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The Day the Martians Came
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The Day the Martians Came

3.18 of 5 stars 3.18  ·  rating details  ·  73 ratings  ·  11 reviews

Henry Steegman is hardly "Mr. Personality" aboard the Mars-bound Algonquin 9. Yet it is he who bungles upon the spectacular Macy's-like city beneath the Red Planet's crust. For better or worse, the name Steegman will be immortalized by a discovery that will transform millions of lives.

For a struggling screenwriter, the Martian beings could mean a big story, big bucks, head

Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 15th 1988 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1988)
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Chris Peters
So we found real life Martians, and so of course we have to drag them back to Earth. Of course, this event is going to change all of us.

Pohl examines a TON of characters, their reactions to the Martians, and what happens to their lives. Unfortunately, I think that there really are too many characters. The book seems very fragmented, almost like a short-story collection--except that none of the stories are complete. He does tie everything back together at the end, but it doesn't feel very coheren
Scott Holstad
I like Frederik Pohl, on average, but this book is below average. It's not even much of an attempt at sci fi -- just loosely related to it. It starts out rather promisingly, with some crashed astronauts finding an underground Martian "Macy's" and ultimately some real Martians. These Martians end up being a little disappointing though, as they're merely seals with legs. At this point, the novel loses any credibility it had to begin with. Although we're never told how this transpires, the next thi ...more
This book is not so much a comphrehensive narrative as it is a series of short stories from the perspective of individuals reacting to the discovery of life on Mars. Specifically, they react to the apparent fact that the alien life forms on Mars are (spoiler alert) unimpressive. The defining characteristic of alien life on Mars is not regrowing severed limbs, death rays, or extreme bellicosity. Rather, it is patience. And, well, patience is kind of a boring thing to write about. Not that this bo ...more
It's an unusual book - the plot is a pretty standard SF trope - explorers find living, intelligent life on Mars. The explorers are all sick and dying, and so are the Martians, and they start their slow journey home as the book breaks each chapter into a new POV, inserting news clippings and TV transcripts and a pair of silly charlatans, a desperate script writer, a beltway think tank con man, and other characters (all male if POV - with attended attractive female love interests who are attractiv ...more
This is a satirical fix-up of short stories concerning the first expedition to Mars, and about the human response to the fact that Martians are brought back. One of the contained stories was originally published in Harlan Ellison's Dangerous Visions - "The Day After the Day the Martians Came."
This looks like he had some ideas that didn't make even short stories and fit them together as happening around the time of a NASA mission to Mars. They didn't fit together very well and most of them, frankly, were not very interesting. Of those stories I did like, I didn't really feel a need to know more. So Pohl was right about the fact that these wouldn't have been standalone stories.

The idea of how this mission affects people from the astronauts to a broke Hollywood writer might have been in
Mark Edlund
A collection of short stories tied into the theme of the discovery of life on Mars by an almost failed Mars expedition. Had sort of a Martian Chronicles feel to it without the lyricism or the horror. The focus was on characters peripheral to the Martian's arrival and how their stories intertwined.
Two Canadian references - Peter Jennings is one of the broadcasters dealing with the landing and a screenwriter mentions Canada as a good place to release his "blockbuster" on the Martian "invasion".
Compared to other Pohl books, this one is a little slow moving at first. But the payoff at the end, when the POV shifts to the Martians is a real treat. The way that Pohl plays presuppositions about what "first contact" would be like with alien species is what makes this book really interesting. It's just too bad that we get so little of that content - mostly all concentrated in the last 30 pages.
David Haverstick
I really wanted this to be better, but on the whole it is far too disjointed to be considered a novel. There are some great short story ideas here that could be expanded. It's unfortunate that some good ideas were crushed in the throes of this enterprise.
That being said, Pohl has some great work. I would not select this as something to recommend though.
Bill Daisley
This one made me stumble... the abrupt change in POV in the 2nd chapter was unexpected & quite different from the other works I was reading from this author. However, every chapter was a fresh & pointed view of an epic event and kept me guessing who & from what perspective the next would show.
This is a collection of short stories revolving around the fact that Martians are discovered on Mars.
Most stories have nothing to do with each other. Most aren't even 'sci fi'.

Good stories but not great.
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Frederik George Pohl, Jr. was an American science fiction writer, editor & fan, with a career spanning over seventy years. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited "Galaxy" magazine and its sister magazine "IF", winning the Hugo for "IF" three years in a row. His writing also won him three Hugos and multiple Nebula Awards. He became a Nebula Grand Master in 1993.
More about Frederik Pohl...
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