Short Stories - 1940s

Martian Quest 
Leigh Brackett
Astounding Science-Fiction (February 1940)

The Prince of Mars Returns 
Philip Francis Nowlan
Fantastic Adventures (February and March 1940)

The Treasure of Ptakuth 
Leigh Brackett
Astounding Science-Fiction (April 1940)
Two men vie for the treasure of Ptakuth.

Warlords of Mars 
Festus Pragnell
Amazing Stories (June 1940)
"Don Hargreaves didn't want to fight the warlords of Mars, but he couldn't ignore a Princess' promise."

Dark Mission 
Lester del Rey
Astounding Science-Fiction (July 1940)
A man with amnesia wakes up inside the wreckage of a crashed spaceship and later discovers he is a Martian.

The Worms Turn 
Oscar J. Friend
Startling Stories (July 1940)
Martian misfits save humanity from a mad scientist’s machinations, without the humans ever being aware of the fact. Cover art! Sequel to “Mind over Matter”.

Lost Treasure of Mars 
Edmond Hamilton
Amazing Stories (August 1940)
"Gareth Crane faced death because of one treasure cache. Was it a good idea to gamble his life on the chance of finding a greater one?"

There was No Paradise 
Manly Wade Wellman
Thrilling Wonder Stories (August 1940)
"The man from Mars had the Midas touch but gold couldn't buy the things he wanted!"

Vault of the Beast 
A. E. van Vogt
Astounding Science-Fiction (August 1940)
"Time is running out. The time-lock on the Beast's millennia-old Martian cage is about to open, and mankind will never be able to deal with the threat!"

Fifth Column of Mars 
Robert Moore Williams
Amazing Stories (September 1940)
"How could a U.S. secret service man suspect the fifth column he trailed would lead him to Mars?"
Frederic Arnold Kummer Jr.
Thrilling Wonder Stories (September 1940)
"A scientist’s strategy sunders the shackles of a crimson world in bondage!"

John Carter and the Giant of Mars 
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Amazing Stories (January 1941)
"In all Barsoom no man could stand against John Carter of Virginia—except Joog, the synthetic giant!"

Under the Sand-Seas 
Oliver E. Saari
Super Science Stories (January 1941)
"Six hundred miles of devouring red desert lay between them and the nearest city—and the bust of a long-dead Martian smiled with the knowledge that could get them there!"
Gordon A. Giles
Amazing Stories (February 1941)
“The linking of two worlds hinged on the result of the astronomers observations. Would the Winking Lights be seen?”
Eando Binder
Thrilling Wonder Stories (February 1941)
Reprinted in anthology My Best Science Fiction Story (1954)
Author's reflection: "The Teacher from Mars seems to me such a real character. At least, while writing the story, I was a Martian, and I was beginning to hate the whole human race for mistreating 'my people!' That’s how much I was thrown into the story. I suppose in the last analysis this tale can be classified as a 'tear jerker.'"

The Secret Sense 
Isaac Asimov
Cosmic Stories (March 1941)
"The Martians couldn’t taste and their hearing was bad, but they had a secret sense all their own."

Star of Blue 
Milton Kaletsky
Science Fiction (March 1941)
"Marshall Hughes, leader of Earth's fighting men, finds himself faced with surrender to the heartless ruler of Mars—until he looks into the heavens where the fate of his world rests upon the identification of a color."

The Martians are Coming 
Robert W. Lowndes
Cosmic Stories (March 1941)
"When the inebriated experimenters invited the Martians to come to Earth, they didn’t really mean it, but when the Martians took them at their word and sent a thousand armed ships…"

Blockade Runner
Malcolm Jameson
Astounding Science-Fiction (March 1941)
Piece of Campbellian science fiction in which Earth and Mars are at war and the Martians have set up a blockade so that a critical fuel supply cannot be transported to Earth’s fleet. Technical gadgetry and the use of “gamma rays” solves the problem. 

3 Eyes in the Dark 
Don Wilcox

Fantastic Adventures (May 1941)
"Nort bore his Martian slavery patiently and dreamed of the day when “Three Eyes” would rescue mankind…"

Black Pirates of Barsoom 
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Amazing Stories (June 1941)
"The Black Pirates hailed the prowess of their slave swordsman, but had they known he was John Carter, he would have died on the spot!"

Yellow Men of Mars 
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Amazing Stories (August 1941)
"There was death in the narrow pass that led to the hothouse city, and even worse danger beyond. But John Carter had no other choice."

