Sunday, February 16, 2014

Free Old School Martian Science Fiction Story - Gentlemen The Queen By Bob Tucker For Your Old School Sword and Planet Campaigns

 Grab It Right Over
The Blurb :
"Legend told of a Wild White Queen in the Martian wastelands -- and so there was, but ..."
By the time this story was published in The Fall issue of Science Fiction Quarterly  there was a well established tradition of Mars as the 'new Wild West'  already going on. This story might as well take place during the Colonial period of Mars. We've got Martian exchange students, weird Martian Uprisings with political connections, as well as Earthlings going native. 
For a short story published in Science Fiction Quarterly (Fall 1942), this is a happening kinda story and very busy. Much of the material here walks the line between Burroughs style adventure and straight up sword and planet. The love story and Martian weirdness is well paced and perfect for a bridge gap adventure for a group of inexperienced star explorers. The material could easily be adapted into my own post apocalyptic Mars campaign. The material here is public domain and well on its way to establishing a group of 1940's pulp heroes that could be converted into a solid group of NPC adventurers or as inexperienced PC's for some beginning level players .
 While much of the material is dated and straight up pulp its perfect for a retrofuture style game where the pressure is on for something of a light hearted look into a Mars bursting at the seams with politic intrigue and old school science fiction adventure. This is a Mars with many cultures and this story looks at yet another tribe of Martians with Earth men at their throats and change in the air of Mars. This Mars would make an excellent setting for an X-plorers game or as fodder for a Stars Without Numbers set against the background of a pulp style adventure.
 For a short adventure this one paces itself well and adds in lots of background elements that the DM is going to have to tease to the surface and move into the foreground to really bring this one to life.With some work this story could provide a perfect background for a game that is slightly off beat from the general consenses of the Mars of Edgar Rice Burroughs and closer to Brackett's post Colonialism that we find threading its way through her stories. 

All in all not to bad for an old school one shot Mars story from 1942. And not bad for a free story.

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