This might be tricky. I think it was part of a novel I read in the eighties. The only detail that sticks in my head is them entering a Martian settlement and asking for help to get home. They then leave a different Martian settlement, a great distance away. It takes them sometime to realise this fact. The Martians did indeed get them safely home as requested.


1 Answer 1


This is Heinlein's Red Planet, I think. The heroes, Jim and Frank (teenage boys) are travelling overland on Mars, and in desperation, seek shelter in a Martian town (they had previously had friendly conversations with other Martians). The next night, they realize that they have been transported to the town where they first interacted with Martians.

This incident is mentioned briefly in the Wiki article

On the third night, they are forced to take shelter inside a giant Martian cabbage-plant (nearly suffocating when it folds up at night). The next day they meet some native Martians, who accept Jim because of his relationship to Willis and water-friendship with Gekko. The Martians treat Frank's illness and send the two boys home by a swift, previously unknown subway.

  • I will check. If true, that is hilarious. I already wrote a story ID question about another aspect of this very same book! Commented Apr 6 at 0:00
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    I didn't remember that that was you!
    – Andrew
    Commented Apr 6 at 0:04
  • Yeah both questions were me. Maybe a senior moment 😀 Commented Apr 6 at 0:11

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