Hardback
January 3, 2011
9780819569271
English
396
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.6 Pounds (US)
$40.00 USD, £30.95 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Imagining Mars

A Literary History

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.

About the Author

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).

Reviews

"Robert Crossley's magnificent survey 'Imagining Mars: A Literary History' reminds us why the Red Planet has been the dominant orb, after Earth itself, in the science-fiction imagination."—Tom Shippey, The Wall Street Journal

"There is no better book than this one by Crossley to understand why Mars is so important to the soul of humanity."—Clifford Cunningham, Miami Sun News

"...I gained a lot from reading this detailed and carefully crafted book. It leads to the conclusion that Mars based science fiction has been obliged to accommodate the flow of scientific discoveries from the flotilla of orbiters and rovers that have now been sent to the Red Planet."—John Silvester, Odyssey, The e-Magazine of the British Interplanetary Society

"I know of no other book that attempts such a vast survey, holding together the literatures of science fiction and of the scientific study of Mars. Crossley's focus allows him to analyze the relation of science fiction to the modern history of scientific understanding with a precision, authority, and textual detail that a more traditional history of the genre could never attain."—John Huntington, professor of English, University of Illinois at Chicago

"Robert Crossley's Imagining Mars: A Literary History is a wonderfully written and impressively comprehensive study of the reciprocal relationships between factual Mars and fanciful Mars, relationships driven in turn by scientific discovery and literary imagination."—Brooks Landon, Science Fiction Studies

"This is a remarkable study, showing how attitudes and conceptions of Mars have evolved in the popular imagination. The scholarship is solid and thorough, presented in a fascinating and easy-to-read fashion."—Peter Fitting, editor of Subterranean Worlds

"A substantial and delightful book on the literary images and narratives of Mars, eminently readable, full of imaginative insights that will in turn awaken the reader's own imagination to the wonders of the universe."—Steven J. Dick, former NASA chief historian and author of The Biological Universe

"Imagining Mars is nothing less than a magnum opus of literary criticism on the subject. It will resonate primarily with readers and scholars of sf and popular science, but it is written in accessible language and will appeal to anybody interested in the cultural history of the west. Crossley clearly cares about this material on a personal and professional level, and it shows in the writing. Over ten years in the making, the book is a fitting climax to a long career of impeccable scholarship."—D. Harlan Wilson, Extrapolation

"this is the definitive literary history of a planet that has long been prospected by the human imagination, whatever the possibilities of actual settlement there."—Patrick Parinder, The British Society for Literature and Science Web Reviews

"Robert Crossley's magnificent survey 'Imagining Mars: A Literary History' reminds us why the Red Planet has been the dominant orb, after Earth itself, in the science-fiction imagination."—Tom Shippey, The Wall Street Journal

"Robert Crossley examines the interplay between speculative fiction and scientific knowledge about Mars throughout history, from the age of the earliest telescopes to NASA's recent orbiters and rovers."—George M. Eberhart, College and Research Library News

Endorsements

"I know of no other book that attempts such a vast survey, holding together the literatures of science fiction and of the scientific study of Mars. Crossley's focus allows him to analyze the relation of science fiction to the modern history of scientific understanding with a precision, authority, and textual detail that a more traditional history of the genre could never attain."—John Huntington, professor of English, University of Illinois at Chicago

"A substantial and delightful book on the literary images and narratives of Mars, eminently readable, full of imaginative insights that will in turn awaken the reader's own imagination to the wonders of the universe."—Steven J. Dick, former NASA chief historian and author of The Biological Universe

"This is a remarkable study, showing how attitudes and conceptions of Mars have evolved in the popular imagination. The scholarship is solid and thorough, presented in a fascinating and easy-to-read fashion."—Peter Fitting, editor of Subterranean Worlds

9780819569271 : imagining-mars-crossley
Hardback
396 Pages
$40.00 USD

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