Frederick Turner is an Oxford graduate and is Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is a former editor of The Kenyon Review. He is also the author of ten books of poetry, a novel, and numerous books on literature, philosophy, and classicism, including the controversial The Culture of Hope: A New Birth of the Classical Spirit. Mr. Turner is also the author of The New World, another epic poem published by Ilium Press.
Genesis: An Epic Poem of the Terraforming of Marsby Frederick Turner
Earth is under the theocratic rule of the Ecotheist Movement,
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In Genesis, the UN appoints Chance Van Riebeck to lead a scientific survey of Mars. Using theories derived from the Gaia Hypothesis, his team clandestinely introduces genetically tailored bacteria into the Martian environment to begin transforming the planet into one habitable by human beings.
Earth is under the theocratic rule of the Ecotheist Movement, which divides human beings from the rest of nature. The Ecotheists regard all human interference with nature as evil; therefore, they consider the transformation of Mars to be a criminal act. So they capture Chance and his followers and put them on trial, which leads to war between the Martian colonists and Earth.
To complete their terraforming project, the colonists must locate the secret Lima Codex, which contains a genetic inventory of all Earthly lifeforms. The Codex is hidden somewhere on Earth, and their agents must hunt it down before the Ecotheists find it first.
The colonists, desperate for independence, threaten to drop a moonlet on the Earth, which would annihilate the planet. To save Earth, the Ecotheists agree to a truce that they have no intention of honoring—for they are plotting a sneak attack that will destroy both the colonists and the Codex.
Genesis is an ambitious tale filled with visionary ideas; peopled with prophets, fanatics, traitors, and tortured heroes; and taut with conflicts that mirror the moral issues we face today.
Originally published in 1988, Genesis was the first major work of fiction that addressed the idea of terraforming Mars. It not only suggested the idea, but provided a feasible solution for doing so. During its initial publication, Genesis was on the list of recommended reading at NASA, and has since gone on to enjoy a type of cult status. Its acknowledged list of admirers includes such literary luminaries as Brian Aldiss, Amy Clampitt, Arthur C. Clarke, Thomas M. Disch, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Pulitzer Prize winning poet, James Merrill. It is with great pride that Ilium Press brings this influential and prescient work back into print.
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