I'm looking for an old book, more than 40 years old, almost certainly a lot older, about spaceship heading to some planet, I believe it is Venus.

The previous ships have not been heard from after landing. On the way a teenage boy has a brainstorm that if the planet was surrounded by an electromagnetic field, then the other ships would not be able to communicate with Earth even if they landed safely. They take precautions to protect the ship against this possibility and of course the boy is right. It then describes their adventures on the planet after they land.

The story I'm describing is NOT The Callistan Menace by Isaac Asimov.

  • Hmmm... The Callistan Menace is what came to mind while I was reading your question. So a short story that is very very similar to that one then?
    – Firebat
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 23:10
  • Yes. A different story, but similar. Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 0:00
  • Well, I offered a +50 bounty on this question and still didn't get any suggestions. So, I'm guessing I won't find this story. Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 0:30
  • Not necessarily, the impossible just takes a little longer. For example, this story-ID question was answered nearly three years after it was asked.
    – user14111
    Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 4:53
  • It might help if you could recall some more details about the story. Like, was it definitely Venus? Did the EM field somehow prevent the earlier missions from taking off and returning to earth, or were they intended as one-way missions? If you read it in an anthology or collection of short stories, do you have any recollection of the other stories? Was it a themed anthology, like say Venus stories or space exploration stories?
    – user14111
    Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 4:58

1 Answer 1


Ark of Venus by Clyde B. Clason, published in 1955


They hang chains off the bottom of the vessel which prevent the electromagnetic storms from damaging the vessel as it descends.

  • 2
    "Tal Roberts, eighteen, goes to Alaska to help his father launch an eleventh Venus rocket in the wake of the ten which have vanished without a trace. The anti-rocket forces are strong, and in the ensuing violence Tal becomes one of the Ark of Venus crew and a co-pilot of one of its little scout ships. They solve the mystery of the "wall" around Venus, struggle against the oxygenless desert, paradoxically find life and intelligence in a race of talking, snake-worshiping monkeys."
    – DavidW
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 19:52
  • 1
    Thank you so much. I just read Ark of Venus. It is the story I read when I was a kid. I have been trying to identify this story for over 30 years. For some reason the plot of this story has stuck with me, but not its title or author. I can't believe I have finally been able to reread it. Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 1:20
  • My pleasure! It was an important bit of my youth as well --- high school library didn't have that many books.
    – WillAdams
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 0:25

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