Visions of Mars: Essays on the Red Planet in Fiction and Science

Overview

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...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Rain Taxi
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
Critical Mass
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
Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts
"an informative and eminently readable book...essential...needs to be on library shelves "
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786459148
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/14/2011
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard V. Hendrix teaches English at California State University in Fresno. In addition to his editing and critical work, Hendrix is the author of six science fiction novels. 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.

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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

1 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

2 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 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

From Icehenge to Blue Mars Christopher Palmer Kim Stanley Robinson 139

Martian Musings and the Miraculous Conjunction Kim Stanley Robinson 146

Chronicling Martians Sha LaBare 152

3 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 Turzilo, Moderator (May 2008) 190

About the Contributors 207

Index 211

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