Visions of Mars

Essays on the Red Planet in Fiction and Science

$29.95

Only 1 left in stock

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist

About the Book

Seventeen wide-ranging essays explore the evolving scientific understanding of Mars, and the relationship between that understanding and the role of Mars in literature, the arts and popular culture. Essays in the first section examine different approaches to Mars by scientists and writers Jules Verne and J.H. Rosny. Section Two covers the uses of Mars in early Bolshevik literature, Wells, Brackett, Burroughs, Bradbury, Heinlein, Dick and Robinson, among others. The third section looks at Mars as a cultural mirror in science fiction. Essayists include prominent writers (e.g., Kim Stanley Robinson), scientists and literary critics from many nations.

About the Author(s)

Howard V. Hendrix, currently at California State University, Fresno, has taught at the college level for over thirty years. He has published six novels and four collections of stories; has authored, coauthored, or coedited five works of nonfiction; and has written numerous articles, reviews, and editorials.

George Slusser is a professor emeritus of comparative literature at the University of California, Riverside. The longtime curator of the famed Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, he also earned the Pilgrim Award for his numerous scholarly books.

Award-winning author Eric S. Rabkin is an associate provost for online education and a professor of writing and rhetoric at Stony Brook University in New York. He is the author of numerous books and publications.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Howard V. Hendrix, George Slusser and Eric S. Rabkin

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 222
Bibliographic Info: appendices, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5914-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8470-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface: Science, Fiction, and the Red Planet
GEORGE SLUSSER, HOWARD V. HENDRIX, ERIC S. RABKIN      1
Introduction: The Martian in the Mirror
HOWARD V. HENDRIX      9

One: Approaching Mars
Mars of Science, Mars of Dreams
JOSEPH D. MILLER      17
Where Is Verne’s Mars?
TERRY HARPOLD      29
Rosny’s Mars
GEORGE SLUSSER      36

Two: The Uses of Mars
Dibs on the Red Star: The Bolsheviks and Mars in the Russian Literature of the Early Twentieth Century
EKATERINA YUDINA      51
The Martians Among Us: Wells and the Strugatskys
GEORGE SLUSSER      56
Savagery on Mars: Representations of the Primitive in Brackett and Burroughs
DIANNE NEWELL AND VICTORIA LAMONT      73
The (In)Significance of Mars in the 1930s
JOHN W. HUNTINGTON      80
Spawn of “Micromégas”: Views of Mars in 1950s France
BRADFORD LYAU      86
Is Mars Heaven? The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451 and Ray Bradbury’s Landscape of Longing
ERIC S. RABKIN      95
Re-Presenting Mars: Bradbury’s Martian Stories in Media Adaptation
PHIL NICHOLS      105
Robert A. Heinlein and the Red Planet
DAVID CLAYTON      118
Business as Usual: Philip K. Dick’s Mars
JORGE MARTINS ROSA      130
Kim Stanley Robinson: From Icehenge to Blue Mars
CHRISTOPHER PALMER      139
Martian Musings and the Miraculous Conjunction
KIM STANLEY ROBINSON      146
Chronicling Martians
SHA LABARE      152

Three: Science and Fictional Mars
Mars as Cultural Mirror: Martian Fictions in the Early Space Age
ROBERT CROSSLEY      165
Beyond Goldilocks and Matthew Arnold: Interplanetary Triage, Extremophilia, and the Outer Limits of Life in the Inner Solar System
HOWARD V. HENDRIX      175

Appendix 1—To Write the Dream in the Center of Science: Mars and the Science Fiction Heritage: A Dialogue Between Ray Bradbury and Frederik Pohl (George Slusser, Moderator) (May 2008)      185
Appendix 2—The Extreme Edge of Mars Today: A Panel Discussion with David Hartwell, Geoffrey Landis, Larry Niven, and Mary Turzillo, Moderator (May 2008)      190
About the Contributors      207
Index      211

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “most readers will find deeper meanings and new perspectives to add to what they have enjoyed in the Martian science fiction sub-genre, and will be inspired to ponder the possibility of someday visiting the red planet themselves”—Rain Taxi
  • “this collection is much more accessible than most and rarely resorts to jargon, which is a definite plus…most of the discussions to be quite intelligent and even enlightening”—Critical Mass
  • “an informative and eminently readable book…essential…needs to be on library shelves ”—Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts