Young Carmen Dula and her family are embarking on the adventure of a lifetime - they are going to Mars. But Carmen isn't so sure she wants to. After training for a year and preparing to leave on the six-month journey, she finds that the initial excitement has given way to both trepidation and frustration.
Once there, however, Carmen realizes that things are not so different from Earth. There are chores, lessons, and oppressive authority figures. All of that leads her to venture out into the bleak Mars landscape alone, where an accident takes her to the edge of death - and she is saved by an angel. An angel with too many arms and legs, a head that looks like a potato gone bad - and a message for the newly arrived inhabitants of Mars:
We were here first...
As the Phoenix spacecraft begins examining Mars for conditions favorable to life, two renowned science fiction authors create very different stories of Martian cultures.MarsboundJoe Haldeman. Ace, (304p) Hugo and Nebula winner Haldeman infuses this yarn with his teen narrator's intelligent curiosity. Carmen Dula, part of the first human colony on Mars, looks like a typical young adult heroine: distanced from her parents, irritated by her bratty younger sibling and beset by tyrannical colony administrator Dargo Solingen. Then she accidentally discovers real Martians living in an underground city and has to convince Solingen that her story is true. When the Martians reveal a terrible threat to life on Earth, it's up to Carmen and her friends to save the day. Recalling Robert A. Heinlein's Red Planet and Podkayne of Mars, Haldeman updates the Martian setting while keeping faith in his characters' ability to respond to unexpected challenges.