Entering a Place Name on Mars

As folks know, I’ve been researching my family tree of late. Last night, I uncovered the first, verified, famous connection that is actually blood-line, not marriage. Drum roll please…

It turns out I’m related to (2nd cousin, once removed, if memory serves correct) Stanley Grauman Weinbaum. Stanley’s father was Nathan Weinbaum; Nathan’s father was Solomon Weinbaum, whose brother was Asher. Asher’s daughter, Rosa (Rose) was my great-grandmother.

So who is Stanley Weinbaum, and what’s this about Mars? Stanley G Weinbaum was a famous science fiction writer who burst upon the scene in 1934; he was dead of throat cancer by 1935. In his brief career, he wrote a number of significant items. He is most noted for the groundbreaking SF short story, “A Martian Odyssey”, which presented a sympathetic but decidedly non-human alien, Tweel. Subsequent American science fiction writers who read Weinbaum’s stories considered Stanley to be one of the key shapers of plot, theme, and direction in science fiction’s pulp history. The writer/editor Horace L. Gold claimed that there was anti-semitism among the New York editors and publishing houses in the pre WW II era, forcing the use of pen names for Jewish writers. Gold credited Stanley Weinbaum’s popularity as the major force in breaking down those religious barriers in the pulp fiction industry. In 1973, Stanley G. Weinbaum (along with H. G. Wells & John W. Campbell) was honored by having a crater on Mars named after him.

So, last night, I got to enter a miscellaneous fact about Stanley Weinbaum… with a location of Mars.