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Cover of 'Mission To Mercury' (Faber) Cover of 'Mission To Mercury' (Book Club)
Cover of 'Mission To Mercury' (US Criterion/Guild) Cover of 'Missão Mercúrio'

Mission To Mercury

(PT - Missão Mercúrio)


Publishing details:

UK: Faber h/b, 1965, in print until about 1969.
UK: Children's Book Club, h/b, 1965
US: Criterion Books h/b, 1965.
PT: Galeria Panorama, 1968.

Synopsis:

The use of telepathy in space flight is being considered by UNEXA. Telepathic twins, Gill and Gail, volunteer to assist and it is decided that one of them will accompany Chris and the rest on their next mission - to Mercury, where solar radiation will render radio impractical.All goes well at first, but then strange changes in the behaviour of the crewmembers are observed by Gail. It transpires that the solar radiation is affecting their personalities. The answer is to attempt a landing on the frozen 'dark side' of Mercury, using the planet as a shield while a new trajectory is worked out. However, the absolute-zero conditions cause massive heat loss from the ship and it may not be possible to lift off before the crew succumb to the cold....

Commentary:

A definite improvement on 'Journey To Jupiter', this book has all the usual disasters and excitement that we had come to expect from Hugh Walters. It includes our first meeting with Gill and Gail (later to reappear in 'Spaceship To Saturn'), and Tony, Serge and Morrey are not too keen on having a girl on board! Plenty of sixties sexism here.

Reviews:

'Mr Walters is the Henty of the spaceways.' - Yorkshire Post

KORT OM______
böcker
Hugh Walters SF-äventyrs-
serie om unge Chris Godfrey
och hans glada rysk-ameri-
kansk-autraliska gäng harno-
terats här då och dåtidigare, ef-
tersom serien faktiskt hörtill
den bästa och mest spännade
pojkboks-SF som finns, och se-
naste bandet i serien, Missionto
Mercury (Faber & Faber16)
bara befäster omdömet.Här ut-
rustas grabbarna met ett stycke
telepatiskt kvinnligt tvillingpar,
varav ena halvan skall följamed
dem på första resantill Merku-
rius medan den andra skall
stanna på jorden och hålladen
telepatiska kontakten, och in-
matningen av det kvinnligt veka
går utmärkt. Liksomockså resan
till Merkurius, trots alla de
märkeliga farligheter sommöter.
Fortfarandeär det mig en gåta
varför förlagen inte översätter
sådant här i stället förde vidrigt
usla dåligheter som används för
att skaffa SF dåligt rykte bland
våra läsande ungar.
Göteborgs Tidningen
October 11th,1968
Moonshine
and
Milkmen

by Benedict Nightingale

S
mall boys these days are
much more technologically
minded than most of their
parents. James Muirden's The
Moonwinners
(Hamish Hamil-
ton, 13s 6d) and Mission to
Mercury
(Faber, 16s), by Hugh
Walters,are - typically -
crammed with Alpha 176,
retro-rockets, 5g's and T
minus 65; a pity the character-
isation shows no comparable
expertise.
The landing on the moon,
involving battles between
Americans-cum-British and
renegade Russians, is the more
exciting; sex and booze added,
is would be as adult as, say,
James Bond. The Mercury
probe (if that's the jargon) is
much more uneventful. The
only curious thing about it is
that Mr Walters includes a
female astronaut (who sends
telepathy home) and that he
gives the whole crew the cast
of mind presumed to belong to
pre-teenagers. She is freckled,
tomboyish, and bouncy; the
males admit, grudgingly,that
her efforts are "not bad for
a girl." One, who likes to feel
the boys are all mates together,
gets furious when another
(lasciviousness a hundred light
years away) "mopes" over
her. Is this really how the
knowing children of today
think adults act? Is it even
how nonfictional children
behave?
[Rest of article omitted]
The Guardian
8th October, 1965