Harker Aquila

My Pocket-Sized Adventure to Mars

Delaney+Logue%27s+%2812%29+pocket-sized+Red+Planet+by+Robert+A.+Heinlein+is+more+than+just+a+book.+Although+the+text+is+faded+and+the+pages+are+yellowed+from+years+of+use%2C+Red+Planet+harbors+priceless+memories+from+her+childhood.
Delaney Logue's (12) pocket-sized Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein is more than just a book. Although the text is faded and the pages are yellowed from years of use, Red Planet harbors priceless memories from her childhood.

Delaney Logue's (12) pocket-sized Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein is more than just a book. Although the text is faded and the pages are yellowed from years of use, Red Planet harbors priceless memories from her childhood.

Delaney Logue

Delaney Logue

Delaney Logue's (12) pocket-sized Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein is more than just a book. Although the text is faded and the pages are yellowed from years of use, Red Planet harbors priceless memories from her childhood.

by Delaney Logue, TALON Photo Editor

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Its corners creased and spine bent, my pocket-sized Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein is more than just a book. The cover depicts a tall alien figure carrying Jim Marlowe and his companions through the unique greenery of Mars. The once-smooth surface of the small book feels cool in my hand, my thumb brushing against frayed edges and wrinkled paper. Although the text is faded and the pages are yellowed from years of use, Red Planet harbors priceless memories from my childhood. It tells tales of space and aliens, but it reminds me of rainy evenings at home with my family.

It tells the story of two students named Jim Marlowe and Frank Sutton attending a boarding school on Mars. The two friends are eventually tasked with saving the humans of Mars, with the help of their alien companion named Willis. However, the material object holds just as many memories as the tales it holds.

The story of this specific copy of Red Planet begins far before my time, in the late ‘70s. My father’s favorite genre is and has always been science fiction, something we share in common. While in junior high, my father bought this novel at a local bookstore, taping a handwritten label spelling ‘6B’ on the spine to determine its placement in his homemade library. Today, it sits on my third shelf.

This book is a symbol of his early years, fully of family dinners with his father and mother in his childhood home and late nights spent playing Dungeons and Dragons with his brother, Mark, and his best friend, Rex. A generation later, the tremendous sentimental value of this book still remains.

When I look at this book, I can still recall my father’s voice reading the yellow-tinted pages by the dim light of the lamp in my bedroom. I remember staring out into space vacantly, mind intensely focused on Jim Marlowe and his quest to save the human inhabitants of Mars. My sister and I would sit at the foot of my bed; my father would sit in the rocking chair, pushing his reading glasses up his nose. I can almost hear grow rough with exertion as time passes, lulling me to sleep.

In times of stress, these fond memories of my father reading me this book never fails to relieve me. On rainy nights after scary movie marathons, after I rushed to the foot of my parents’ bed shivering from a nightmare, he would read to me while holding my small hand in his big one, the rough pads of his fingers grounding me. Even today, the adventures it holds create a welcome distraction from my troubles. So, whether I am worried about the SAT or a research paper, I turn to the rough pages of Red Planet to lift the weight off my shoulders.

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My Pocket-Sized Adventure to Mars