The Sands of Mars is a science fiction novel by English writer Arthur C. Clarke. While he was already popular as a short story writer and as a magazine contributor, The Sands of Mars was also a prelude to Clarke's becoming one of the world's foremost writers of science fiction novels. The story was published in 1951, before humans had achieved space flight. It is set principally on the planet Mars, which has been settled by humans and is used essentially as a research establishment. The story setting is that Mars has been surveyed but not fully explored on the ground. The Sands of Mars was Clarke's first published novel.