Short Stories - 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s


Earthmen Bearing Gifts
Fredric Brown
Galaxy Magazine (June 1960)
"Mars had gifts to offer and Earth had much in return—if delivery could be arranged!"

The Dope on Mars
Jack Sharkey
Galaxy Magazine (June 1960)
"Somebody had to get the human angle on this trip ... but what was humane about sending me?"

Robert J. Shea
If (September 1960)
"Blue Boy’s rating was high and his fans were loyal to the death -- anyone's death!"
Alfred Coppel
Galaxy Science Fiction (October 1960)
“Mars is where I belong. With my friends, Tars Tarkas the great Green Jeddak, and Carter, the Warlord, and all the beautiful brave people.”
Slightly different version than the story published in Future Science Fiction (August 1956).

Thing from the Sky
Murray Leinster
The Aliens collection (1960)
A Martian spacecraft lands in southwestern United States.

The Memory of Mars
Raymond F. Jones
Amazing Stories (December 1961)
"As soon as I'm well we'll go to Mars for a vacation again," Alice would say. But now she was dead, and the surgeons said she was not even human. In his misery, Hastings knew two things: he loved his wife; but they had never been off Earth!

Robert F. Young
Amazing Stories (July 1962)
“The Tarks were attacking, the bosomy princess was clinging to him in terror, and Harold smith realized he was at the end of his plot line. What a dilemma! And what an opportunity!!”

Martian Mouse
Robin Sturgeon
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (September 1962)
A piece of short fiction that was written by author Theodore Sturgeon’s ten-year-old son!

A Rose for Ecclesiastes
Roger Zelazny
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (November 1963)
A poet and linguist stationed on the Red Planet falls in love with a Martian after being invited into an ancient temple to study their sacred texts.

James H. Schmitz
Analog Science Fact & Fiction (May 1963)
"At that, you know the power to enforce the Golden Rule would make a terrible weapon!" Story revolves around an autocratic Earth, a penal Mars, and the escape, interrogation, and torture of a scientifically-trained specialist named Rainbolt.

The Days of Perky Pat
Philip K. Dick
Amazing Stories (December 1963)
A tale of Earth survivors clinging on after a Martian invasion relive their old lives through dolls. This story later formed an integral part of Dick’s novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965).

Tin Lizzie
Randall Garrett
Amazing Stories (June 1964)
Two aged spaceboats manufactured by the Ford Motor Company and anchored on Phobos are pressed back into service.

Purple Priestess of the Mad Moon
Leigh Brackett
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (October 1964)
A visitor from Earth learns that some of the more lurid tales about Mars and its inhabitants are not simply myth.

Eye of an Octopus
Larry Niven
Galaxy Magazine (February 1966)
The first humans on Mars uncover an abandoned Martian well.

Mountains Like Mice
Gene Wolfe
If: Worlds of Science Fiction (May 1966)
Story of adapted humanity re-established on Mars but already, within a few generations, forgetting their origins.

How the Heroes Die
Larry Niven
Galaxy Magazine (October 1966)
An all-male expedition to Mars encounters some difficulties.

At the Bottom of a Hole
Larry Niven
Galaxy Magazine (December 1966)
A spaceman who works on the asteroid belt is trapped in the higher gravity of Mars.

The Day the Martians Came
Frederik Pohl (1967)

A Flash of Darkness
Stanley Schmidt
Analog Science Fiction - Science Fact (September 1968)
Story of a prototype surveillance robot on Mars that has to think for itself to overcome a problem.


One Step from Earth
Harry Harrison
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact (March 1970)
The first human to set foot on Mars concludes that, despite the likelihood of dying from a Martian disease, returning to live alone on the Red Planet is far more appealing than remaining on Earth.

In Lonely Lands
Harlan Ellison
Anthology Mars, We Love You (1971)
An old blind man on the Red Planet awaits the arrival of death with his Martian friend.

Barry N. Malzberg
Anthology Mars, We Love You (1971)
A sensible technician, passionate poetess, and alarmed colonizer each present a very different perspective in their exploration of Mars.

Sad Solarian Screenwriter Sam
Frederik Pohl
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (June 1972)
The discovery of Martians on the Red Planet has screenwriter Sam Harcourt dreaming of a movie titled Barsoom.

Hellas is Florida
Gordon Eklund and Gregory Benford
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (January 1977)
A suspenseful story about an expedition to search for life on Mars.


Red Star, Winter Orbit
William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
Omni (July 1983)
Colonel Korolev, the first man on Mars, can't recall what actually happened during his historic voyage; all he can recollect are videotapes of his experience.

The Catharine Wheel
Ian McDonald
Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (January 1984)
A tale about the last voyage of Catharine of Tharsis, the famous locomotive of the Bethlehem-Ares line on Mars, and the last days of that engine's namesake.

From the Labyrinth of Night
Lillian Stewart Carl
Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (August 1984)
A scientist searching for life on Mars finds it in a most unexpected place, leading him to re-evaluate not only his own life but what it means to be human.

The Difficulties Involved in Photographing Nix Olympica
Brian W. Aldiss
Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (May 1986)
A man on Mars experiences alienation and agoraphobia when he is sent off to add some sense of human scale to a mountain being photographed by a companion.

Night of the Cooters
Howard Waldrop
Omni (April 1987)
The Martians of H.G Wells land in Texas, but the locals give them more trouble than they can handle.

Too Much Loosestrife
Frederik Pohl
Amazing Stories (November 1987)

Robert Frazier
Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (August 1988)
A haunting and disquieting story about a young Brazilian scientist and public mnemoniphage who prepares for the death of his mother at a hospital in Rio Base on Mars.

Soft Clocks
Yoshio Aramaki
Interzone #27 (January-February 1989)
Story of a surreal Mars ruled by a latter-day Salvador Dali, whose cyborg daughter, Vivi, is afflicted with anorexia.


The Mars You Have in Me
Terry Dowling (1992)

Big Chair
Ian McDonald (1992)

A Touch of Earth
Colin P. Davies (1995)

Heinlein's Children
Arlan Andrews
Analog Science Fiction and Fact (January 1995)
SF writers, hackers, and others of that ilk, intercept and modify the signals from the Mars probe to make it appear that the Face and other structures on Mars are real and evidence of an alien civilization.

One Small Spin
John G. Hemry
Analog Science Fiction and Fact (September 1997)
NASA encounters problems with automated probes sent to Mars.

Of Flame and Air
Mike Resnick and Josepha Sherman
Lamps on the Brow anthology (1998)
An adolescent dreamer escapes his family problems in the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs—and falls in love with Dejah Thoris.

Zwarte Piet’s Tale
Allen M. Steele
Analog Science Fiction and Fact (December 1998)
Amid political strife and economic struggles, a thin, white-bearded doctor reinvents himself as the original Sinterklaas to bring toys, candy, and much-needed medical care to the children of the Red Planet colonies.