Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Martian Child

The Martian Child

A Novel About A Single Father Adopting A Son

David Gerrold

Tor Books



Trade Paperback

Basis for the major motion picture from New Line Cinema —starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Joan Cusack—in theaters November 2007

When David Gerrold decided he wanted to adopt a son, he thought he had prepared himself for fatherhood. But eight-year-old Dennis turned out to be more than he expected—a lot more. Dennis suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome, the son of a substance abuser and alcoholic who abandoned him in a seedy motel at the age of one-and-a-half. His father died of an overdose. Seized by the state, Dennis was shuffled between eight different foster homes in less than eight years. He was abused and beaten severely in at least tow of his placements. Dennis was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and put on Ritalin and then Disipramine. He was prone to violent emotional outbursts. His case history identified him as "hard to place" —a euphemism for "unadoptable." But for David Gerrold it was love at first sight…

Lambda Literary Award - Nominee


Toward the end of the meeting, the caseworker remarked, "Oh—and one more thing. Dennis thinks he's a Martian."

"I beg your pardon?" I wasn't certain I had heard her correctly. I had papers scattered all over the meeting room table—thick...


Praise for The Martian Child

“[A] very personal account of a middle-aged gay man's adoption of a high-risk eight-year-old boy... Charming and funny, the adopted single dad wins our sympathy.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The heart-searing moments are many but never overwritten, thanks to Gerrold's bright, efficient exposition.” —Booklist

“Gerrold, a Nebula and Hugo Award with being a single, gay parent of a child who insists he is a Martian, a common defense mechanism used by abused and neglected children. The account moves quickly through months of adjustment, doubt, and finally acceptance of a situation that often has the potential for disaster.” —Publishers Weekly

“Sometimes parenting can be an encounter with aliens. The Martian Child is based on the author's true story of parenting as a single gay man. In the course of his undertaking, he becomes acquainted with the habits and behavior of an even more exotic creature, the Earth boy. It's a quick read, and a humanizing one.” —Bay Area Reporter

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

David Gerrold

David Gerrold is the Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author of dozens of books for both adults and young adults. He began his career as the precocious author of the teleplay "The Trouble with Tribbles," broadcast on the original Star Trek series and voted the series's most popular episode of all time.

David lives with his son in Northridge, California. And while he admits he no longer believes his son truly is a Martian, in exasperating father-son moments—of which there are many—David believes he still acts like one.

David Gerrold

From the Publisher

Tor Books

Latest on Facebook