The Martian among Us assumed published copyright and written by Dexter Franklin.
This book sub-titled “The Unexpected Saga of Elon Musk and Space, A science-Fiction Novel” opens with an explanation about Mars – a planet, fourth rock from the sun, that Earthlings called Mars – was more than a red planet of desert hills and valleys inhabited by weird creatures. Instead, the author presents a far different picture of the true planet, one with a vital civilization of intelligent beings living in an underground city. Physically, they were structured similarly to humans but with a head size about double, very large eyes and a small nose and mouth. They were immensely intelligent. Their one aerospace scientist, Dr. Dor, working through an extinct volcano, hopefully would be able to construct a space ship that would transport the entire population to another inhabitable planet. Changes in planet dictated such a move within the next one hundred years. They had no idea of earth, or any other plants. Simultaneously, Elon Musk is attempting to be the first person from Earth to set foot on Mars. His wife, Justine just lost her baby (crib death). He is an extremely successful and highly innovative entrepreneur with many businesses and a huge net worth. He awakens from a dream in the middle of the night that a spaceship is going to crash and he knows where. He gets up and rushes off. He does not find anything except a large hole with no discernable unusual debris. He does meet Dr. Dor however, who neutralizes him and assumes his identical physical and mental shape, memory and abilities, after which, he completely disintegrates into his individual component molecules which then erase all evidence that any Elon Musk exists except the one assumed by the Martian. Justine is unaware of any change except reappearance of the man she had learned to love.
As time passes, Dr. Henry Malcom, a geologist who was drawn to the scene, can’t find any evidence of a meteorite but finds an impression of a body plus a car key to Musk’s Tesla, which the Martian had forgotten to take before reducing Musk. He returns it to the Martian/Musk and his actions raise questions for the geologist. Additionally, Dr. Fredrick Wilson, one of Musk’s employees actually knew what had happened to the real Elon Musk and uses this to pressure the Martian to provide a better position for himself. The new Musk continues with gaining investors for his already begun space ship to Mars and complications continue to mount for all characters involved leading to a most interesting and unexpected finale. Provision of more details would constitute require a “Spoiler’ designation.
Discussion: Devotees of Alien/Sci-fi tales may find this book to be somewhat below their expectations. Activities of several of the Earth characters are difficult to accept as are some of the Martian. Younger readers perhaps may find it appealing.
3* 4* interesting plot; -1* apropos discussion.