Problem on Mars 
Duncan Farnsworth
Fantastic Adventures (August 1941)
"The fate of millions depended on the answer to a simple question—an answer that would send the Martian rocketing to Earth’s rescue."

Oscar Saves the Union 
James Norman
Fantastic Adventures (September 1941)
"An Indian uprising dangerous? While everybody laughed, Oscar used his sensitive nose, and it told him of an incredible danger to America…"

Invisible Men of Mars 
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Amazing Stories (October 1941)
"Nowhere on Mars had John Carter ever faced a more dangerous situation—for here were keen swords pitted against him that he could not see, because the men he fought were invisible."
Robert Moore Williams
Amazing Stories (November 1941)
"The savage code of the Martians was as ruthless as the desert they lived on; and more valuable than millions in gems."
Manly Wade Wellman
Startling Stories (January 1942)
A complete book-length scientifiction novel.
“Fresh from Earth, young Dillon Stover is plunged into a mystery on Mars! Tour Palambar, the Martian Pleasure City, with this intrepid Earthman as your guide.”
Duncan Farnsworth
Amazing Stories (February 1942)
“The owners of the Princess had no intention of making port with her -- but forgot to tell Tom Wade.”

The Embassy 
Donald A. Wollheim
Astounding Science-Fiction (March 1942)
A private investigator confronts Martians in 1940s New York City.
Ralph Milne Farley
Fantastic Adventures (May 1942)
“Warren swore to return to the holy city of Daloss to find a girl and avenge his 3000 comrades; and he did.” -- “Only terror lay in the Holy City of Daloss, but Don Warren went back to find Esta, the daughter of the chieftain, and to avenge the death of his entire regiment.”

Gentlemen -- the Queen 
Bob Tucker
Science Fiction Quarterly (Fall 1942)
"Legend told of a Wild White Queen in the Martian Wastelands—and so there was, but..."
Ross Rocklynne
Fantastic Adventures (October 1942)
First published in 1939
“Death stalked Darak of Werg at every step, but the Royal Bracelet and the Princess of Werg meant far more than one man's life.”
James Norman
Fantastic Adventures (October 1942)
“Oscar of Mars didn't quite expect to track down an arch criminal and find out it was -- himself!”

Monsoons of Death 
Gerald Vance
Amazing Stories (December 1942)
"Ward Harrison got himself into a barrel of trouble when he accepted a job at the Martian Observation Station. There were fearful "things" on Mars..."

The Cave 
P. Schuyler Miller
Astounding Science Fiction (January 1943) 
"On Mars the laws and customs of existence must be different, and when a dozen of a dozen races seek shelter in a cave…"
Predators and prey spend a long night together in a cave on Mars.
Tarleton Fiske (Robert Bloch)
Fantastic Adventures (March 1943)
“If this was the brain of a Martian dead millions of years, how could it be alive? How could it keep on growing?”

Message from Mars 
Clifford D. Simak
Planet Stories (Fall 1943)

Lost Art 
George O. Smith
Astounding Science Fiction (December 1943)
Two scientists exploring the Red Planet discover an ancient Martian electronic device.
Meyer Friedenson
Amazing Stories (March 1944)
Contestants were asked to write a 1,000 short story based on an illustration of Adolf Hitler seated in an airplane/spaceship beside an unhuman-looking being. “The Superman” was the winning story!

Carl Jacobi
Startling Stories (Spring 1944)
Mars is split in two by a space-warp. A criminal wanders along the great canal in search of a rare drug and discovers the reason for the space-warp.

Huddling Place 
Clifford D. Simak
Astounding Science Fiction (July 1944)
Surgeon Jerome Webster travels to Mars to save the life of a Martian philosopher. The second story in Simak’s City (1952).

The Martian and the Milkmaid 
Frances Deegan
Fantastic Adventures (October 1944)
"He arrived in the midst of a storm, as a meteor struck the earth. Who was this man with the strange compelling eyes; what was his amazing mission?"

Dark Command 
Frank Belknap Long
Startling Stories (Winter 1945)
A space patrol encounters witchcraft on Mars.

Martian Adventure 
Robert Moore Williams
Fantastic Adventures (October 1944)
"Born into a land of forgotten men, Harden lived only to escape. Then, with that accomplished, he fought to go back again."

Golden Child
Frank Belknap Long
Published in his collection The Hounds of Tindalos (1946)
A child and a gadgeteering tramp reach Mars via a dimensional apparatus. They barely escape from sculpture-mad giraffe-kangaroo people. 

