The Vampires of Mars

THE VAMPIRES OF MARS
by Gustave Le Rouge
adapted by Brian Stableford

cover by Mike Hoffman

For the unhappy exile from Earth, everything increased the horror of this apparition: the dirty yellow color of the membranous wings; the face, similar in every respect to that of a man, which expressed cunning and ferocity; the protruding blood-red lips; and, most of all, the blinking eyes, scarlet-rimmed like those of an albino, set in a bloodless face with a short, upturned snout like that of a bulldog.


Sandwiched between Arnould Galopin's Doctor Omega (1906) and Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars (1912), Gustave Le Rouge's masterpiece, Le Prisonnier de la Planète Mars (1908) and its sequel, La Guerre des Vampires (1909), are a Martian Odyssey in which young engineer Robert Darvel is dispatched to Mars ny the psychic powers of Hindu Brahmins. On the Red Planet, Darvel runs afoul of hostile, bat-winged, blood-sucking natives, a once-powerful civilization now ruled by the Great Brain. The entity eventually sends Darvel back to Earth, unfortunately with some of the vampires. The second volume deals with the war of the vampires back on Earth.


Le Rouge's Mars is elaborately described, with its fauna, flora and various races of inhabitants, à la C. S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet (1938). Planetary romance blends with "cosmic horror" as the characters switch from swashbuckling he-men to helpless bundles of gibbering terror.

Contents:
Le Prisonnier de la Planète Mars (1908) and La Guerre des Vampires (1909)
by Gustave Le Rouge
Introduction, Afterword and Notes by Brian Stableford.

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