You can download the novella here.
Mars has been my imagination's home since I was a kid & many a night was spent working my way through piles of my uncle's ancient Pulp magazine collection. And that brings up 'The Martian Circe' By Ramon F Jones From the Summer 1947 issue of Planet Stories magazine. 'The Martian Circe' echoes through with the Pulpy voice of Ramon F. Jones & his Mars is an almost settled colonial world on the edge of the solar system;
'Who was this sweet-voiced singer weaving a spell of dreams and drugs that drove men mad and threatened to smash the System? SBI Captain Roal Hartford dared the death of the Thousand Minds to learn her dreadful secret!'
So we've entered the world of Captain Roal Hartford agent of the Solar Bureau of Investigation. And his is the world of the Martian underworld & therefore the perfect foil for adventurers & scoundrals. But who was Ramon F. Jones?! According to his wiki entry; "Raymond Fisher Jones (November 15, 1915, Salt Lake City, Utah - January 24, 1994, Sandy, Salt Lake County, Utah) was an American science fiction author. He is best known for his 1952 novel, This Island Earth, which was adapted into the 1955 film This Island Earth and for the short story "The Children's Room", which was adapted for television as Episode Two of the ABC network show Tales of Tomorrow, first aired on February 29, 1952.'
'Jones' career was at its peak during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. His stories were published mainly in magazines such as Thrilling Wonder Stories, Astounding Stories, and Galaxy. His short story Noise Level is known as one of his best works. His short story "The Alien Machine", first published in the June, 1949 Thrilling Wonder Stories, was later expanded into the novel This Island Earth, along with two other short stories, "The Shroud of Secrecy", and "The Greater Conflict", known as The Peace Engineers Trilogy, featuring the character Cal Meacham. Jones also wrote the story upon which the episode "The Children's Room" was based for the television program Tales of Tomorrow in 1952. "
'The Martian Circe' concerns a phantom tavern 'the Starhouse' the venue for The Queen of the Silver Stars' that has been drifting around the Martian cityscapes & taking out the souls & sanity of solar system miners. Harmeena is a gas like agent of the Martian Harm plant that causes those who inhail its gases to save vs poison or suffer horrifying visions as per a Fear spell. And 'Starhouse' operates out of one of the Martian Capital cities Heliopolis. Heliopolis is the center of the wizened and withered Martians of Mr. R Jones tale. The Jones Martians as I've taken to calling them are +3 to their Constitution, +1 on Intelligence, -2 on Charisma, & +1 on Wisdom as they are an ancient race of Mars. And they barely tolerate humanity on their end of Mars. And the Jones Martians lead deeply into the mystery of the phantom singer Alayna The Queen of the Silver Stars.
The situation in Heliopolis & the other Jones Martian human cities is a ticking time bomb and only he destruction of the Thousand Minds will save humanity. They are located in a series of Jones Martian burrows outside of Heliopolis bout five miles or so from the city.
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