The story immediately established Weinbaum as a leading figure in the field. Isaac Asimov states that Weinbaum's "easy style and his realistic description of extraterrestrial scenes and life-forms were better than anything yet seen, and the science fiction reading public went mad over him." The story "had the effect on the field of an exploding grenade. With this single story, Weinbaum was instantly recognized as the world's best living science fiction writer, and at once almost every writer in the field tried to imitate him."
Before, aliens had been nothing more than plot devices to help or hinder the hero. Weinbaum's creations, like the pyramid-builder and the cart creatures, have their own reasons for existing. Also, their logic is not human logic, and humans can't always puzzle out their motivations. Tweel itself was one of the first characters (arguably the first) who satisfied John W. Campbell's famous challenge: "Write me a creature who thinks as well as a man, or better than a man, but not like a man."
In 1970, when the Science Fiction Writers of America voted on the best science fiction short stories before the creation of the Nebula Awards, "A Martian Odyssey" came in second to Asimov's "Nightfall", and was the earliest story to make the list. The chosen stories were published in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One, 1929-1964.
Larry Niven included several references to "A Martian Odyssey" in his Rainbow Mars. In general, Niven's repeated creation of credible alien species with their own way of thinking, acting and reacting to humans clearly shows the influence of Weinbaum's Martians.
In 2002, the Peter Crowther-edited anthology Mars Probes included "A Martian Theodicy" by Paul Di Filippo, a "thoroughly disrespectful" sequel.
Read more about this topic: A Martian Odyssey
Other articles related to "influence":
... an economy where the government exerts strong directive influence ... Under its influence France experienced what is called "Thirty Glorious Years" of profound economic growth ... Under its influence Germany has emerged from desolation and defeat to become an industrial giant within the European Union ...
... around the world have cited Giraud as an influence on their work ... it, I already had a consolidated style so I couldn't use its influence to enrich my drawing ... I directed Nausicaä under Moebius's influence ...
... who describes the Tarzan series as having a major influence on her childhood ... Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli has been cited as a major influence on Edgar Rice Burroughs' creation of Tarzan ... Mowgli was also an influence for a number of other "wild boy" characters ...
... The New York Dolls were first and foremost a major influence on the rock music scene in New York City, having accumulated a devoted cult following during their career ...
Famous quotes containing the word influence:
“I became the Incredible Shrinking Mother the year they started junior high. If our relationship today depended on physical clout, I would have about the same influence with them that the republic of Liechtenstein has on world politics.”
—Mary Kay Blakely (20th century)
“Power lasts ten years; influence not more than a hundred.”
—Korean proverb, quoted in Alan L. Mackay, The Harvest of a Quiet Eye (1977)
“A healthy soul stands united with the Just and the True, as the magnet arranges itself with the pole, so that he stands to all beholders like a transparent object betwixt them and the sun, and whoso journeys towards the sun, journeys towards that person. He is thus the medium of the highest influence to all who are not on the same level.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)