Mars Attacks #1: Martian Deathtrap

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9780345409539: Mars Attacks #1: Martian Deathtrap

MARS ATTACKS(c): Cards, comics . . . and now brand-new, all-original novels of unthinkable terror!
MURDER MANSION
The invasion was quick and merciless. Nothing on Earth could counter the superior technology of the interplanetary aggressors. Their first strike left worldwide defenses utterly useless. The unbeatable Martian war machine swept the countryside, spreading a reign of terror in every direction. And one small group of humans sought safety in bizarre Gelman mansion built by an eccentric millionaire.
MARTIAN DEATHTRAP pits a desperate band of human defenders against a merciless Martian Death Squad. The battleground is a huge mansion filled with a labyrinth of secret passages with giant insects--and certain death-- lurking outside. For the Martians, the mission is to secure the captured ground by whatever means necessary. For the humans, the goal is to beat the odds and simply
survive . . .

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From Publishers Weekly:

Bulbous-headed, needle-toothed Martians do unspeakable things to hapless babes in bikinis and other Earthlings in this disappointing first of two novels spun off from a controversial set of 1962 playing cards. The Mars Attacks cards, issued by Topps, created an uproar for their garish depictions of gore and sexual mayhem occasioned by a modern-day Martian invasion of Earth. Curiously, the novel, which focuses on a mixed band of Earthlings as they're stalked by Martians and other nasties in an isolated mansion-turned-museum, is less graphically detailed than the cards, which might have been a relief had suspense or creativity taken the place of shock. But as imagined by Archer (who's written some paperback Star Trek and Predator novels), the Martians think, feel and act exactly like humans. More alien-like, in fact, are the insects-wasps, mosquitoes, beetles-the Martians blow up to giant size. But even big bugs don't add much buzz to this tired yarn, a repetitious, near-random series of chases, stalkings and killings that works neither as SF horror nor as schlock. (May) ~ FYI: The second Mars Attacks novel, War Dogs of the Golden Horde, will be published in July. Meanwhile, Tim Burton (Batman) is slated to direct a film based on the trading cards.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

"Mars Attacks" trading cards, released by Topps Chewing Gum in 1962, featured alien invasion scenes deemed in their day so gruesome that they were pulled from the market. Today, comics-style gore is almost passe, and Topps has met little resistance to reissuing the cards, whose cult status has in the interim spawned comic books and pulp fiction such as this yarn and soon will give us a movie. Archer's effort, the putative first in a series, follows the alien invaders' violent progress as witnessed by several unfortunate humans who flee to a large mansion in the countryside. The Martians use their superior technology to transform insects into giant, devouring monsters, and the hapless humans must pull together to outwit the invaders. Although this is mostly fast-paced action and grisly violence, Archer puts enough farcical spin on it to make it entertaining to sf readers looking for a few campy thrills as well as to hardened "Mars Attacks" fans. Carl Hays

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