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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun Martian romp, 28 Nov 2010
John Middleton (Brisbane, QLD, AUST) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Outlaws Of Mars (Planet Stories Library) (Paperback)
Outlaws of Mars is a semi-sequel to Kline's earlier Swordsman of Mars - there are some characters in common who make cameo appearances, and the setting is the same, but apart from that this is a new and different story of planetary romance, as the genre was then known.

Jerry Morgan is a man with no future on Earth - disgraced and heartbroken. He is offered a new life on Mars, and starts out on the wrong foot: imagine meeting a princess and delibrately killing her pet poodle! Of course, said "poodle" is a fearsome-looking Martian beast, but still, its not exactly the best way to make friends and influence people.

From there Morgan becomes trapped in the politics of the Byzantine Martian royal court, spurns the advances of a would-be lover (remember, he is bitter and heartbroken: this was a surprisingly well done touch), and must escape his hosts to avoid his chosen role as an expendable political pawn. Adventures of all sorts follow, with dazzling swordplay, feats of strength, and other standard trials, tribulations and treacheries being overcome.

There is something of a race-war element, potentially, to these stories, which is jarring to a modern reader. If you can leave that to one side, then this is a forgotten classic, a Martian romp as good as Burroughs.
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The Outlaws Of Mars (Planet Stories Library)
The Outlaws Of Mars (Planet Stories Library) by Joe R. Lansdale (Paperback - 19 May 2009)
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