Wednesday, January 19, 2011

1930's short story: "Exiles of Mars" by Frank K. Kelly

Thanks to the blog Crosseyed Cyclops, I just finished reading "Exiles of Mars," a romantic Hard SF health sciences short story penned by American reporter Frank K. Kelly, who later served as a speech writer for President Harry Truman, that was originally published in the Summer 1932 issue of Wonder Stories Quarterly magazine. Set on the Red Planet, the storyline revolves around two humans and two local inhabitants who labor in a subterranean complex beneath the Martian desert of En-o-Dah processing eca-radium in the fight against Cancer Four, the dreaded scourge of the solar system. The opening lines:

THE sun sank slowly down beneath the crest of razor-backed hills, its last long rays spilling out over the desert in a golden flood of light. Great piled dunes of scarlet sand took up the faint crimson beams and cast them back and forth in flashing cascades of eery brightness ... They faded, vanished. Night, sudden and complete, dropped with soundless speed over the desert. Over the edge of the distant hills the racing moons of Mars swiftly rose, spilled pale light down over the sand. A faint wind came, and brushed along the dunes with light fingers, whispering ...

"Exiles of Mars" is a free read, but you have to download the whole pulp magazine in CBZ format in order to read it. Thanks to Tinko Valia of Variety SF for the tip!


  1. Hi Paul,
    Another martian story in Wonder Stories Quarterly september 1930 (p.346) "A Rescue in Space" by Lowell (!) Howard Morrow.
    Opening lines:
    "The two golden moons hung low over the red Martian landscape, casting a mellow glow over mountain, plain and sea."

  2. Thanks, Doc Mars. I did not see that one!

  3. Hi Paul,
    the two stories in pdf here: of Mars.pdf Rescue in Space.pdf