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Imagining Mars
A Literary History
Robert Crossley



Early Classics of Science Fiction

Wesleyan University Press
2011 • 396 pp. 18 illus. (8 color) 6 x 9"
Science Fiction / Literary History


$40.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6927-1

$31.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7105-2

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



"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

Mars in the human imagination from the invention of the telescope to the present

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.

University Presses in Space

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Reviews:

"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

"…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

“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

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




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).






Wed, 19 Mar 2014 22:38:18 -0500