Going to Mars Word-by-Word: the Landis Way

The next stop in our Going to Mars Word-by-Word tour is Mars Crossing by Geoffrey Landis. Published by Tor Books in 2000, this is the first novel by an experienced and award-winning short story author. It won a nomination for a Nebula and won the Locus Award for best first novel in 2001.  Hop aboard for a gritty, near-future science fiction tale of the exploration of Mars the Landis way.   WHAT IT’S ABOUT By 2028, two missions have been sent to Mars. Both the Brazilian and the American expeditions met with catastrophe and death on the Red Planet. A NASA-private venture hopes the third mission to Mars will be the first to return. Their plan relies on a return vessel sent to Mars years earlier, capable of manufacturing fuel for the return trip from the Martian atmosphere. The mixed-gender, multi-national crew of six lands on Mars successfully but their celebrations are short-lived. A catastrophic failure kills one of the crew and causes irreparable damage to the return ship. And there is no hope of a rescue mission coming from Earth. As a last-ditch effort to survive, they set out to cross 4,000 miles of Mars to the north pole […]

Going to Mars Word by Word With Kim Stanley Robinson

The next stop in my blog series, Going to Mars Word by Word, is the Nebula Award-winning novel Red Mars written by Kim Stanley Robinson, published by Bantam House Science Fiction in 1993. It is the first of a trilogy(Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars) about the red planet that explores technological, scientific, political and social changes that might occur in the process of colonizing and terraforming the Mars. So let’s get Going to Mars WOrd by Word with Kim Stanley Robinson. WHAT IT’S ABOUT To say that Red Mars is the story of the colonization of Mars is to oversimplify. It is a multi-character saga about the first fifty or so years of the colonization and transformation of the planet. We follow several major characters in the first one hundred persons (mostly scientists) sent on the long journey to Mars. Once they land and begin to study and understand Mars, conflicts arise between various characters and their visions of their future on the red planet. As the overcrowded Earth sends more and more colonists, the struggle intensifies and ultimately ruptures into a violent revolution. The irony is that the damage the revolution does will probably speed the process of […]

Going to Mars: Word-by-Word Bear Style

Nominated for the Nebula in 1986 and the Hugo and Locus in 1988, The Forge of God by Greg Bear is our next stop in this series Going to Mars: Word by Word. It is a grim, relentless examination of what might happen if an alien society of machines wanted to destroy the earth without regard or consideration for any of her inhabitants or history. Hop aboard for an exploration of Mars Bear Style.   WHAT IT’S ABOUT Europa explodes stunning astrologists. Chunks of the former moon hit Mars and Venus. Mountains suddenly appear in locations as diverse as the Australian Outback and the United States’ Death Valley stumping geologists. Oceanographers observe and track large meteor-like objects that enter the earth through the ocean’s trenches. Scientists, politicians, and everyday people struggle with the fact that the Earth will be destroyed by an unfathomable planet eater. A second race of robots select some people to gather and load what they can onto space-going arks. Among the saved are those who stood witness to the earth’s destruction. “It is the Law.” Awakened from nearly four hundred years of cryosleep, the survivors create a colony on New Mars. A select few of the […]