The Big Book Of Mars
By Marc Hartzman
I received a free copy of The Big Book Of Mars in exchange for my honest opinion.
The Red Planet takes center stage in this entertaining, well researched, and fully illustrated pop history of Earthlings’ long relationship with Mars, and its impact on pop culture, space exploration, and our hopes for the future. Mars has been a source of fascination and speculation ever since the Ancient Sumerians observed its blood-red hue and named it for their god of war and plague. But it wasn’t until 1877, when “canals” were observed on the surface of the Red Planet, suggesting the presence of water, that scientists, novelists, filmmakers, and entrepreneurs became obsessed with the question of whether there’s life on Mars. In The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells suggested that we wouldn’t need to make contact with Martians–they’d come for us–while, many years later, Nikola Tesla claimed that he did make contact.
Since then, Mars has fully invaded pop culture. It has its own day of the week (Tuesday, or martis in Latin), candy bar, and iconic Looney Tunes character. It has been the subject of iconic novels and movies, from Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles to Mars Attacks! to The Martian. And it has sparked a space-race feud between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, who both hope to send a manned mission to Mars in the near future.
Filled with entertaining history, archival images, pop culture ephemera, and interviews with NASA scientists, The Big Book of Mars is the most comprehensive look at our relationship with Mars–yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Summary from Goodreads.
The sample copy of The Big Book of Mars that I received was only 82 pages long, so I am reviewing these pages. The rest of the book should be different to what there was at the start but unfortunately I am unable to comment on the rest.
The Big Book of Mars attempts to collect all the historical thoughts and idea on Mars, life on Mars and how to get to Mars. Back in the early days, before modern astronomy, there were numerous idea as to what Martians looked like, what their cities and lifestyles were and almost all agreed that Martians were smarter than humans.
I struggled to get into this book, while I absolutely love space and was super interested to learn more about ‘the red planet’ I frequently putting this book down and had to force myself to pick it back up again.
While I struggled to enjoy the writing style, the actual information contained with these pages was of extreme interest. I learnt a great deal about how early astronomers shaped the publics opinion on our closest neighbour.
While our fascination with Mars has not waned, the only way that we are going to learn more our this planet is by going to it. The probes that have been launched in the past (and some that are still active on Mars) have given us a great insight as to what to expect when we arrive; I suspect that few will have gotten what Mars is actually like.
What I read was very well researched but ultimately did not hook me into the story that was being told.
Check it out on Goodreads here.
Purchase it on Amazon here.