Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The Outlaws of Mars fits very firmly in what's been called the "sword-and-planet" genre. The hero, Jerry Morgan, a former American soldier, gets transported to Mars via a special craft. There, he instantly falls in love with a Martian princess of indescribable beauty, but palace intrigue and war keeps them apart until near the end. In many ways it's a very standard work in the genre--low on characterization, but extremely high on action (and a quick, easy read). One problematic part of this novel is the implicit racism--a woman is described as "beautiful, despite her dusky skin" and there's a whole history of Martian civilization that explains how the white race came to power over the brown race, etc., with a lot of details I don't want to get into (the main villain is of "the brown race", for example). Overall, not one worth seeking out.