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Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

Shadow over Mars

Categories: [ Books/Retro Hugo 1945 ]

Leigh Brackett (Startling Stories, Fall 1944)

On Mars, in the city of Ruh, Rick tries to escape the goons of the Terran Exploitation Company. He hides in the house of a seer who predicts he will cast a shadow over Mars if he lives, and attempts to kill him. Rick kills her, but is caught by the Company's men and sent to work in a deep, dark mine. Having caused a riot, Rick manages to escape in the company of Mayo who was looking for proofs that would convince the weak Martian government to do something against the slavers of the Company. They end up in the hands of the Martians, who punish Rick for having killed the seer, but somehow their boy King makes Rick his successor in the hope that he would unite the oppressed humans and the Martians against the Company's rule. Back to the surface, Rick organizes the said rebellion, but he is betrayed and sent away. He then attempts to catch Jaffa, now head of the Company after having murdered his boss and kidnapped Mayo, and the chase eventually takes him through the jungle to the North pole. There he manages to kill Jaffa, free Mayo and come back to Ruh where he decides not to become the supreme ruler of Mars despite the prophecy.

[ Posted on July 29th, 2020 at 18:31 | no comment | ]