Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn is much more like what we expected from the foreign film of the 1970’s. A true well crafted gem of a story.
I think the foreign film elements bring to the story a lot of depth that could be missed if the reader does not have a grounding in Robert Heinlein’s stories. This is not necessary to enjoy Carrie’s book, but reading Podkayne of Mars explains much. The story is no simple updating-add in cell phones and imitate like crazy. Carrie transforms the story.
Yes, the characters are from Mars, sister and genius brother. Polly echoes the name of Poddy (Podkayne). They are sent on an interplanetary trip unexpectedly. But Polly and her brother are more united against a much scarier world. A world where a plot to assassinate an ambassador seems rather innocent when compared to the social and physical dangers that surround the kids. Offers of friendship are treacherous.
Polly and Charles are much better written characters than Poddy and Clark. Their goals are sharper, so that while Poddy seems to blunder about, attracting young men who want to teach her many things, Polly know first last and always she wants to be a starship pilot and the young men are as apt to try to cut her down as to show desire to whisper sweet things in her ear. Acts of courage, bravery, and compassion are met with cynical explanations from their peers. A not nice world when there is no security and almost everyone is only out for themselves. Highly recommended.
Don’t miss our event with Carrie Vaughn later this month! Thursday, January 19th at 7pm at Old Town Library.