I am looking for a series of books that I read in the late 80s, early 90s about a girl that called herself SPARTA. In the 3rd book she went to Mars. In the last book she made herself into a fish so she could live underwater.

I think the lead male character was named Blake.

I remember that SPARTA was an acronym for a program she was involved with as a teen.

  • 2
    Venus Prime by Paul Preuss? See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_Prime
    – Otis
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 2:32
  • @Otis: you should post that as an answer. It's obviously correct. Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 10:21
  • @JohnRennie: Wasn't sure since I haven't read it and the Wikipedia entry didn't mention anything about turning into a fish. It looks like Richard already wrote it up, anyway.
    – Otis
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 14:07
  • @Otis - Sorry, chap. I didn't spot your comment before I posted.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


A quick google of the words "sparta", "blake" and "Mars" leads to the wikipedia page for Venus Prime, a...

"series of six science fiction novels written by Paul Preuss"...

...based on the short stories of Arthur C. Clarke.

Volume 1 – Breaking Strain (based on the 1949 short story "Breaking Strain") After her sudden escape from a mental institution, an amnesiac who calls herself Sparta seeks out the origins of her unusual abilities. To this end, she adopts the identity of Ellen Troy and becomes an inspector for the Space Guild.

On her first assignment as an Inspector, Sparta is sent to Port Hesperus, the space station orbiting Venus, to investigate the sabotage of the Space Queen, an old freighter. While there, she encounters Blake Redfield, a young antique books expert who may hold the key to her missing memories.

It's noted that her name is actually the acronym of the program that helped to genetically engineer her DNA

Formerly enrolled in the mysterious SPARTA program under her birth name, Linda Nagy... [etc]

This answer has been confirmed by the querant in a since deleted comment:

Thank you! This is it!
— user54473 Oct 18 '15 at 12:41

  • @user54473 - Don't forget to upvote and mark the answer as "accepted" by clicking the green tick on the left.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 13:34
  • @SQB - Interesting. How did you know that there was a comment under this one?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 13:05
  • above your first comment, actually. Jenayah voiced that suspicion in chat, then a mod (Rand al'Thor) was able to confirm (but unfortunately unable to un-delete it). Lacking any other confirmation, I thought it best to edit it in to preserve the acceptance of your answer.
    – SQB
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 13:27
  • @SQB - Seems like very questionable judgement in flagging it.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 13:39
  • I think we had a drive-by "thank you" flagger a while ago.
    – SQB
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 16:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.