By Arthur C. Clarke
The Sands of Mars is Arthur C. Clarke's first released technology fiction novel. whereas he used to be already well known as a quick tale author and as contributor, The Sands of Mars used to be additionally a prelude to Clarke's changing into one of many world's most effective writers of technology fiction novels. the tale used to be released in 1951, earlier than people had completed area flight. it really is set mostly in the world Mars, which has been settled by way of people and is used primarily as a learn institution. the tale environment is that Mars has been surveyed yet no longer totally explored at the flooring.
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A few days wore it all off; and in short, to prevent any of my father’s further importunities, in a few weeks after, I resolved to run quite away from him. However, I did not act so hastily neither as my first heat of resolution prompted, but I took my mother, at a time when I thought her a little pleasanter than ordinary, and told her that my thoughts were so entirely bent upon seeing the world that I should never settle to anything with resolution enough to go through with it, and my father had better give me his consent than force me to go without it; that I was now eighteen years old, which was too late to go apprentice to a trade, or clerk to an attorney; that I was sure, if I did, I should never serve out my time, and I should certainly run away from my master before my time was out, and go to sea; and if she would speak to my father to let me go one voyage abroad, if I came home again and did not like it, I would go no more, and I would promise by a double diligence to recover that time I had lost.
Man Friday. Cannibals. Rescue. It is all so familiar as an apparently simple, wonderful tale of survival that it is easily read as a great yarn. Crusoe is too human and accident prone to be truly heroic—this may be another reason for his enduring appeal. But the island setting is also a compelling feature of his story, for the island as a microcosm of the world has been used imaginatively in English in works as diverse as Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Crusoe is more stubborn than brave, and his first-person narrative, the more believable for being defiantly unliterary, can be appreciated as the account of a man’s twenty-eight-year ordeal of loneliness, hunger, and physical threat; a man who ingeniously succeeds against the odds.
No sooner is the ordeal over than Crusoe is back, founding a colony and counting his money; and in the same way, the Crusoe idea continued, producing sequels and parodies, giving words to the language—‘‘Crusoe’’ is a byword for castaway, as ‘‘Friday’’ is a synonym for helper. Robinson begins life as a disobedient and hubristic, if accident-prone boy. He is given any amount of advice by his sententious father, the German immigrant to England, Herr Kreutznaer, who anglicized his name to Crusoe. The name change is a nice touch in a book full of detail, which is the more plausible for its being strange and even somewhat unnecessary.