Red Planet

[SCIENCE FICTION] HEINLEIN, Robert (author). Red Planet.

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[SCIENCE FICTION] HEINLEIN, Robert (author). Red Planet. London; Victor Gollancz. 1963.

8vo. Original terracotta linen-grained boards, lettered in gilt to spine, preserved in pictorial dustwrapper with wrap-around design by Alan Breese; pp. [x] + 211; with dramatic double-page linocut illustrations by Clifford Geary and geometric designs as chapter-headings; an attractive copy with bruise to top forecorner of lower board and a slim vertical mark (18mm high and maximum 9mm wide) to fore-edge of the same, with corresponding mark to jacket barely noticeable from above; internally clean with small forecorner creases to lower edge of prelim pages; the unclipped dustwrapper (12/6) with small chipping to head of spine and some associated creasing to top edge, related surface abrasion (15mm) to upper joint at top edge, nicking and rubbing to tail, two very small and sympathetic paper repairs to reverse, and a little overall tanning to spine.
First UK hardback edition; originally published in the US in 1949. This is the first of Robert Heinlein's science fiction classics, which were written for an adult, or young adult, audience. It was also the second of his books to the issued in this country, following Farmer in the Sky (1962). The red planet is, of course, Mars which has become a thriving colonial outpost of Earth. The megalomaniac governor in charge has plans to enslave new colonists for the furthering of his own commercial interests. Leading protagonists, schoolboys at boarding school on our sister planet, Jim and Frank, are informed of their plight by a talented Martian roundhead with special powers. Adventures ensue including visits to buried Martian cities, meetings with even stranger aliens, and a seemingly endless nighttime escape along a network of frozen Martian canals.