Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Mountains of the Sun: 1974 French eco-SF novel by Christian Léourier

The Mountains of the Sun (1974) is a ecological science fiction novel by French writer Christian Léourier in which colonists from Mars return to Earth where society has devolved to a point where it wages war against nature. Translated from the French, the novel was initially published as Les Montagnes du soleil (1971).

Pictured: Paperback (New York: Berkley Publishing Corporation) a Berkley Medallion book.176 pages, 95¢, with a colorful advertisement for True cigarettes bound near the center of the book. Cover painting by American artist Richard Powers. Promotional piece from the back cover detailed below.

Berkley’s International Science Fiction program is very proud to introduce France’s premiere young s-f master with an adventure in Earth’s future. After the catastrophic death of civilization, human colonists of Mars return to “the mother planet” to discover a primitive society operating in bloody conflict with nature. The planet-wide adventures of this group of colonists—grown soft and decadent in the artificial low-gravity colonies of Mars—is one of the most exciting adventures of today’s international world of science fiction.

According to one fan who read The Mountains of the Sun in 2006, “The nicest thing about this book is that we Americans get to see that even though the French pretend to have all the best writers and novelists in the world, the best of their published SF is only marginally better than most of the bottom-of-the-barrel American SF, and far worse than the rest of the barrel. France, baby, you've come a long way since Verne.”

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