Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mars Minus Bisha - Leigh Brackett


Number of words : 8000
Percent of complex words : 6.5
Average syllables per word : 1.4
Average words per sentence : 11.4


Fog : 7.2
Flesch : 78.2
Flesch-Kincaid : 5.2



An Earthman and doctor. Working on Mars on a Grant.


Martian outcast girl. Thought to be carrier of an epidemic.


Martian healer.


Medical Foundation

Terran organisation that gives charitable grants to allow doctors to work with people that need it. In this case on Mars.

Old Men

Martian elders.



Martian city. Site of the Terran consulate.



Desert transport.



A small temporary dwelling.


Wagner's Fire Music

A favorite of Fraser's.


A Terran doctor working for charity on Mars comes across a girl who has been outcast by her tribe. He thinks she may be carrying a disease. However, when he starts to feel bad and thinks he may be catching it, he talks to a Martian healer:

"You have come with your thundering ships, your machines and your science, giving the lie to our gods, who we thought had created no other men but us. You look upon us as degraded and without knowledge—and yet you too are an ignorant people, not because you have forgotten, but because you have not yet learned. There are many sciences, many kinds of knowledge. There have been races on Mars who could build the canals. There were others who could see without eyes and hear without ears, who could control the elements and cause men to live or die as they willed it, who were so powerful that they were stamped out because men feared them. They are forgotten now, but their blood is in us. And sometimes a child is born—"

He realises that the girl is a sort of parasitical vampire, a throwback to an older race, living off others, although with those of her kind, of whom there apparently are more. Which is why her tribe wanted to kill her. The doctor still wants to try and find a way to save her, even at risk to himself, which is where it finishes.

4 out of 5

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