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Life on Pluto, Circa 1959

Now that we are learning a lot about Pluto, thanks to the New Horizons probe, maybe its time to revisit a retrofuturistic vision of the former ninth planet. In 1959, author Donald A. Wollheim published what would now be called a YA novel called The Secret of the Ninth Planet.

“I have the feeling I’ve been here before,” Russ said slowly.

Burl felt an odd chill. “Yes, that’s it!”

Haines grumbled. “I know what you mean. I can make a guess. We’ve never really been the right weight since we left Earth. Even under acceleration there were differences one way or the other. But I feel now exactly as I did on Earth. That’s what gives you the odd sensation of return.”

The two younger men realized Haines was right. For the first time since they had left their home world, they were on a planet whose gravity was normal to them. It felt good and yet it felt—in these fearful surroundings—disconcerting.

Well, you have to remember this was 1959, before any American had escaped the pull of gravity. Certainly Pluto has some, more than you’d experience in space flight, but nothing like Earth’s. But the description of Pluto is what’s fascinating about the excerpt at Collector’s Weekly. Too bad it doesn’t include the part where they meet the Plutonians. 


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