PDF Analyzis of Weinbaum’s A Martian Odyssey

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On his way he encounters many strange and interesting things. He comes across an octopus-like creature trying to kill an ostrich-like creature. He comes to a conclusion that the ostrich-like species is an intelligent life form and rescues it by shooting the other creature.

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Tweel decides to go with Jarvis on the way back to the ship. This is where the importance of Alien Languages comes along. Jarvis and Tweel begin to try and communicate. They notice that the barrel creatures are running back in forth into a series of tunnels, so they decide to investigate. They uncover a crystal that has the ability to heal anything.

Jarvis removes this crystal and is attacked by the barrel creatures but the crew soon rescues him.

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This story depicts one common thought in Science Fiction that Aliens are very intelligent creatures that are able to comprehend the human language. Stanley G. Weinbaum is one of the earliest hard SF writers, someone whose stories were shaped by what was then known or guessed of the other worlds of our solar system. Weinbaum's stories are little known and little read these days, in part because his career was so short: eighteen months from the publication of his first science fiction story to his death.

A Martian Odyssey by Stanley G. Weinbaum

We may have forgotten Weinbaum, but his influence lingers. It was an inspiration to later writers. Weinbaum stories can be read for free here. Right off the bat, I was immediately confused about where the characters were, why they were there, how to keep track of them, and what was unique about each of them. I spent more time than I probably should have reminding myself that Jarvis is the chemist, Putz is the engineer, Leroy is the biologist, and Harrison is the astronomer.

In fact, I didn't manage to get their personas straightened out at all when I first started reading. Eventually, I just gave up and read on, having faith that the continued narrative would straighten everything out for me. It did-- I should have let the story do the work for me instead of fighting it. Once I let the story do the work for me, I started to enjoy Weinbaum's creations. I was extremely impressed with the ability to flip the concept of life as I know it on its head — introducing us to Tweel, an intelligent life form that probably had a brain where humans would have a stomach, as well as a presumably silicon-based life form.

All of these discoveries were filtered through the crew of the Ares, so we got a human interpretation of what was going on.

Valley of Dreams - Stanley G. Weinbaum

I was also relieved that all of the questions I had while reading through the story were eventually answered. I even got a small glimpse into Jarvis and his life back on Earth, which tied into another fascinating and horrifying creature that he met on his journey.

Book Review: A Martian Odyssey and Other Classics of Science Fiction, Stanley G. Weinbaum (1962)

As a non-sci-fi reader, I'm not used to having faith that things will make sense later Anything with multiple fonts also may not be ideal. That will all change of course as the technology improves, but there will always be a place for the beautiful hardcopy but perhaps not for the cheap mass market hardcopy. Then again, print on demand is getting better all the time, so the future may be greater choice for everyone with PoD perhaps delivering physical standards comparable, perhaps better, than much current traditional print publishing and ebooks for those who prefer them.

PoD could be great in particular for retro SF, making available books that otherwise will become increasingly rare. John, nice to see the role of used stores being recognised. Too often people focus on Amazon and miss the impact the used stores have, and in the UK at least the supermarkets too.

Regarding kids, how many kids ever read retro short stories of any genre? Kids today, whenever today might be, are always a bit short sighted and indifferent to the past, and I rather hope always will be. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Robert E.

Like this: Like Loading Do you try online shopping for your books? Ah, I see. Well um…can I get a link so I can snag some myself? My apologizes. Must look out The Lotus Eaters. Join the discussion! Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public.