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Sands of Mars Hardcover – 1952
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Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
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About the Author
Arthur C. Clarke was considered to be the greatest science fiction writer of all time. He was an international treasure in many other ways: an article he wrote in 1945 led to the invention of satellite technology. Books by Mr. Clarke - both fiction and nonfiction - have more than one hundred million copies in print worldwide. He died in 2008 at the age of 90. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Martin Gibson, a celebrated science fiction writer, has been invited to be the first and only passenger on the maiden voyage of Ares, the first interplanetary vessel that will be devoted to passenger travel. A simple thesis indeed for a marvelous novel - Gibson's job is to report back to earth on the trip and his perceptions of the progress that the first colonists have made in their establishment of a flourishing base on Mars. Unlike Asimov's "The Gods Themselves" which addresses the philosophical and psychological impact of living in an alien environment on Earth's moon, The Sands of Mars restricts itself almost exclusively to addressing the hard core physical and scientific issues. Not to suggest that makes it less interesting or a weaker novel - that's just the side of the sci-fi coin that turned up when Clarke flipped it, I suppose! There certainly wasn't any shortage of topics - oxygen, air pressure, weather, heat, buildings, local travel (both on the planet and to Mars' moons, Phobos and Deimos), interplanetary travel back and forth to Mars, emergency preparedness, government, effective utilization of limited manpower, biology and zoology (or at least Clarke's rather exciting vision of what is possible), communication and more!
I also appreciated the fact that, while the science was straightforward and not particularly complex, neither was it dumbed down or patronizing. For example, when Ares first left Earth's orbits to begin the long trip to Mars, it was described as follows:
" ... she would pull away out of the orbit in which she was circling and had hitherto spent all her existence, to swing into the long hyperbola that led to Mars."
I haven't been a big fan of Arthur C Clarke's other more open-ended esoteric novels such as "Against the Fall of Night" but I certainly enjoyed this one!
I really enjoyed reading "The Sands of Mars". It was an unusual read since Mr. Clarke had written the novel many years ago - when many assumptions at that time about the moon and planets have been proven false today. In fact, Mr. Clarke mentions that in the preface of my book - and asks the readers to see how many they can spot (like plants that grow on the Moon and Mars, to name a few). These distractions should not at all take away from the novel. It's actually a simple and straightforward story. A writer (of Science-Fiction), named Martin, decides to go to Mars - which is still in it's infancy of colonialism. The story then relates of the colony's attempts at maintaining the colony on Mars as well as their attempt at terraforming the planet. It's a good story, that many should enjoy!
Mars officially is a cold, lifeless world, but the author Arthur Clarke has endorsed recent claims of life evidenced in space-probe photos. He might be mistaking hype for science, and geology for biology, but he might also have "The Sands of Mars" in the back of his mind too.
On a sidenote, ignore the reviewer below who refers to this novel as "Part of Clarke's one novel per planetary body pulp series". This is simply a ridicilous statement. First off, ACC DOES NOT have one novel per planetary body, and he, being of the leading and perhaps pioneering practicioners of hard SF, certainly does not write pulp. Indeed, if you read this book as part of the omnibus Prelude To Mars, you will read in the preface to Prelude To Space that that novel took Arthur 20 days to conceive and write, which is a record he has never since come close to equalling. Yeah, sounds like pulp to me. Sure. Forget the negative commentary and enjoy the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The plot is more about human interaction and relationships than anything.Read more