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The Martian Way and Other Stories Hardcover – August 1, 1982

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Linnaean Press (August 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 083760463X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0837604633
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,438,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a collection of three novellas and one short story: "The Martian Way" (1952) is a story about colonists on Mars who must find another source of water since a Joseph McCarthy-like polititian on Earth is threatening to cut off Earth's supply of water for Mars (the story came out right during the McCarthy problems in the U.S. Senate). "Youth" (1952) is about two pre-teenagers in a post nuclear-war world who come across some small "animals" that they wish to take to the circus not realizing that they are intelligent beings who had come to make contact with the youths' fathers. "The Deep" (1952) is focused on beings who live in the interior of a planet (their sun is dying and the inhabitants keep migrating deeper into their planet for the planet's natural heat) whose social structure considers maternal love to be a taboo and degenerate. They are forced to come into contact with beings (Earthlings) who they regard as obscene due to the presence of this emotion. "Sucker Bait" (1954) is centered on a world having two suns (the two suns and the planet form a Trojan orbital system of an equilateral triangle). A previous colony of a thousand members had died a hundred years earlier and a new expedition has been sent to discover why. Asimov also suggests in this story that scientists in the future may become so specialized that they will be unaware of basic facts anywhere outside of their specific field. I really doubt that. Anyone who has a love of science has a joy of all science. That will be true in the future as well (However, there will always be people [in any field] who are narrow minded.).
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Format: Hardcover
This is a terrific book. Asimov gives us a realistic dilema with technology, that at least from my "arm-chair" physicist point-of veiw makes sence. Going from point A to point B in months makes sence as it's unlikly we'll be warping around when all we've got is a martian colony. Using water for fuel seems plausible (since they use hydrogen and O2 already)and other problems (such as the expedition running out of drinking water) also make sense, seem plausible and are dealt with realistically. One exciting scene is ripped off by the movie Armageddon when the miners deal with what happens when two asteroids collide, and there's one more good scene where.... well, I'll let you read it.
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Format: Hardcover
Every so often, I come across a story with a twist ending that depends on what the reader does _not_ see... until the end of the tale. If you were to film the tale the whole surprise would probably be given away at the outset of the drama because nothing was concealed from the viewer. One of the four novelettes in Isaac Asimov's _The Martian Way and Other Stories_ (1955) is that kind of story. (No, I will not say which one.) The story remains a pretty good story, but I always cringe a bit when I am confronted with this trickery. I have seen writers as varied as Murray Leinster, Avram Davidson, and Harlan Ellison do it. And now Asimov just had to have a go at it.

The stories are: "The Martian Way" (_Galaxy_, 1952), "Youth" (_Space_, 1952), "The Deep" (_Galaxy_, 1952), and "Sucker Bait" (_Astounding_, 1954). All represent Asimov at the top of his game. None of the stories are series stories, such as Foundation stories or robot stories. They represent Asimov "pushing the envelope" with somewhat more unusual plots.

"The Martian Way" survived editor H.L. Gold's persistent demands for revision. It went on to become a novella in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame-- a real classic of science fiction. The basic story is this: Machinations by a ruthless Earth politician has created a water shortage on Mars, with the intention of making the colonies dependent upon Earth. The colonist's response is the Martian way-- to send out a single ship into the rings of Saturn. At great risk, the crew brings back a mountain of ice, giving the colonies independence from Earth and signaling the end of the enemy political party. John Hilder, the politician who creates the problem, was modeled on Joe McCarthy, who was still riding high at the time the story was published.
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Format: Hardcover
Since time immemorial, Mars has always figured largely in Earth's mythology. And ever since the prolific imaginations of the likes of HG Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs first put pen to paper beginning the development of modern sci-fi as a genre, Mars, Martians, travel to Mars and life on a hostile Mars have continued to be favourite topics. With "The Martian Way and Other Stories", Isaac Asimov proudly continues this hallowed tradition with a series of four stories written in the good doctor's unmistakable and well-loved style.

Despite its brevity, "The Martian Way" explores a myriad of topics including colonization of an extra-terrestrial planet, acclimation of human beings to space and space travel, the politics and economics of life on another planet and its relationship to "mother earth" and even the development of earth-side prejudices to a people that are now considered foreigners.

"Youth" tells the story of Slim and Red, two young boys, who have found two very strange animals. As any pair of young fellows might do, they hide the animals and feed and care for them to the best of their ability. They even dream about becoming wealthy by developing a circus act. The ending of the story discloses the surprise that the two animals are in fact the only survivors from a crashed alien spaceship (but ... and you'll have to trust me here on this one ... that is not a spoiler!) The REAL ending is a complete blind-side twist that only the likes of a twinkle-eyed fun-loving Asimov could imagine. I'll admit that the ending does seem somewhat artificial and forced but Asimov fans have long known that he loved his humour and always enjoyed tweaking his readers' noses.
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