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Stand By For Mars

Carey Rockwell

Book Overview: 

Tom Corbett - Space Cadet was one of the first multimedia sensations. The character had his own radio show, TV series, comic book, breakfast cereal, and a line of young-adult novels. A cross between "Tom Brown's School Days" and Horatio Hornblower (and loosely based upon Robert A. Heinlein's novel "Space Cadet"), the books follow the adventures of Tom and his friends Roger Manning and Astro as they work their way through Space Academy to become officers of the Solar Guard. Along the way they tangle with space pirates, smugglers, and the threat of demerits for breaking the rules.

In this volume, we learn how the Polaris Unit first came together -- and how they almost washed out before they got off the ground -- and how their first mission mission went from a training maneuver, to a rescue, to a struggle to survive in the Martian deserts.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ven-foot cube, is divided by light shafts into smaller cubes of equal shape and size. Each man has a complete space squadron. Three model rocket cruisers, six destroyers and ten scouts. The ships are filled with gas to make [Pg 28] them float, and your power is derived from magnetic force. The problem is to get a combination of cruisers and destroyers and scouts into a space section where it could knock out your opponent's ships."

"You mean," interrupted Astro, "you've got to keep track of all those ships at once?"

"Don't worry, Astro," commented Roger quickly. "You use your muscles to win for dear old 42-D in free-fall wrestling. Corbett here can pound down the grassy field for a goal in mercuryball, and I'll do the brainwork of space chess."

The three visiting cadets exchanged sharp glances.

"Everybody plays together, Manning," said Dixon. "You three take part in each sport as a unit."

"Of course," nodded Roger. "Of cou. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Stand By For Mars! is the first (I think) in the Tom Corbett, Space Cadet series. It's silly, simplistic, and surprisingly brutal and homoerotic, often at the same time. Lots of healthy lads stripped to the waist, muscles gleaming, etc.

For example, "The big cadet, stripped to the waist, his thick ar

This was the first book I truly read. I made it through a few books before this but this book started my love of reading. I can still pick it up and make my way through it and reconnect with what caught me up with it so many decades ago. I begged my mom to buy me this book and it took some convincin

I finished Robert Heinlein’s Space Cadet a couple days ago and loved it, so when I found an entire series based on that premise, I was excited, esp. since I love vintage kids’ books. This was intended for a younger audience than Heinlein’s, say for ten-year-olds rather than thirteen-year-olds.


I started reading this book because off an on I've been working on my own cheesy 50's sci-fi serial. The Tom Corbett radio and TV series had become one of my chief influences (along with the wondefully cheesy Rocky Jones Space Ranger from the same era) and I started to read this book to get a better

Stand By For Mars is a TV tie in book from the Tom Corbett, Space Cadet series-- one of the first science fiction TV tie in novels-- written for young adults and released in 1952. It tells the back story of Corbett and the rest of his three man cadet crew (Roger Manning and Astro) arriving at the So

This needs some explanation. When I was a child, maybe nine or ten, I found a book one of my brothers owned: THE ROBOT ROCKET, by Carey Rockwell, part of the TOM CORBETT, SPACE CADET series. I don't know what they thought of it, but I adored it. It was so cool, with space travel and Martians and Ven

Dated? no doubt. Corny? well yes. But Tom Corbett rings the same childhood bells as Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, only for space geeks. Yeah, sure, Mars has no water and you can't walk the surface of the planet without a pressure suit, but really, for entertainment purposes, who cares? If I'm readi

This book had a huge influence on me. A gift from my mother when I was 8 or 9, it is the earliest book I can remember reading - 50 years ago! - and I became a life-long fan of science fiction. I don’t know what happened to it, most of the books I enjoyed in my youth were “lost”, hopefully passed on

In the hopes my young son will be an avid reader like his dad, I've been trying to pick up books my dad gave me to read when I was young and introduce them to him. I've been picking up the Hardy Boys series and I spotted this Tom Corbett book at a used book store and decided to give it a try.

I've ne

I can't argue with the ten-year-old me that read this book over and over again and gave it the maximum number of stars with every reading. 'nuff said.

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