R.K. Murthi’s Earth and Mars is a delightful fusion of fact and fiction. Based on the American space probes that had two Rover space craft landing on Mars, this science fiction novel deals with the theme of the so-called twin planets of Earth and Mars and the relationship between them.
Real life incidents, characters, including George Bush and Kofi Annan and several scientists have been incorporated into the story that has witty dialogues, not forgetting the “oh-so dreadful-puns”. The two scientists, Dr. Cockoff and Dr. Param, incidentally an Indian, are the brains behind the space programme. While they are getting ready to launch the Rover that would enter Mars, the Martians are getting ready to confront the Earthlings.
It is a brilliant take off on the name, Mars — the King is called Raja Marspati, the minister, Marspradhanamantri Vidyaswami, the epics, Marsayanam and Mahamarsaratha, the sacred work, Marsveda and the rand festival that is celebrated is called Marsehwaraleelotsav. And yes you’ve guessed it, their god is Marseshwara. There is no lack of spoofing of customs and events.
The final confrontation is the highlight of the novel and what happens between the Earthlings and the Martians is historic.
The art of simple story telling is revealed here while the inclusion of scientific facts is lucid and light, so that even the right-brained Earthlings can enjoy the read.