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For centuries, the planet Mars has captivated astronomers and inspired writers of all genres. Whether imagined as the symbol of the bloody god of war, the cradle of an alien species, or a possible new home for human civilization, our closest planetary neighbor has played a central role in how we think about ourselves in the universe. From Galileo to Kim Stanley Robinson, Robert Crossley traces the history of our fascination with the red planet as it has evolved in literature both fictional and scientific. Crossley focuses specifically on the interplay between scientific discovery and literary invention, exploring how writers throughout the ages have tried to assimilate or resist new planetary knowledge. Covering texts from the 1600s to the present, from the obscure to the classic, Crossley shows how writing about Mars has reflected the desires and social controversies of each era. This astute and elegant study is perfect for science fiction fans and readers of popular science.
ROBERT CROSSLEY is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. He is the author of Talking Across the World (1987) and Olaf Stapledon: Speaking for the Future (1994), and editor of An Olaf Stapledon Reader (1997).
Table of Contents
|List of Illustrations|
|The Meaning of Mars|
|Dreamworlds of the Telescope|
|Inventing a New Mars|
|Percival Lowell's Mars|
|Mars and Utopia|
|H. G. Wells and the Great Disillusionment|
|Mars and the Paranormal|
|Quite in the Best Tradition|
|On the Threshold of the Space Age|
|Afterword: Mars under Construction|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|