Cover of 'Destination Mars' (UK) Cover of 'Destination Mars' (US)
Cover of 'Destination Mars' (UK p/b) Cover of 'Destination Mars' (German h/b)
Cover of 'Destination Mars' (Portuguese p/b)

Destination Mars

(DE - Der Chor der Verdammten, lit "The Choir of the Damned")
(PT - Destino Marte)


Publishing details:

UK: Faber, 1963, in print until about 1975 (h/b)
UK: Faber, 1979, 'Faber Fanfare' edition - ISBN 0-571-11333-8 (p/b)
US: Criterion Books, 1964 (h/b)
DE: Schneider Buch, 1983 - ISBN 3-505-08392-5 (h/b)
PT: Galeria Panorama 1969 (h/b)

Synopsis:

The first man to travel close to Mars, Van der Veen, has been driven mad by the strange, horrible voices he heard babbling over his radio. Chris, Morrey, Serge and Tony are detailed to investigate. Launching from space station Alpha, they touch down on Mars and find traces of an dead civilisation. Then however, a disembodied Martian appears, as nothing more than a point of light. He seems friendly, but when he demands that his people be taken back to Earth, things get worrying......

Commentary:

Perhaps not as thrilling as its predecessor, but still plenty of chills and spills as our four friends are taken over one by one by the disembodied Martians. This book also introduces the Ion Rocket, which allows fantastic speeds to be built up using a constant acceleration of about one fifth 'g'.

His sixth book

SCIENCE fiction writer Hugh
Walters - otherwise Bilston
businessman Mr. Walter Hughes
-published his sixth book
yesterday.
"Destination Mars" (Faber
and Faber, 15s.) concerns the
first manned landing on the red
planet by the space crew made
famous in Mr. Hughes's earlier
novels.
Chris, Serge, Morrey and Tony
hear weird, inexplicable voices
over the spaceship radio, making
the trip far more than the
routine affair anticipated. When
the crew lands, disembodied
Martians ask for a lift back to
Earth.
Mr. Hughes spent six months
writing the book. His five pre-
vious novels-"Blast Off At
Woomera," "The Domes of
Pico," "Operation Columbus,"
"Moon Base One," and "Expedi-
tion Venus" - all sold well in
America, and he hopes for a
similar success with "Destina-
tion Mars."
He told me: "Young people
all over the world seem to read
my books. Two of them have
been translated into Dutch.
"Lots of youngsters corres-
pond with me and sometimes
try to pick technical faults with
my rockets and so on. I reply
to all the letters I get, and in
turn try to justify my rocketry."

* * * * *
Technical accuracy
MR. HUGHES has earned many
bouquets from critics for
the astonishing accuracy of his
technical details. At his home at
the Bungalow, Elm Avenue,
Bilston, he reads books on ad-
vanced technology.
"It is extremely difficult to
keep up with the progress of
science," he said. "My first
novel, published in 1957, was
science fiction-but it is already
behind scientific fact."
Mr. Hughes went on: "My
seventh book, Terror by Satel-
lite,' is at the printers and
should be ready early in the new
year. But at the moment I'm
working on a new problem.
"It all began with a letter
from a young girl living in San
Francisco. She asked me why I
never had a woman in the space
crew-this was before the Rus-
sians put up their woman astro-
naut.
From the enquiries I have
made since, it seems that many
girls read science fiction and
would read a great deal more if
one of the main characters were
a woman. My next book will
probably include a woman."
Bilston and Willenhall Times, 21st August, 1963
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