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The Martian Way and Other Stories

The Martian Way and Other Stories is a collection of four science fiction novellas previously published by Isaac Asimov in 1952 and 1954.

The title story, The Martian Way, was Asimov's response to the McCarthy Era. It describes a scenario in which pioneer human settlers on the planet Mars are faced with the denial of water supplies when a demagogic Earth politician conducts a campaign against wastage of water as a spaceship propellant. Asimov's distaste for McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee was expressed in his portrayal of the McCarthy analog, John Hilder, as being opposed to Martians who strongly resemble 19th century American pioneers. The Martian Way of the title is an interplanetary expression of the idea of manifest destiny.

Asimov was particularly proud of the story's prediction of the euphoria to be experienced by astronauts on spacewalks which were then still thirteen years in the future.

Of the remaining stories in the collection, the first two (Youth and The Deep) are appeals against, respectively, human physical and psychological anthropocentrism. The final story (Sucker Bait) is an assertion of the unity of knowledge.