A Martian Odyssey

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Published: 1949, 1934
Language: English
Wordcount: 11,267 / 39 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 84.8
LoC Category: PS
Audiobook: www.archive.org
Downloads: 8,753
Added to site: 2007.12.05
mnybks.net#: 19275
Origin: gutenberg.org

A science-fiction classic.

Show Excerpt

at the earth on my diagram, and then at myself, and then, to clinch it, I pointed to myself and then to the earth itself shining bright green almost at the zenith.

"Tweel set up such an excited clacking that I was certain he understood. He jumped up and down, and suddenly he pointed at himself and then at the sky, and then at himself and at the sky again. He pointed at his middle and then at Arcturus, at his head and then at Spica, at his feet and then at half a dozen stars, while I just gaped at him. Then, all of a sudden, he gave a tremendous leap. Man, what a hop! He shot straight up into the starlight, seventy-five feet if an inch! I saw him silhouetted against the sky, saw him turn and come down at me head first, and land smack on his beak like a javelin! There he stuck square in the center of my sun-circle in the sand--a bull's eye!"

"Nuts!" observed the captain. "Plain nuts!"

"That's what I thought, too! I just stared at him open-mouthed while he pulled his head out of the sand an


Average Rating of 4.8 from 4 reviews: *****
Leah A. Zeldes

Don't miss this one, sf lovers! One of the most influential science-fiction stories in the genre, Stanley G. Weinbaum's delightful "A Martian Odyssey" remains highly readable. Unlike many pre-Golden Age works, "A Martian Odyssey" holds up beautifully. A fun read, the story moves along briskly, and Weinbaum's breezy style is surprisingly fresh add modern.

The picturesNASA's Mars Odyssey and other unmanned explorers of Mars may have superseded Weinbaum's 1934 speculations, but only the most narrow-minded of readers will fault the story for depicting a different Mars from the one revealed later. The rest of us are wishing that the real Mars more closely resembled Weinbaum's!

After rescue by comrades on the first Terran ship to land on the Red Planet, astronaut Dick Jarvis, describes the trek he made across Mars after his exploratory vehicle failed, and his encounter with Tweel, a friendly and intelligent but inscrutable Martian. Weinbaum's avoids exposition by making, but for a few interjections from his colleagues, Jarvis's narration form the whole of the story, but even so it's a bit talky -- a minor flaw.

The first alien in sf to be more than a prop, Tweel forms a milestone in the genre's development, and if you want to claim a thorough grounding in the field, "A Martian Odyssey" should be on your list of must-reads. Even if you don't, you should read this, because it's a great story. Enjoy!


A highly imaginative trek over the Martian surface, told from the point of view of an explorer returning to base camp following the crash of his scout ship. Excellent!


A fast-paced, beautifully written sci fi story, full of insight, humor, and imagination. As good a read today as when it was written... it certainly passes the test of time. A must read for any sci fi enthusiast.

This much admired story is the oldest short story to be selected by a committee of Science Fiction writers for inclusion in the Science Fiction Hall Of Fame first volume and was also among the top vote getters.

There is an interesting article on Weinbaum in Wikipedia that gives some additional detail on the story and it's impact on Science Fiction writing.

The story is short well constructed and a worthwhile read.

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