Best 1949 Adventures (8)
August 13, 2019
One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1949 adventure novels.
Robert Heinlein’s Golden Age YA sci-fi adventure Red Planet.
A YA adventure set on Mars. When Jim Marlowe, a teenage colonist (from Earth), discover that his boarding school headmaster is involved in the unscrupulous Martian Corporation’s plan to stop the colonists’ traditional migration to warmer climes during the harsh Martian winter, he and a friend run away to warn their parents… who are thousands of miles away. Along for the ride is Jim’s Martian pet, Willis, an affectionate volleyball-shaped “bouncer” that can communicate in pidgin English. Skating along the planet’s frozen canals — a conceit borrowed, one imagines, from Hans Brinker — the runaways are rescued by Martians, who possess abilities and technologies beyond anything the colonists have suspected. Aided by the Martians, the colonists rebel against the Corporation and proclaim their independence. But what will become of Willis?
Fun facts: Here is where we fist meet Heinlein’s Martians — who will make a brief appearance in Stranger in a Strange Land. They inhabit two planes of existence simultaneously; revere freedom; and possess terrible powers.
JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES (in progress) | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.