Gulliver of Mars
Edwin L. Arnold
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Gullivar Jones is a good soldier, there is no question of that. He is driven to the ends of the Red Planet to find his love. But he does not bore the reader with constant reminders of what a good soldier he is. On the contrary, with the novel being written in the style of a memoirs, Jones is almost too humble about himself and the credibility of his story.
The defining characteristic of the Martian civilization is that they are such an ancient, lethargic race that marriages are decided by public draw and assented to by an attitude just above apathy. Jones is an oddity not merely because of his strange dress and manner, but because of his passion for the princess. Contagious, it spreads to her and she is willing to risk her own life to provide Jones a means of identifying her ballot in the jar. Just when it seems his goal of bedding his mistress is reached, she is snatched away by the invading barbarians from afar. Furious, Jones tries to frenzy an army to no avail. The men of Mars are too cowardly, comfortable and indifferent. The only one who isn't is the prince, who sold off the princess out of jealously, the opposite of Jones' wholesome and manly red blood.
Making his way by land and sea, Jones tours the Martian environs and befriends its people. Once or twice he even catches himself feeling more sympathy for the brutish, hairy barbarians than for the weak and waifish native peoples of his princess. Still he presses onwards to win her back to her people and his breast. Nevermind, of course, that he does have a girl back home that he was engaged to before the magic carpet spirited him away. She does come to mind occasionally whenever he fears that he will meet his end on this faraway world. He wonders what has become of her and what she must be feeling at this moment, but the wondering passes when he concentrates again on his quest to find his girl in this port.