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(Found) First man surviving on Mars adopted by Martians as a pet

Hugh

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I read this in paperback @1961-1963. It would have been one of the earlier SFs I read, and was found and taken out of the library all by myself. It's probably fairly poor as SF goes, and up to now I haven't felt any impulse at all to track it down, but I've got curious....,

What I remember...

He's probably the first human on Mars. (I'm pretty certain it's Mars). His spaceship is crashed or no longer functional, and there's no remote hope of rescue. This probably means it was the first human ship to reach Mars. If he had any fellow crew members, they're dead, so he's on his own. Everything on Mars is a complete unknown. The air must be breathable and he has a bicycle (!) that enables him to get about. Some time later he sees all these aliens coming towards him across the plain, a bit like dinosaurs, and he gets really worried, bicycling about and shooting one or two with some kind of home-made crossbow, but then he realises they're a herd of totally harmless herbivores. Later he encounters an intelligent species, again dinosaur-like, who farm the herbivores, and (I think) a male child adopts him as an unusual pet. He realises that this species communicate by flashing beams of light from their eyes, and fortunately he still has his torch with him so is able to learn to talk with them by flashing his torch. I have no idea how it ends, but life as a pet gets a bit lonely.

Any thoughts from anyone will be appreciated....
 

PaulMmn

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Oh, my! I never read that version of Mars... However, there are echos of other Mars stories.

"Robinson Crusoe on Mars" (I've seen the movie; don't know if there's a book). Astronauts crashland on Mars; only Our Hero survives. No dinosaurs; but there are aliens mining something. They might be the same aliens as seen in the movie "War of the Worlds;" they're flying the same type of ships.

"Red Planet" by Robert A Heinlein. There are human colonists on Mars. Our Hero and his buddy have to trek across the landscape. There are native Martians; but no dinosaurs.
 

Hugh

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Many thanks, but definitely neither of those.

There was an illustration that I remember: it may have been the cover. It shows a large iguanodon type figure with what looks like diving goggles over the eyes (for flashing light communication) looming over a small human figure. It was probably the dinosaur lookalike appearance that got me interested in reading the book.

I suspect this book made its way into oblivion fairly swiftly, but I'm still curious to read it again.
 

Venusian Broon

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Feels a tad like something Ray Bradbury would write, but his Martian Chronicles was more like a connection of short stories. And was a fair bit darker.
 

Hugh

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Feels a tad like something Ray Bradbury would write, but his Martian Chronicles was more like a connection of short stories. And was a fair bit darker.
Definitely a stand-alone book, though it may well have been more of a novella.
 

Hugh

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Ha! I think that's it. I'm sure I remember the Robinson Crusoe reference.

Incredible! Many thanks!

How did you manage that?
particularly as the wikipedia description has no mention of the dinosaurs with which I populated the book.

And I think this is the cover of the edition I read:

1549132234743.png


And I've just ordered a copy of that edition. I'll be interested to see if I find the artwork inside that I remember.
 

Extollager

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My first step was to look in my SF Encyclopedia (Nicholls), bought 1980 and getting pretty worn by now -- s.v. "Mars." Once I had the Rex Gordon novel reference there, I checked Wikipedia, & that nailed it.
1549136618352.png
 

Hugh

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Impressive! Many thanks again.

Hmmm..... clearly another book for me to order, but I'll leave that until tomorrow.
 

Hugh

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"Robinson Crusoe on Mars" (I've seen the movie; don't know if there's a book). Astronauts crashland on Mars; only Our Hero survives. No dinosaurs; but there are aliens mining something. They might be the same aliens as seen in the movie "War of the Worlds;" they're flying the same type of ships.
.
And thanks also @PaulMmn : you were on the right track here, but I didn’t realise it!
 
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