on the back of the cards!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

“Lost in Space” ~ 1950’s red planet comic by Al Williamson

Thanks to another generous fan of Golden Age comic books at the Internet Archive, you can read a six-page red planet comic titled “Lost in Space” inked by the late Al Williamson and published in Weird Science-Fantasy No. 28 (March/April 1955, EC Comics). Enjoy!

New alternate Steampunk military SF novel: The Queen’s Martian Rifles by M.E. Brines

Military science fiction fans who are not afraid to read a self-published novel should consider The Queen’s Martian Rifles, an alternate Steampunk adventure written by British Cold War warrior M.E. Brines that was released as an ebook in November 2011. Here’s the extended description:

Does the secret to the origin of Mankind lie within the Great Pyramid of Mars?

In this alternate steampunk adventure, the technical genius, Nikola Tesla, invented an anti-gravity coil that made steam-powered spaceships possible in the last decades of the 19th century. By 1899 the British Empire not only covers much of Africa, North America, Asia and the Pacific but also includes a moon base and a protectorate with the French over the backward civilization native to the planet Mars. But that empire, and those of the other western colonial powers have powerful extraterrestrial enemies no one even suspects exist -- enemies that have renewed an age-old secret war against Humanity using all the supernatural powers at their command.

The cast of characters is sprinkled with historical personalities such as Aleister Crowley, the famous occultist history remembers as “the wickedest man who ever lived,” and Viscount Sir James Bryce, British statesman, author, world traveler and mountaineer who claimed to have discovered Noah’s Ark on a mountain in eastern Turkey.

His granddaughter, Lady Rebecca Bryce, is a militant suffragette and unorthodox scholar of antiquities determined to search the Martian pyramids of Cydonia for evidence of her theories on the extraterrestrial origin of human civilization. An educated and intelligent woman in a world that relegates females to insipid garden parties, she yearns to “set the male dominated science of archeology on its head.” She doesn’t believe she needs a man to fulfill her. But will she discover on Mars what she really needs?

Recent college graduate David Mclaughlin wants to make a real difference in the world, not just “host tea parties for old ladies.” So he abandons his parents’ plans for him to become a clergyman and seeks adventure as an officer in the Queen’s Martian Rifle regiment. But snubbed and scorned by his “betters,” can David persevere and save the Earth from destruction?

We also meet little Din, David’s personal servant and a member of the Martian Untouchable caste. His clan has patiently suffered in slavery awaiting a promised savior. But after more than three millennia, has God forgotten them?

Can Aleister bring down Western Civilization? Who are the Ascended Masters? What really happened to Atlantis?

You can read about the first 20% of The Queen’s Martian Rifles for free through Smashwords!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Preview of new comic book Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #9

Comic Book Resources has a [CENSORED] five-page preview of Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #9 (November 2011), the ninth issue in the new comic book series published by Dynamite Entertainment that chronicles what the lovely Martian princess Dejah Thoris was doing hundreds of years before John Carter arrived on Barsoom!

Variant cover art by Paul Renaud.
Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, and Phondari, Pirate Queen of Mars, are hot on the trail of the Hoard of Segotha, an ancient treasure lost thousands of years ago. Legends say the hoard contains something wondrous, something of inestimable worth unknown even to the greatest warlords of Mars. But these same legends also say the treasure is cursed. True or not, Phondari's old enemy, Xen Brega, is determined to kill her and Dejah and keep the hoard for himself. But never mind Brega — can Dejah really trust Phondari?

Based on the fantastical science fiction of beloved pulp author Edgar Rice Burroughs, Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #9 was written by Arvid Nelson, with interior artwork by Carlos Rafael, and variant cover art by Ale Garza, Joe Jusko, and Paul Renaud.

Check your local comic book shop for Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #9!

1950’s novelette: “The Biological Revolt” by Philip José Farmer

Thanks to another generous fan of old science fiction magazines at the Internet Archive, you can read online or download for free “The Biological Revolt”, a novelette written by the late Philip José Farmer and illustrated by pioneering SF artist Frank R. Paul, as it was originally published in the March 1953 issue of Science-Fiction Plus magazine.

“It'll be hard getting a good smoke on Mars.”

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Just bought Rebecca K. Rowe’s 2006 Mars novel Forbidden Cargo for my Kindle ebook reader

Shhh! Please don’t tell the anti-Amazon crowd, but I just purchased the novel Forbidden Cargo (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, 2006), written by author and science education enthusiast Rebecca K. Rowe, for my Kindle e-book reader. A finalist in the Colorado Book Awards when it was first published, here’s the promotional piece for Forbidden Cargo posted on Amazon:

It’s 2110 and Creid Xerkler, the creator of the Molecular Advantage Machine — a virtual system that facilitates instantaneous access to all of humanity’s knowledge and experience — is unwillingly entangled in a government Council plot to prove the existence of an illegally engineered race called the Imagofas. Unfortunately Xerkler knows more than he should and fears what the Council might discover.

The Imagofas are revered by many as the next step in human evolution — a nano-DNA hybrid: part human, part machine — but to the Council they are a dangerous aberration and a threat to the very existence of humankind. In their quest to prove this crime against humanity, the Council plans on abducting specimens from the Order sanctioned research facility on Mars.

When the kidnapping takes an unexpected turn and the Imagofas are forced to become fugitives, the Council vows to destroy them — while others plan to capitalize on their existence. The Imagofas, in a determined bid to return to Mars, must draw upon their still developing and unique skills to survive the dangers of Earth.

Along the way, they are helped by three unexpected and unlikely heroes: the Cadet, a hard core gamer; Ochbo, a cleanlife pervert; and Prometheus, an enlightenment seeking MAMintelligence, who, while on his own secret quest, ultimately holds the answers to everyone’s survival.

Rebecca K. Rowe is a freelance writer, published author and member of the National Space Society and The Mars Society. She has M.A.'s in Journalism and International Relations. Her short work/poetry has been published in Polyphony, Ascent Magazine and Sol Magazine. Rebecca is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop.