"The most thrilling and tingling kind of science fiction story."─ Kirkus Reviews
"Heinlein found his true direction.... The Martian setting is logically constructed and rich in convincing detail [while] the characters are engaging and the action develops naturally." ─Jack Williamson
Marking the first appearance of the Martian elder race that plays such a prominent role in Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein's iconic Red Planet tells the story of Jim Marlowe and Frank Sutton's journey to the Lowe Academy boarding school on Mars, and the discoveries they make there that impact the future of their entire colony.
While on their way, along with Jim's volleyball-sized native pet, Willis the Bouncer, the boys wander into the 'forbidden' territory where they meet a native Martian, Gekko. The Martian, who is oddly protective of Willis, becomes a "water friend" to the young boys and exposes them to the true wonders of the planet.
Once enrolled at the school, Jim and Frank rescue Willis from the authoritarian headmaster who had confiscated the "pet", Willis, and discover the colonial administrator's plans for Mars, which threatens the very survival of the colony in its present form. Jim and Frank run away from the school. Can they warn the colony in time to save it from the administrator's nefarious plans?
Red Planet is Robert A. Heinlein at his best, with an exciting adventure story, colorful characters and exquisite aliens. The original ending had been changed by the first publishers of this book. This edition contains the true ending of the story, as Heinlein had intended it.