When the Inter-Planetary Corporation's top spaceliner Arcturus took off on a routine flight to Mars it turned out to be the beginning of a most unexpected and long voyage: attacked by a mysterious spaceship, the liner crash-landed on Ganymede. The survivors must first master that world's primeval terrors, then construct a new spacecraft, and finally, find a way to deal with the warring intelligences of the Jovian system. (First published in Amazing Stories July, August, and September, 1931. Copyright unrenewed.)
se than riding in a high-speed elevator, particularly since there was no change from positive to negative acceleration such as is experienced in express elevators.
The computer, his calculations complete, watched the pilot with interest, for, accustomed as he was to traversing the depths of space, there was a never-failing thrill to his scientific mind in the delicacy and precision of the work which Breckenridge was doing--work which could be done only by a man who had had long training in the profession and who was possessed of instantaneous nervous reaction and of the highest degree of manual dexterity and control. Under his right and left hands were the double-series potentiometers actuating the variable-speed drives of the flight-angle directors in the hour and declination ranges; before his eyes was the finely marked micrometer screen upon which the guiding goniometer threw its needle-point of light; powerful optical systems of prisms and lenses revealed to his sight the director-angles, down to f
I have to say at the outset that if you are looking for adventure like Smith's Lensman series, you won't find it here. This is just your average 50's sci-fi adventure, with all the adorable if completely wrong suppositions about outer space you often find in those tales.
There are some interesting tweaks to it, such as a society that builds things out of ice (because it's the hardest thing on their distant planet that they can manipulate). But a good portion of the book is "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" Meets "Assignment: Outer Space". I can easily see this being filmed as an Italian space opera with all the special effects that allow me to indulge in schadenfreude.
It's worth a read if you're a fan of that era's sci-fi, but don't try to critique it with modern standards or you'll go a bit crazy.