Monday, March 28, 2011

10 Stories you wouldn’t know are Martian SF/F, Volume 6

This is Volume 6 of a project whose goal is to compile a long list of science fiction and fantasy stories you wouldn’t know are about Mars or Martians by simply reading the titles. Some of the stories you can read online or purchase through sites such as Fictionwise, but most you cannot. The Internet Speculative Fiction Database and the Locus Index to Science Fiction are fantastic tools for obtaining citations that you can take to your local library. If your library does not have the anthology or magazine mentioned in the citation, ask your librarian about an “Interlibrary Loan Request.” I’ve been able to borrow old anthologies and get photocopies of stories from old pulp magazines with few problems. Here are the ten stories that comprise Volume 6:

Amazing Stories (June 1927)
Martians abduct servicemen from the U.S. Navy's Woodrow Wilson to alleviate a male shortage on the Red Planet.

52) "Scarlet Dream" by C. L. Moore
Weird Tales (May 1934)
A weird tale set on Mars featuring a scarlet scarf and space opera hero Northwest Smith.

Astounding Science Fiction (January 1943)
Predators and prey spend a long night together in a cave on Mars.

54) “Dear Devil” by Eric Frank Russell
Other Worlds Science Stories (May 1950)
A near lifeless Earth is visited by hideous aliens. One visitor, a Martian artist, stays behind and befriends a group of children. Cover Art!

55) “The Devil Spins a Sun-Dream” by John Jakes
Space Science Fiction Magazine (Spring 1957)
A human prospector on Mars searches for a fabled city.

56) “The Days of Perky Pat” by 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).

57) “Exploration” by 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.

58) “Retrovision” by 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.

59) “Steep Silence” by Lena DeTar
Asimov's Science Fiction (June 2004)
A female Ph. D. researcher studies the relationship between the Martian poet Shira Ghibli's stanzas and the geography of the Tharsis Plateau.

A blend of alternate history and steampunk, this story follows a British military officer on a clandestine mission to a partially terraformed Mars dominated by the Russians. The goal: to assassinate a woman named Catherine Drewe.

Don't forget to check out the earlier volumes. Enjoy!

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