Meet the Characters
Edward Sullivan – our hero
“I was hanging from a rope, fifty feet up the side of a great pillar of red Martian rock, with my arms buried in a sopping curtain of tanglemoss and bury-beetles trying to build a hill over my head…”
All 12-year-old Edward Sullivan wants is to be left in peace to read his Thrilling Martian Tales magazine. Instead he has to keep his chaotic family from disaster. And when disaster does strike, he is the one who will have to save them all.
“I’ve had lots of practice waking people up. It’s one of my specialties.”
Edward’s little sister, Parthenia (Putty), is incredibly enthusiastic and as impressionable as wet putty. Like their father, she is a genius, but she rarely keeps her attention on anything for more than a day or two at a time.
“A man who starts the day without a kipper is a man who will feel like a smoked fish until bedtime! So says Plato, or, er, someone.”
Cousin Freddie is a well-known but well-meaning idiot. But when he — literally — crashes in, everything starts to descend into chaos. Freddie is up to something, and Edward needs to find out what before it’s too late.
“What if someone sees us? What would they think?”
Edward’s middle sister, Olivia, is the most proper person he has ever met. How will she cope when she finds herself in the middle of the Martian wilderness, far away from civilization?
“You know, none of my family have shown the slightest interest in the device. I had once hoped that Edward might follow me, but…”
Papa is a genius, there’s no doubt. He’s the most successful mechanician on Mars, and his wild inventions have changed both Earth and Mars. It’s just a shame he doesn’t have a little more time for Edward.
“They called me the Crystal Rose of Tharsis, you know. Every young gentleman admired me.”
Mama was once one of Society’s most adored young ladies, hosting salons that were the envy of Tharsis City and with a host of admirers. But when her father gambled away the family fortune, nobody wanted to know her anymore and she has never quite recovered from the snub.
“It is remarkably handsome. Is that the latest London style, Cousin Freddie?”
Edward’s oldest sister, Jane, is possibly the sweetest person on Mars, but as far as Edward can tell, she’s never had a single thought in her head that isn’t about fashion or young men.
Sir Titus Dane
“My business carries me to Mars so infrequently that, when I found myself in the area, I could not resist the temptation of taking a slight diversion to pay my respects to one of my dearest friends.”
The famous archaeologist, Sir Titus Dane, was once of Mama’s admirers but no one has seen him for ten years since he disappeared in a cloud of disgrace. So why has he turned up out of the blue and what does he want with Edward’s family?
Dr. Octavius Blood
“I always carry my rock samples with me. You never know when you might need them.”
The small geologist is obsessed with rocks, but there is more to him than meets the eye.
Other Assorted Villains and Rascals
“Grrr. Argh. Grrr.”
…are villains and rascals. The villains! The rascals!
The illustration of Edward and his family is by Jeremy Holmes. Copyright Christy Ottaviano Books.