Podkayne of Mars Summary
Podkayne of Mars begins on Mars sometime in the future. Both Mars and Venus, once colonies of Earth, are now independent. Podkayne Freis, the young heroine and narrator of the tale, is excited by her family's upcoming trip to Earth but has her hopes suddenly dashed when she learns her parents cannot go. They must stay and care for three of their infants that were mistakenly "decanted" from a center where they had been kept in suspended animation. Podkayne's favorite relative, Uncle Tom, agrees to accompany Podkayne (or "Poddy" as she is called) and her brother Clark on the trip. Unknown to the children, Uncle Tom is being sent as a secret ambassador to a conference to decide whether Mars and Venus should join Earth's federation of planets. He believes that Mars should stay out of the federation and remain neutral.
Aboard a luxury space vessel bound first for Venus, Poddy makes friends, flirts with the crew, explores the ship, and proves herself during a dangerous radiation storm. The action then moves to Venus where Poddy and Clark are caught up in the political intrigue surrounding Uncle Tom's mission.