A rocket in Ohio blasts off on a winter day. It is extremely hot, despite the winter season.
Ylla and Yll, an unhappily married Martian from Mars couple, who used to be in love. You know they're meant to be together, because they've practically got the same name. She does housework while he ignores her. Ylla has some scandalous dreams about an Earth Man named Nathaniel York, who will hop on over to Earth, tell her she's pretty, and sweep her off her feet. York has a co-pilot named Bert, but Bert apparently isn't the type to sweep Martian housewives off their feet. Anyway, it turns out that all Ylla needed was to find a reason for Yll to be jealous, because now he's definitely paying attention to her. He tries to distract her and makes up excuses for why she can't go out to meet Nathaniel York. Since Ylla talks in her sleep, she gives away a few details about how the Earth Men are coming. Yll heads off with his gun, telling Ylla he's going "hunting." And he is—hunting (and killing) Earth Men.
It's basically just a small chapter with Martians singing and reciting poems from the 1940's- Earth.
With the explorers landing on Mars, they try to introduce themselves to the Martians. Having no luck, the men tried telling the Martians that they were from planet Earth, but apparently there is a large group of people that say they are from there, but really they are just insane. All of the Martians on Mars are psychologically insane, but they blame the real Earth citizens for being mad, and decide to lock em' up in the looney bin along with the other crazys.
A man wanted to go to Mars, he begged and pleaded to get away from this god forsaken world we call Earth. To get away from ,"wars and censorship and statism and conscription and government control of this and that, of art and science!" They left him behind.
16 men fly a rocket out to Mars for the third time. It's about 5-6 times the amount of men from the first and second expedition, now on the journey to discover the mysteries of Mars. They reach a house where one of the men recognize that it is their past-dead grandparents house, both now alive and it tact. They treat them to some iced tea and comfort, welcoming them to Mars, which they act like they understand and correspond well with the men's thoughts. One moment later, crowds of people are swarmed around the rocket, cheering and the rest of the men that were ordered to stay and protect, were now in their old families houses. With everyone scattered and being approached from their "family", the captain decided that it was okay, so he found his brother Edward and went "home" with them. Overall, everyone stayed inside and spent the night, except the captain woke up with a sudden feel of disgust and weariness, knowing that something was not right. He woke to try to leave, but couldn't reach the door before "Edward" undisguised as Edward and into a Martian.
The sixteen men did not see the sun shine again.
Hathaway, a physician, reports that almost all of the Martians have died from chicken pox. Captain Wilder and the men drink as a celebration, but Spender gets angry about it. Biggs gets drunk and throws bottles into the canal as Spender hits him. They roll into town when sobered, and Spender decided to abandon them to roam the Martian ruins. Eventually he comes back, claiming to be a Martian. Spender recruits Cherokee and kills five of the crew members. Spender does not want any more humans settling Mars so he kills them. Wilder shoots Spender.
This interchapter is all about men being lonely when going to Mars. Propaganda plays a role, in the way that drives people to want to go to Mars.
Benjamin Driscoll has a tough time breathing on Mars since the air is so thin and he requires thick air. He plants trees to help him feel comfortable, but it is so dry and suffrage of drought exists. Overnight it rains, and in the morning all of the trees come alive.
Interchapter that includes people moving into Mars and building houses, houses similar like the ones that were left on Earth.