Science Fiction Short Story Review: "The Memory of Mars" by Raymond F. Jones
This is another in the series of “It Came from the Pulps!” where I review science fiction short stories that were originally published in the pulp magazines of mid-20th century. Many of these have become available in electronic form as free downloads, particularly from Project Gutenberg, or for a low price.
Alice Hastings has died, leaving her grief-stricken husband alone and miserable. More than that, he’s puzzled. As she lay suffering from her accident, she kept saying that when she recovered, they would go for another vacation on Mars. But Mel was pretty sure that neither of them had ever been off the Earth. He’d known Alice since middle school, although they’d not been married long.
He'd always had nightmares, dreams of falling into a void, as if into the utter blackness of eternity. He could never get the nerve up to go to Mars even though Alice always wanted to go.
And now the doctors were telling him that Alice wasn’t human.
This little story has a couple of little twists, plays with memory and reality vs. perception. It also makes an unmistakable anti-war statement. The reader follows Mel as he tries to uncover the mystery of his wife, his own terror of the void. It is solidly told and enjoyable to read.
Author Raymond F. Jones, a Mormon, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. His most notable novel was the 1952 book This Island Earth which was made into a movie by the same name in 1955.
Title: “The Memory of Mars” first published in Amazing Stories Dec. 1961
Author: Raymond F. Jones (1915-1994)
©2015 Denise Longrie
An earlier version of the review appeared on another site. It has since been removed and is no longer visible there. It has been updated and expanded for its inclusion in PP.
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/galaxy-barred-spiral-galaxy-10994/ by WikiImages