Monday, 8 June 2015

Poul Anderson's Martians: Owlies, Hordes And Conquerors

Searching the blog for physical descriptions of Poul Anderson's Martians, I found this post that compares two of Anderson's Martian races. I remarked somewhere that, like ERB's green Martians, the Martians of the Technic History have social units called "hordes." However, I cannot find that post now so let me merely repeat the remark here.

That leaves only the Martians of The War Of Two Worlds, the most humanoid of Anderson's Martian races. Again, I am sure that I would have listed their physical characteristics in an earlier post but cannot easily find it so:

long straight legs;
lean waist and arms;
very broad chest and shoulders;
hairless brown skin;
high cheekbones;
domed forehead;
narrow chin;
long pointed ears;
small flat nose;
mobile, human-like mouth;
large slanted golden eyes;
small antennae.

An sf cliche? Sounding more like a man adapted to Mars than an independently evolved organism? Nevertheless, these particular Martians serve their purpose in this early novel.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Yes, I have to agree, the Martians we see in THE WAR OF TWO WORLDS seem to resemble more humans who had adapted over many thousands of years to living on a cold, dry world than a race which had evolved there. Which reminds me (and you, I'm sure!) of the Martian hominids we see in IN THE COURTS OF THE CRIMSON KINGS. Hmmm, it does makes me wonder if Stirling had read this early novel of Anderson and was inspired by it (not necessarily with him having this Anderson work in mind as he was writing COURTS).

And, of course, Poul Anderson wrote THE WAR OF TWO WORLDS before it was quite understood how difficult it would be for life to exist there now.