How about a topical post?

Did you know that humans put another rover on Mars? One specifically designed to look for evidence that life exists or existed on Mars?  Or that it was also intended to pave the way for a potential visit by humans to the Red Planet?

There has been a lot written about that planet.  Here's just a tiny selection of Mars and  space related stuff.


Kim Stanley Robinson' s Mars Trilogy (Red Mars, Blue Mars and Green Mars) is an interconnected series of short stories about the settlement and development of a Martian colony.  It's a major cornerstone in science fiction and winner of numerous awards, though I will admit I was a bit bored by it.

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein is even more legendary.  Valentine Michael Smith, an orphaned child of the first human visitors to Mars, is adopted by Martians and raised in their culture.  When he returns to Earth as a young adult, he struggles to adapt to Earth and human culture.  This isn't a young adult novel, as Heinlein doesn't shy away from controversy regarding human sexuality and other mature topics.  Still, it a major piece in Heinlein greater body of work.

Edited to add: Also set on Mars is Black Hole Sun, which we've previously reviewed.


Packing for Mars by Mary Roach looks at all the preparations that are required even before we consider sending a human to Mars.  Like Roach's previous works, this isn't a hard-science examination; while it does have all the science in there somewhere, it's just as much about the people as the tech.  And to get a sense of the tone?  She watches a live video feed of herself pooping in a training exercise on how to use space toilets.

Solar System: A Visual Exploration of All the Planets, Moons and Other Heavenly Bodies That Orbit our Sun by Marcus Chown.  Like the previously recommended The Elements, Solar System is a beautiful book with fantastic photos and descriptions of the subject matter.  While it obviously covers more than Mars, it certain is a big motivator to look at the universe around us.

Video Game:

I can't resist.  While the game isn't a masterpiece, it is interesting: Red Faction: Guerilla is the story of a near-future mining colony on Mars that is in the midst of a miner's revolt.  You play as a recently joined revolutionary set out to demolish the infrastructure of the ruling corporate ownership.  Big draw? You can destroy pretty much everything with a sledgehammer.  Everything.
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