Martians, Go Home
Dust-jacket from the first edition
|Publisher||E. P. Dutton|
|Media type||Print (hardcover)|
Martians, Go Home is a science fiction comic novel written by Fredric Brown, and published by E. P. Dutton in 1955. The novel concerns a writer who witnesses an alien invasion of Earth by boorish little green men from Mars.
The story begins on 26 March 1964. Luke Deveraux, the protagonist, is a 37-year-old sci-fi writer who is being divorced by his wife. Deveraux holes himself up in a desert cabin with the intention of writing a new novel (and forgetting the painful failure of his marriage). Drunk, he considers writing a story about Martians, when, all of a sudden, someone knocks on the door. Deveraux opens it to find a little green man, a Martian. The Martian turns out to be very discourteous; he insists on calling Luke 'Mack,' and has little in mind other than the desire to insult and humiliate Luke. The Martian, who is intangible, proves to be able to disappear at will and to see through opaque materials. Luke leaves his cabin by car, thinking to himself that the alien was but a drunken hallucination. He realises that he is wrong when he sees that a billion Martians have come to Earth.
Fredric Brown reprises the popular image of Martians as little green men, who measure around 75 cm, have small torsos; long, frayed limbs; and spherical, bald heads. They have six fingers on each hand, and wear boots and trousers. They consider the human race inferior and are both interested and amused by human behaviour. Unlike most fictional Martian invaders, the Martians that Brown writes of don't intend to invade Earth by violence; instead, they spend their wakeful hours calling everyone 'Mack' or 'Toots' (or some regional variation thereof), revealing embarrassing secrets, heckling theatre productions, lampooning political speeches, even providing cynical colour commentary to honeymooners' frustrated attempts at consummating their marriage. This nonstop acerbic criticism stops most human activity and renders many people insane, including Luke, whose stress-induced inability to see the little green maligners divides opinion on whether he should be considered mad or blessed.
Galaxy reviewer Floyd C. Gale praised the novel, saying that although Brown was occasionally "carried away," he nevertheless "succeeded in writing a very funny book." In 1977, Richard A. Lupoff described it as "one of the most charming bits of SF-whimsy ever written [and] marvelous reading."
- Annick Beguin, Les 100 principaux titres de la science-fiction, Cosmos 2000, 1981 ;
- Science-fiction. La bibliothèque idéale, Albin Michel, 1988 ;
- Enquête du Fanzine Carnage mondain auprès de ses lecteurs, 1989 ;
- Lorris Murail, Les Maîtres de la science-fiction, Bordas, coll. « Compacts », 1993 ;
- Stan Barets, Le science-fictionnaire, Denoël, coll. « Présence du futur », 1994.
Film, TV or theatrical adaptations
The 1993 video game Zombies Ate My Neighbors features a reference to this book; Level 41 is entitled "Martians Go Home!"
- Tuck, Donald H. (1974). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent. p. 68. ISBN 0-911682-20-1.