Short works

Books : reviews

Stanley G. Weinbaum.
A Martian Odyssey (== The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum) .

rating : 3 : worth reading

Weinbaum had only an 18 month SF career in the mid-30s, but had an enormous impact on the field. The attitudes of his characters might be pulpy and dated, but the stories are worth reading, nevertheless, for the aliens. His aliens, set in a marvelously 1930s solar system brimming with life, are truly alien -- different physiologies, different psychologies -- not just "men in rubber suits".


Parasite Planet. 1935
Ham Hammond trades xixtchil spore-pods in the dangerous Venusian swamps. Made homeless by a mudspout, he and the hostile Pat Burlingame have a perilous hike out of the Hotlands ahead of them.
The Mad Moon. 1935
Grant Calthorpe is regretting being a fevre leaf harvester on Io: the heat, the white fever, the unreliable loonies, and the intelligent rat-like slinkers make life unbearable. Then one of his blancha hallucinations turns out to be Lee Neilan for real, the slinkers attack them, and they have to flee to The Idiots' Hills, where they discover something about the loonies' past.
A Martian Odyssey. 1934
The first expedition to Mars finds many strange and wonderful alien creatures, including the intelligent Tweel
Valley of Dreams. 1934
The first expedition to Mars continues its discoveries, including how the canal pumps are powered, and that Tweel's ancestors were even more advanced. (There is a short scene with a creature that sounds like a slinker from "The Mad Moon", too.)
The Adaptive Utimate. 1935
Pygmalion's Spectacles. 1935
Shifting Seas. 1937
The Worlds of If. 1935
Redemption Cairn. 1936
"Yellow" Jack Sands, disgraced rocket pilot from the first Europa expedition, is given a second chance, to fly a return mission to Europa. But he is dismayed to discover his co-pilot is Claire Avery, the publicity seeking "Golden Flash". And once the team arrives on Europa, everyone starts acting suspiciously. What really happened on that first mission?
The Ideal. 1935
The Lotus Eaters. 1935
Proteus Island. 1936