Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Planet Stories # 19: "The Outlaws of Mars"

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.

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