By in Sci Fi & Paranormal

Science Fiction Short Story Review: "Keep Out!" by Fredric Brown

They were the first Martians, born on Earth, but bred and raised for Mars. Thanks to the drug daptine, given to their carefully selected parents before they were conceived, they could adapt to the cold and the thin atmosphere of Mars in ways Earthlings never would. They had spent five years on Earth, five in transit from Earth. Their lungs had increased in size to deal with the lack of oxygen and they’d begun to grow fur to help keep them warm in the cold Martian climate.

They would spend ten more years in the domes Earthlings built on Mars, in parts that were ever less protected, ever more like Mars. The rules on sex segregation would grow more relaxed as time went by so the children could chose mates, but there was to be no marriage until after graduation night, when they turned 20 and left the dome forever.

This is a very short piece that can be read in a few minutes with a nice little twist at the end. I liked it a lot. Again, this is maybe not great literature, but it is entertaining and addresses what happens when a plan works too well. It is definitely worth the read.

Author Fredric Brown wrote several seminal works as well as parodies of pulp conventions. One of his short stories, “Arena,” was the basis (if an ad-hoc basis) an episode by the same name of the original series “Star Trek.”


Title: “Keep Out” first published in Amazing Stories March 1954
Author: Fredric Brown (1906-1972)
Source: ISFDB




Last review: "The Quest of Iranon" by H. P. Lovecraft

Last sci fi revew: “The Last Supper” by H. D. Hamm


© 2015 Denise Longrie


An earlier version of this review appeared on another site. It has since been removed and is no longer visible there. It has been expanded and updated for its inclusion at PP.

Image Credit » by WikiImages

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lexiconlover wrote on September 25, 2015, 11:01 AM

I love following your reviews on things you have read. Thank you for sharing them with us.

msiduri wrote on September 25, 2015, 12:15 PM

Thank you for your kinds words.

CalmGemini wrote on September 27, 2015, 3:59 PM

As you said,the story is short and to the point.There is a twist. A story from the nugget of an idea.

msiduri wrote on September 27, 2015, 4:27 PM

While it's complete in itself, I'd like to hear a little bit more about the kids later on. But that's for another story.

AliCanary wrote on September 27, 2015, 4:31 PM

I love this kind of imaginative and detailed thinking--the author was clearly trying to figure out, step by step, what could be done to adapt to the planetary conditions.

msiduri wrote on September 27, 2015, 5:49 PM

Yes. I don't think it would work in reality, but it's nice to see the gears of thought turning.