Thursday, 13 July 2017

stowaway to mars

On Tuesday 6 December I finished Stowaway To Mars by John Wyndham. It wasn't great. One of his early ones, written in 1935 under one of his earlier pseudonyms, John Beynon.

As so often with early science fiction, it is happily unfettered by any worries about scientific realism about space travel (because what scientific realism could there be? Set in the 1980s; SF which wants to be that detached from what we now know has to set itself very much further in the future), and gives an interesting reflection on the society of the day by its vision of the future. Much psychological and philosophical theorising of the kind which must have seemed very modern but now feels very outdated, and space travel is a game for adventurers of the kind dedicated to competing to build and race the fastest cars, and the views about women in particular are fascinating. The titular stowaway is a woman, and the thing I remember most about the book is that when at least two of the small group of intelligent men on board have tried to rape her the general attitude is that that's obviously what you expect to happen if you foolishly put a woman among a group of men in a confined space for any period of time.