Literature / Red Planet

Red Planet is a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein first published in 1949.

This novel provides examples of:

  • A Boy and His X: A Martian Larval Form and Her Boy.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Averted when one of the good guys proposes taking a vent grille off of a wall to get to the room on the other side. His friend points out that there will certainly be a similar grille on the other side, fastened by screws they won't be able to reach.
  • Artificial Outdoors Display: A common feature of rooms in the underground Martian cities, complete with an artificial Sun in the "sky" which mimics the position of the real Sun outside.
  • Cool Pet: Willis, who is the low intelligence (compared to most people but more intelligent than a dog) pet of the protagonist Jim Marlowe. Later we find out that Willis is a female Martian who will grow up to be male; and will become equal to or greater in intelligence than humans.
  • High School Hustler: Smythe.
  • Non-Linear Character: The Martian Old Ones are so old they have trouble knowing "when" they are. At one point, a regular Martian guide shows an Old One a globe of current Mars to help the Old One locate himself temporally.
  • No More for Me: A low-key example; when the boys get back to the station after their first major encounter with the native Martians—with Jim, Frank, and Willis the Martian "bouncer" all quite improbably being carried by their new Martian friends—the driver of the mail scooter turns to the station master and says "We should have left that stuff alone, George. I'm seeing things."
  • The War of Earthly Aggression
  • World War III: A long time ago, there was a World War III. No details are given except that the "eastern allies" (whether the "eastern allies" are meant as an euphemism for "Soviet Bloc" or allies of the Western Bloc, is not clarified) stockpiled nukes in the Egyptian pyramids and that the pyramids got destroyed in the course of the war.