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40 votes
Accepted

Short story in which humans abandon Earth for Mars, only to find out that humans had previously abandoned Mars for Earth

This is indeed Survey Team by Philip K. Dick. It first appeared in Fantastic Universe May 1954. The story can be read at the Internet Archive. There is no observatory in the initial part of the story. ...
nebogipfel's user avatar
  • 7,021
37 votes

Scientists send a nuclear bomb to Mars (to study the plume by spectroscopy) but destroy the unique martian populated area

"Earthmen Bearing Gifts" by Fredric Brown "They will watch the flash through their lunar telescopes and get a--what do they call it?--a spectroscopic analysis. That will tell them more ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 52k
32 votes
Accepted

Man and artificially sapient dog alone on Mars. Dog starts behaving erratically

According to this, the story is “Red Rover, Red Rover” by Howard V Hendrix. The narrator is a rich old man, and Cogzie is his indulgence. As is moving to Mars, where the enhancers he puts in the dog ...
user108131's user avatar
  • 1,953
30 votes
Accepted

People recluded in a penal reservation, who believe they are on Mars but they are actually on alien-invaded Earth

This is Mars By Moonlight by 'Paul Flehr' (Frederic Pohl) which appeared in the June 1958 issue of Galaxy with illustrations by Wally Wood. Everything in your description is there - the desert, the ...
Lee Eckhardt's user avatar
  • 6,140
29 votes
Accepted

Did the Martians destroy a planet?

Yes, they destroyed the fifth planet in the solar system. The question was of greater interest because it had not been abstract art, but religious (in the Terran sense) and strongly emotional: it ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
28 votes
Accepted

Mars 'troffie' short story

"Crucifixus Etiam" by Walter M. Miller, Jr. From the story: Breathing was unnecessary, except to provide wind for talking, but Manue breathed in desperate gulps of 4.0 psi Martian air; for ...
Adamant's user avatar
  • 117k
28 votes

In the universe of John Carter and "A Princess of Mars" light plays a role. Why?

Rays were a hot topic at the time I can't find any reference to Burroughs' inspiration for his light-based technology, but modern science at the time he wrote (1911-12) it was very much focused on ...
Klaus Æ. Mogensen's user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

Author of 60s/70s sci-fi novel called Sphere, about a clear personal transport device made from Martian technology

It's Shield, not Sphere. The author is Poul Anderson. The cover image you describe brought it back immediately. Just in case there is more than one book with a "Cover illustration [that] showed ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

1960s? Teen builds a spaceship and gets stuck on Mars; "Girl Next Door" uses his prototype to rescue him and also gets stuck on Mars

This is Welcome to Mars (1967) by James Blish. Dolph Haertel had made history. An incredible anti-gravity discovery, made entirely through his own efforts, had put him miles ahead of the ...
LogicDictates's user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

Short Story. Humans land on Mars. Communicate with martians by drawing pictures. Miscommunication gets humans killed

Communication by Charles L. Fontenay. It was published in 1956 so it is indeed an old story. It can be read on the Project Gutenberg web site. THE first terrestrial expedition to Mars didn’t find any ...
John Rennie's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

Christian novel about astronauts returning from Mars to a depopulated Earth

Might this be Offworld (2009) by Robin Parrish? The blurb reads: The return of NASA's first manned mission to Mars was supposed to be a momentous day. But when the crew loses touch with ground ...
DavidW's user avatar
  • 134k
20 votes
Accepted

Short story about entity that suppresses human intelligence on trip to Mars

Unwelcome Tenant by Roger Dee Astronaut Mayard reaches the balance point between Earth's gravity and Mars' gravity. At which point he becomes aware of an immaterial mental parasite in his brain, which ...
Winchell Chung's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Short story about a young man stranded alone on Mars who runs out of air

"The Air of Mars" (1970) by Dmitri Bilenkin. Its only English publication was in The Air of Mars and Other Stories of Time and Space (1976) edited (and translated) by Mirra Ginsburg. A ...
Phillip Wharton's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

1st Mars landing story-Read in eighties

"The Gods of Mars" by Gardner Dozois, Jack Dann, and Michael Swanwick. I can't imagine there is another story like this, but it differs in some insigificant ways from what's in the question. ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Movie producer decides to make a movie about a trip to Mars using a Mars expedition ship that was built and never used

Is this Voyage to the Red Planet (1990) by Terry Bisson...? An extraordinary science fiction tour de force about the first trip to the planet Mars, filled with action, humor, and pathos. One of the ...
LogicDictates's user avatar
17 votes

Spaceport on Phobos?

