Cover of 'Expedition Venus' (UK) Cover of 'Expedition Venus' (US)
Cover of 'Expedition Venus' (UK p/b) Cover of 'Missão Vénus'

Expedition Venus

(PT - Missão Vénus)


Publishing details:

UK: Faber h/b, 1962, in print until about 1975.
UK: Faber Fanfare p/b, 1980. SBN 571-06001-3.
US: Criterion Books h/b, 1963.
PT: Galeria Panorama, 1969.

Synopsis:

An unmanned probe returning from Venus has crashed in a tropical jungle. A spore on board has germinated and the Earth is fast becoming covered in a grey mould, that chokes the life out of anything it touches.

The only solution is to send Chris, Morrey, Serge and Tony, and a scientist, Pierre, on a mission to Venus to attempt to find something that will destroy the fungus. Work on the Venus probe, being built on the new permanently manned moonbase, Lunaville, is accelerated and the launch is ahead of schedule. However, the plan to skim through the Venusian atmosphere to pick up samples fails and a landing has to be made! As the ship sinks into the Venusian surface, all fuel reserves are needed to take off again. The crew are heading for Earth - but will have no fuel left to decellerate when they arrive......

Commentary:

One of the best books in the series. The problems Earth faces, as refugees begin flooding into Britain to escape the mould, are frighteningly realistic, and the usual Walters technique of piling disaster on top of disaster was at its best.

Reviews:

Gulliver In Orbit

EXPEDITION VENUS
by Hugh Walters.-Faber,
London. 17s.

[..part of article omitted..]

"EXPEDITION Venus"
is also a sort of joke,
this time on the reviewer.
There is nothing on the
cover, or in the publisher's
blurb, to indicate that this
is SF, for children, or a
tot's guide to rocketry.
Curiosity makes one read
on, to discover what sort of
ideas about outer space are
being served up to the
young.
How comforting, then, to
find that the ideals of "Boys'
Own Annual" still find a
place in a reeling universe.
Here are still the same
young chaps with healthy
minds, healthy bodies and
stiff upper lips, solving the
problems of Earth in re-
lation to its planetary neigh-
bours. The heroes they look
up to are ancient survivors
of the Battle of Britain, with
their bristling moustaches
now, alas, turned white.
The young chaps, with
traditional gallantry, set off
at half a million miles an
hour for Venus, to find an
antidote for a nasty sort of
fungus brought back from
the planet on a space probe,
and now causing devastation
on Earth. Needless to say,
they succeed. Their only
handicap appears to be a
rather frail member of the
party called Tony, whose
upper lip at times (in spite
of being British) tends to
quiver.
His character is perhaps
best summed up in a few
lines which deserve to be-
come immortal: "The tears
were gushing from Tony's
eyes, and floating roung the
cabin like little balls of
silver, so great was the
mechanic's relief at the
news. No young man wants
to die if he can help it."

-MARGARET JONES
The Sydney Morning Herald, 12th May, 1962
EXPEDITION VENUS
In these days when space
exploration is becoming almost an
everyday occurrence, science
fiction writers should be able to
portray the unlikely in a 
convincing manner, especially
when writing for younger readers.
Hugh Walters achieves this in his
latest Chris Godfrey adventure,
"Expedition Venus," Faber &
Faber, 13s 6d. Chris and his
friends are sent off to Venus to
try and find an organism which
will destroy a deadly fungus
brought back to earth by a Venus
space-probe. The future of man-
kind depends on the success or
failure of their mission, as all
attempts to destroy the fungus
have hailed. Mr. Walters'
documentary style and degree of
realism make this a book which
any star-gazing schoolboy would
like to read.                   J.S.
The Belfast News-Letter, 7th March, 1962

AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING COMMISSION
WOMEN'S SESSION
BOOK REVIEW

                                                by Isabel Seddon
"Expedition Venus" by Hugh Walters                      (Faber)

     Another book for the addict of technical adventure is "Exploration
Venus".  The scene is the future, a base has long since been establish-
ed on the moon , the next step is to explore the planets, using the
moon as a take-off point.  Suddenly the business of further exploration
becomes urgent.  A probe has picked up some mould spores from the
atmosphere around Venus, and brought them back to earth.  Starting
in Africa the mould spreads like a bush fire, killing all living matter-
nobody can find anything to stamp it out.  There's nothing for it but
to have a manned rocket go to Venus and see what organism controls the
mould in its native habitat.  With the mould multiplying like rabbits
on earth, threatening to end human life, the five young men who take
off for Venus must come back with the Venusian myxamytosis - or else.
Well, of course they do, and you know they will.  But there's a great
deal of carefully planned suspense, fuel running out, meteorites
bunging holes in the side of the rocket, and so on.  "Exploration
Venus" can't fail to grip teen-age boys, and it would be a particularly
good choice for the boy who's not overfond of reading.  I gather that
the copious stuff about rockets is accurate.  The characters, as often
happens in this sort of book, are papier mache - but who cares?

- - - - - -


up-arrowBack to the previous book

left-arrowBack to the main index

down-arrowGo on to the next book