Life on Mars: Tales from the New Frontier

Life on Mars: Tales from the New Frontier

by Jonathan Strahan
     
 

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Mars! The Red Planet! For generations, people have wondered what it would be like to travel to and live there. That curiosity has inspired some of the most durable science fiction, including Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and the work of Isaac Asimov. Now the award-winning anthologist Jonathan Strahan has brought together thirteen original stories to

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Overview

Mars! The Red Planet! For generations, people have wondered what it would be like to travel to and live there. That curiosity has inspired some of the most durable science fiction, including Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and the work of Isaac Asimov. Now the award-winning anthologist Jonathan Strahan has brought together thirteen original stories to explore the possibilities. After reading Life on Mars, readers will never look at the fourth planet from the sun the same way again.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this strong anthology, Strahan (The Starry Rift) collects stories by some of the most talented writers in science fiction. Ranging from the first Mars landing to the far future, they often make use of the most recent scientific data about the Red Planet. In "The Old Man and the Martian Sea," Alastair Reynolds tells the exciting story of a teen who, upon running away from home, finds herself in the presence of a legendary Martian explorer. Nancy Kress, in "First Principle," explores the difficult relationship between a genetically engineered Martian teen and an embittered young man who has come to Mars as a refugee from a dying Earth. Ellen Klages touchingly recounts the birth of the first baby on Mars, while Nnedi Okorafor explains why Martians might particularly like Nigerians. Invoking some of the great authors of Martian tales, from Burroughs and Bradbury to Heinlein and Kim Stanley Robinson (whose "Discovering Life" is the only story not new to the collection), this anthology is sure to appeal to any teens who yearn to explore Earth's nearest neighbor. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Strahan has assembled an impressive collection of original stories, written in a more traditional science-fiction style than most of the dystopian novels that have dominated the genre of late. Each of the 12 acclaimed authors has imagined human life on Mars (or almost on Mars) and the challenges people would face trying to tame the Red Planet. While all of the stories are good, standouts include Cory Doctorow's "Martian Chronicles," in which virtual reality becomes as important as RL and teens liberate the masses from corporate machinations. Rachel Swirsky's "The Taste of Promises" challenges our definition of life and love. And Nancy Kress's "First Principle" imagines the lengths humans might need to go to adapt to another planet and just what that means for our definition of human. Like all good science fiction, these stories, though set in the future and chock-full of scientific discoveries and innovations, are about the human condition and about relationships. By setting them in novel circumstances, the authors are able ask questions like: What makes a person a person? What are the limits of brotherly love? Are humans more than their circumstances? And what allegiances do we owe to our dreams and our promises? Teen fans of traditional sci-fi will not want to miss this collection.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA
Kirkus Reviews
This exemplary, almost old-fashioned anthology is a welcome relief in a teen fiction market dominated by dystopias, fantasy and paranormal romance. Twelve top-tier speculative fiction authors tackle the classic theme of colonizing Mars, incorporating cutting-edge science and mostly adolescent protagonists (more than half of them female) in tales of enterprise, accomplishment and sacrifice. Perhaps because they are so realistically grounded, there is a certain sameness to the stories, not just in emphasizing plausible technology and accurate environments, but also in appreciating the hard work and good luck needed to establish residence on another world. Most discount the possibility of alien life, using the futuristic far-off setting to examine contemporary issues: racism, violence, environmental damage, economic disparity and, above all, what it means to be human. The mood ranges from optimistic (seeing a virgin planet as an ideal setting to correct the errors of Terran civilization) to scathing (indicting the folly of applying failed ideologies to a new frontier) to elegiac (almost nostalgic for bygone adventures not even yet begun). While some harsh language and difficult themes might restrict the audience, readers who agree with the saw that "the Golden Age of science fiction is 12" will demand more of every author included.(Science fiction/short stories. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670012169
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
04/14/2011
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
890L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Jonathan Strahan lives in Perth, Australia.

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