Arthur C. Clarke

Astounding Science Fiction (April 1946)
"The Martians knew when Man invented the atomic bomb—and they knew Man’s warring character. So they took steps to see that Man stayed on his home planet. That was a serious error..."
Child of the Gods 
A. E. van Vogt
Astounding Science Fiction (August 1946)
Raymond F. Jones
Planet Stories (Summer 1947)
“Who was this sweet-voiced singer weaving a spell of dreams and drugs that drove men mad and threatened to smash the System? SBI Captain Roal Hartford dared the death of the Thousand Minds to learn her dreadful secret!”
Bryce Walton
Planet Stories (Summer 1947)
"Only Professor Ward knew they were on Earth, could almost hear them rustling behind their humanoid faces. Then Red came to help him, and of course he had to trust Red. But—could he?"
Margaret St. Clair
Startling Stories (July 1947)
“If you ever want a free trip to Mars, all you have to do is mix six slices of diced Super Whost with granulated sugar, chopped apples, golden syrup and—a large grain of salt.”
Future housewife Oona and her husband, Jick, run afoul of the devious machinations of breakfast food contests promising a free trip to Mars if... 

The Long Way Back 
John Barrett

Thrilling Wonder Stories (February 1948)
"Carl Reese and Thela Brill dodge the Martian death in their space ship—only to face a far greater threat!" 

Don't Look Now
Henry Kuttner
Startling Stories (March 1948)
Reprinted in anthology My Best Science Fiction Story (1954)
Author’s reflection: "It has the technical accuracy of Jules Verne, the realism of H. G .Wells, the social implications of Tolstoi (Leo--the Count, I mean), the freedom of Laurence Sterne, and the terseness of the Bible (the King James translation, of course)."

The Monster from Mars 
Alexander Blade
Amazing Stories (April 1948)
"A saucer-like craft crashed into the jungle. It was obviously from another world, and must be investigated."
Robert Wade
Fantastic Adventures (April 1948)
“Living on Mars was easy, but dying was a different matter because the dead often came back from the grave alive — due to a peculiar type of coffin.”

Flight into Fog
Lee Francis
Fantastic Adventures (April 1948)
“Catastrophe came to the Martian satellite, Monoon, that fateful day, in the form of a dreaded fog -- and it was up to Bradd to save his people...”

The Seekers 
Robert Moore Williams
Startling Stories (May 1948)
Masterminds of Mars find they have not discovered all the answers, after all.

Realities Unlimited 
Emmett MacDowell
Startling Stories (July 1948)
Martian mind-trap almost snares the second expedition to the Red Planet, but human tenacity and stubbornness prove more than a match for the alien wiles.

The Visitor 
Ray Bradbury
Startling Stories (November 1948)
Life is made worth living once more for the dying lungers of Mars by a telepathic mutant.

Turnover Time 
Noel Loomis
Startling Stories (March 1949)
An Earth expedition to Mars misses the target, but zeroes in on an invasion from Mars.

The Sound of Bugles 
Robert Moore Williams
Startling Stories (March 1949)
A thriving Martian civilization baffles United Nations investigators; food and water abound—with no visible source!
Alexander Blade
Fantastic Adventures (April 1949)
“The Council of Earth plotted to take over Mars—but Mars had planned it that way." -- "Everyone on Earth welcomed the Martian ape except Dan Moran—and he had a good reason not to...”

The Concrete Mixer 
Ray Bradbury
Thrilling Wonder Stories (April 1949)
"When the Martians planned their glorious conquest of Earth, Ettil Vrye foresaw defeat, but he was given his choice of joining the Legion of War -- or burning!"
Ettil Vrye is a Martian who reads illegal Earth science fiction magazines, which convince him that the planned Martian invasion of Earth will end in disaster. Forced to enlist, he is dispatched to Earth, where the humans welcome the Martians but foil the invasion using the same manner as the ancient Chinese.

Night Call, Collect
Ray Bradbury
Short story
1949 (I Sing the Body Electric!, 1969)
A man gets left behind on Mars because of an atomic war on Earth and decides to pass the time recording phone calls to his future self.

Queen of the Martian Catacombs 
Leigh Brackett
Planet Stories (Summer 1949)
"Gaunt giant and passionate beauty, they dragged their thirst-crazed way across the endless crimson sands in a terrible test of endurance. For one of them knew where cool life-giving water lapped old stones smooth—a place of secret horror that it was death to reveal!"

Time to Rest
John Wyndham (John Beynon Harris)
New Worlds #5 (August 1949)
Main character is an ex-patriot Earthman living the sort of life one of Ernest Hemingway's characters would have lived if he had written science fiction. The Martians are native humanoids, tall, graceful and cultured.