Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Another new academic work: Imagining Mars: A Literary History by Robert Crossley

More great news! The Wall Street Journal reminds us why the Red Planet has been the dominant orb, after Earth itself, in the science-fiction imagination by promoting Imagining Mars: A Literary History (Jan 2011), a new hardcover academic work by Robert Crossley, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts–Boston, and the latest volume in the Early Classics of Science Fiction series published by Wesleyan University Press. Endorsed by Steven J. Dick, former NASA chief historian, here is the promotional piece for Imagining Mars:

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.

The table of contents looks interesting and a short review in Publishers Weekly concludes: “Scholarly but accessible, with a generous number of illustrations and photographs, Imagining Mars is a fun and interesting read for sci-fi fans and armchair astronomers.”

Thanks to Locus for the link!

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