Sunday, May 1, 2011

1950's short story: "Notice of Intent" by Phyllis Sterling Smith, about a precious wonder-drug from Mars

Thanks to the industrious folks at the Internet Archive, you can read online or download “Notice of Intent,” a short story penned by science fiction writer Phyllis Sterling Smith and illustrated by pulp artist Paul Orban, as it was originally published in the October 1952 issue of Startling Stories magazine. The storyline revolves around Marcillan, a wonder-drug from Mars, and the selfish plot of Earthly monopolists to corner the market on this precious new commodity.
"They tried to corner the drug market, but they overlooked one possibility..."

Interestingly, “Mars Child,” a three-part serial written by Cyril Judd (Cyril M. Kornbluth and Judith Merril) that was published in Galaxy Science Fiction magazine in mid-1951, has a sub-plot in which conniving capitalists and corrupt politicians traffic in an addictive drug, Marcaine, that can only be produced on Mars.

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