Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Review And Commentary On The Free Old School Science Fiction book -' Mission To Mars' By Patrick Moore

Grab it Right Over HERE
Patrick Moore was the voice and presence for a generation of school children in the U.K. who sent them into space and beyond. He was astronomer and published several  science fiction novels. Mission to Mars and Voices of Mars are part of his cycle of juvenile science fiction. This is an interesting  novel because of its use of many retrofuture technology. The Aries would make a damn fine relic ship to encounter as an adventure encounter. Because of the amount of detail that the author gave to the ship many of the most intimate details are already mapped out for the DM.
 The Plot according to Wiki : 
Maurice Gray, a young recently orphaned Englishman, arrives at the Woomera Rocket base in Australia to meet his only known relative, Leslie Yorke. He learns that Dr. Yorke, a scientist at the base, left on an expedition to Mars some time before and that nothing has been heard from them.
Whilst listening in on the base radio, Maurice is the first to hear a message from the expedition in morse code. They have landed, but their ship is badly damaged and inoperable.
Because of his light weight and his knowledge of radio, Maurice is asked to join a rescue mission in the nuclear-powered ship Aries. The ship blasts off and travels to Mars. During the landing, they pass through the Violet Layer, a portion of the Martian atmosphere, which severely buffets them. They land, but their radar systems are damaged beyond repair.
With no other options, they suit up and walk for several days to the last known position of the first ship. On their way, they encounter two species of Martian lifeforms; carnivorous slug-like creatures and pterodactyl-like flying creatures. They arrive at the ship and find all members alive, but running short of supplies. Most of their equipment is beyond repair, but their radar is still usable.
They cannibalize the ship and return to the Aries. With repairs made, and despite the excess weight of its crew, the ship is successfully launched and returns to Earth.
Maurice, now fascinated with Mars, is invited to join the staff at Woomera.

Using Mission To Mars For Your School Science Fiction Campaigns

Because of the author's eye for detail this book makes a great resource for the retro science fiction or fantasy gamer. This book is especially geared for X plorers and many of the situations found in Mission to Mars will test the mettle of explorer party very quickly.
The Mars of Mission To Mars is perfect for a late Colonial period Mars when the wars, mass extinction, and events have taken their toll on the alien planet.
The alien life forms are things that my PC's have encountered from time to time in Stars Without Number. The book is breezy, concise, and has all of the right details for an old school middle style encounter or adventure. As a free resource its another hard to beat find. 


  1. Moore's Challenge of the Stars was the book that fired me for space travel & for science in general. The most important nonfiction book of my childhood by a mile.

  2. I have several of Moore's books including this one given to me by my fiancee and even now reading them they still stir the imagination. I do miss Mr. Moore and his works I think were one of a kind and I fear that we shall not see like again. Thanks for the comment and I'll be putting up 'Voices of Mars' as so as possible as well.


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