Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Moon Over Mars

Now we come to 3 books by Donald Wollheim.  They are not part of a series, but are set, more or less, in the same solar system.  The one that was known in the 1950’s and is somewhat similar to the one in Isaac Asimov’s Lucky Starr series of books. 
I have read these three, and there appear to be others such as The Secret of Saturn’s Rays .  Some of these were written under the pen name of David Grinnell.  I have never read these others. 
He also wrote a series of books about Mike Mars which also appear to be juveniles, although again I have not read them.
Donald Wollheim was one of the Golden Age writers.  If you consider that age the 1950’s which for me it was.  Books written then are ones I like and remember a lot,not just the juveniles.  And yes a lot of fans consider the golden age the 1930’s but some of that stuff is too dated for me. 
Anyway, Wollheim was an editor, publisher, writer, fan, convention goer, etc.  And this first book I will post about is one of my favorite juveniles.
It’s The Secret Of The Martian Moons.  To me at the time I first read it, and still upon re-reading it’s a great story.  There’s an abandoned civilization on Mars.  The Mars of Percival Lowell, with plants and sort of canals and an atmosphere. 
But where are the Martians?  Their houses are here, and storerooms and evidence of an advanced civilization all sealed in vaults and inaccessible even after a century of trying.
So Earth abandons the Mars Colony as a lost cause, and too expensive. But, Nelson Barr, young hero, and his father and others secretly stay behind. 
Because there have been mysterious goings on.  They fly to Deimos to set up observation of Mars and wait. 
Soon aliens are in evidence,but are they the Martians?   Further adventures with them, and the invading Marauders ensue. 
One of the better juvenile SF adventure novels in my opinion.  I wish I could say the same about the other two, but that will wait for my next posts. 
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