This morning I started reading Stanley Weinbaum’s “A Martian Odyssey,” and had intended to write a full reaction to it, but, well, I ran out of time and haven’t even finished it yet.
It’s been difficult to keep up with my reading and nerding lately, I admit. Lots of “real” life stuff.
I did want to share my initial impression, though.
“A Martian Odyssey,” at least the first 3/4 of it, is a great little story. It’s got interesting aliens, at least one of whom is intelligent (this is a favorite scifi element of mine – non-human aliens done well), it’s got adventure, it’s got plausible-sounding-enough-for-me science.
Actually as I was reading it, I thought of Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury. I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if Weinbaum was as inspirational for them as Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Kind of ironic, since Asimov basically said the story was a Campbellian one before the editorial reign of Campbell.
The olden-timesy idea of an Old Mars, with ancient civilizations to be found and hidden creatures and secrets to be studied is quite romantic and makes for some very exciting fiction. I’m tempted to say it’s a shame that our solar system has ceased to be a popular setting for modern scifi, but I guess that’s how things go. So, too, have the jungle and the sea lost some of their mystique as man has learned more about them and their inhabitants.
In any case, another checked box for my Appendix N expedition. I’ll definitely be reading more Weinbaum.