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Marooned on Mars by Lester Del Rey
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Marooned on Mars (1952)

by Lester Del Rey

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My edition is the Paperback Library 1967, which shows a copyright date of 1962. It explains a lot that the novel was actually one of the Winston Science Fiction Series books originally published in 1952.
The novel is set in a recognizable world of the future as envisaged in the early '50s. There's a benevolent world government and a thriving colony on the moon and atomic rockets but no spaceship has yet reached Mars. The eighteen year old hero is bumped by bureaucratics and political wrangling from his position on the first Mars expedition and he stows away aboard. From there on it's metorites, crash landing and the danger of, possibly malevolent, Martian life.
This version of Mars has an atmosphere containing oxygen but too thin to breathe. The "canals" are explained in a believable way which leaves an interesting mystery and there is evidence of past civilization.
It's mildly entertaining, being the least interesting of the four Lester Del Rey juveniles I have read.
  thingmaker | Jun 6, 2008 |
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For the last hour the big helicopter had been climbing through the night and the thinning air towards the peaks of the Andes.
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