Friday, July 8, 2011

Sci Fri: "The Day After We Land on Mars" by R. S. Richardson

If you’re interested in reading the SF primary source documents for the infamous “Nice Girls on Mars” controversy in the mid-1950’s that the late critic Joanna Russ was still bitching about in the early 1970’s, Dr. Robert S. Richardson’s nonfiction essay “The Day After We Land on Mars,” published in the December 1955 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, is the place to start! In short, in considering what would be involved in sending a manned expedition to the Red Planet, Dr. Richardson concluded that:
Space travel may force us to adopt a more realistic attitude toward sex than that which prevails at present. I feel that the men stationed on a planet should be openly accompanied by women to relieve the sexual tensions that develop among healthy normal males. These women would be of the type which we are accustomed to call “nice girls.” They would be nice girls before they went to live on Mars. They would be nice girls while they lived on Mars. And they would be nice girls after they had lived on Mars.
I can hardly wait to read about how Poul Anderson, Miriam Allen deFord, C. S. Lewis, and Joanna Russ responded to Dr. Richardson's essay. Stay tuned!

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