Yes. The Doom game was set on Phobos and there was a spaceport. Phobos is the larger and innermost of the two moons of the planet Mars, the second being Deimos. It is the scene of the first Doom ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 231k
16 votes
Accepted

What was under the ice in The Waters of Mars?

It's some sort of sentient life form, but its exact nature is never made clear. When they first encounter the transformed Andy and Tariq, the Doctor says he doesn't know what is possessing them: ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 135k
16 votes

Mars 'troffie' short story

This is Walter M. Miller's “Crucifixus Etiam”. Troffies are mentioned in the review below. Desperate to find some sort of meaning for the work he is doing, Manue goes to one of the “troffies” (for ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
15 votes
Accepted

Mars children kill off the Earthlings

'Keep Out' by Fredric Brown, in 'The Second Science Fiction Megapack'. A drug called Adaptine has allowed them to gradually change their anatomy and physiology to survive on Mars: “In another ten ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 21.6k
15 votes
Accepted

What was the first science fiction story to consider a Mars landing in a "realistic"/hard sci fi way?

Short Answer: I don't know how realistic is necessary, but a good guess might be "A Martian Odyssey" in 1934. Long Answer: Since I don't know how realistic is necessary, I cannot tell for ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
14 votes

Movie where a family on Mars misses the last departing spaceship, and are replaced by identical looking robots

The story you described matches “The Long Years” a story featured in Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. Williamson said, “I went to the graveyard.” -“The four crosses were there?” (Wilder) -“ ...
drasimov's user avatar
  • 371
14 votes

What was the first science fiction story to consider a Mars landing in a "realistic"/hard sci fi way?

The Sands of Mars by Arthur C. Clarke, came out in 1951. Martin Gibson, a famous science fiction author, is travelling to Mars, as a guest of the crew of the spaceship Ares. After arriving at Space ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 231k
14 votes

1960s? Teen builds a spaceship and gets stuck on Mars; "Girl Next Door" uses his prototype to rescue him and also gets stuck on Mars

Sounds like Welcome to Mars by James Blish. Not read it myself, but it was published in 1967, and reviews mention the plot points you recall: It was a fun read about one Dolph Haertel, an ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 21.6k
14 votes
Accepted

1970s short story where USA wants to terraform Mars, Communist China wants to settle Mars via pantropy, USSR is defunct

I think you're looking for "Deadlock" by Robert and Barbara Silverberg, Astounding, January 1959. It was reprinted in the Silverberg collection The Shores of Tomorrow (1976). Quoting the ...
DavidW's user avatar
  • 134k
13 votes
Accepted

Short story: ultimate Martian weapon

The story you remember is The Last Weapon by Robert Sheckley. The thing kept coming. “Die, die!” Parke screamed, his nerves breaking. But the thing came on, grinning broadly. “I like quiet protoplasm,...
John Rennie's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Did Edgar Rice Burroughs ever write a fictional work (novel, tale, etc..) depicting Tarzan on Mars?

No, Edgar Rice Burroughs did not write any stories about Tarzan on Mars. The appearance of that book plate his nephew designed is strictly allegorical, providing a visual collage of elements from the ...
Buzz's user avatar
  • 98.6k
12 votes

SF short story from 1960-1980 about the murder of a Martian who played a form of golf using a jewelled boomerang

Are you sure it was Mars and not Venus? Otherwise it sounds very like Fred Pohl's "The Gentlest Unpeople". The central character, an explorer from Earth iirc, has accidentally killed a ...
Mike Stone's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Small girl visits sweet innocent-seeming Martian old lady. She is far less harmless than she seems

This is "One Martian Afternoon" (1953) by Tom Leahy. It was first published in If, July 1953, reprinted as a chapbook in 2009, and collected a few times since (but not earlier). It's ...
DavidW's user avatar
  • 134k
11 votes

Story where Mars is sucking the air from the Earth

Nonstop to Mars by Jack Williamson. "That's just it," her tired voice told him. "Mars is hazed and dim with atmosphere —atmosphere stolen from the Earth. That silver thread is the ...
Dragan Milosevic's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

TV miniseries about a race to Mars from summer 2014

Is this Race to Mars (2007)...? From Wikpedia: Race to Mars is a 2007 Canadian television mini-series about a fictitious mission to Mars that is based on contemporary international research. The ...
LogicDictates's user avatar

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