Saturday, 27 June 2009

Destination Mars by Hugh Walters

Review #6 looking back at the old and largely forgotten science-fiction series Chris Godfrey of UNEXA.

With Venus now conquered and with all the world's grey slime problems in the previous book being solved in the intervening six months it's time for Chris to head to Mars in Destination Mars (pub 1963). This book introduces the bizarre idea that apparently Mars is outside the Van Allen belt and so anyone straying beyond it goes mad. But why?

Although nobody wonders why Chris didn’t go mad when he went to Venus, Chris leads a mission to Mars with his three chums to find out some answers. The madness turns out to be down to an ancient race of invisible Martians who have also read too much science fiction and are determined to take over the earth. They have a fiendish plan to achieve this which involves waiting for spaceships to come close to Mars then making weird noises on the radio that make astronauts go mad.

Soon, everyone on board is walking around with stiff legs and saying Martiany things like: "The chances of us leaving our home are a million to one, but still we come." Luckily, Chris is built of sterner stuff and after a strong cup of tea he resists the Martians, switches off the radio, and gets the ship back to earth. On returning, he provides scientists with the important answer on how to avoid being conquered by the Martians of: when in space, don't switch on the radio.

Next week Chris moves on to Jupiter.

No comments: