Mike Mars Astronaut
Author: Donald A. Wollheim
Illustrator: Albert Orbaan
WOLLHEIM, Donald. Mike Mars Astronaut. Illustrated by Albert Orbaan. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1961. 12mo, 189pp. Light blue boards with spine stamped pictorially in black and white; top edge blue. Color pictorial endpapers; b&w illustrations throughout. Boards a tad discolored, spine ends a bit rubbed, foredge and bottom edge of sheets a tad foxed – but no internal foxing, else an internally clean, bright copy in original color pictorial dust jacket (light edge wear, ¾” gouge to front panel near flap).
First edition. Published during the height of the Space Race, and the same year that President Kennedy put forward the goal of landing a man on the moon, this first novel in the Mike Mars series follows the titular character in his quest to be chosen as an astronaut. Rooted in the real testing and training that the astronauts of Project Mercury went through, this exciting novel captured the spirit of a nation as it turned its sights to the stars! The author, Donald A Wollheim, would go on to found DAW Books, one of the most prolific publishers of paperback science fiction and fantasy.