The Martians & Us
It's a pity they make themselves so unapproachable
- H.G. Wells


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A Princess of Mars [S1]
by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1912)


This classic science fantasy was the first of the John Carter tales. Loosely defined process sees Carter end up on Mars as prisoner of the savage green men of Thark. A beautiful princess comes into the picture and rescue is fraught with seemingly endless danger. The Mars depicted is based on the work of Percival Lowell, a popular astronomer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.





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Out of the Silent Planet [S1]
by C.S. Lewis (1938)


Allegorical story of the life of Christ. Cambridge linguist Dr Ransom is kidnapped and taken to Malacandra (Mars). After escaping he learns from the peaceful inhabitants that Earth is a fallen planet in need of salvation in order to end its silent ostracism. Best known for his fantasy novels, this is the strongest and most science fictional of Lewis' Cosmic Trilogy.





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The Martian Chronicles
by Ray Bradbury (1949)


Popular collection of linked stories depicting the near-future colonisation of Mars. Earth is dying out and soon atomic radiation will finish it off. As increasing numbers of colonists arrive, the shape-changing Martians, thinking they are native lunatics, duly lock them up. But more rockets arrive from Earth, and more, piercing the hallucinations projected by the Martians.





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Double Star
by Robert A. Heinlein (1956)


With his life firmly on the line, a morally reprehensible down-and-out actor impersonates a kidnapped political leader in a desperate bid to save a highly sensitive situation. Peace with the Martians was at stake... failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. In time, the role overcomes him as he gradually lifts his ethical standards in order to stay in character.





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Man Plus
by Frederik Pohl (1976)


Ill luck made Roger Torraway the subject of the Man Plus Programme, but it was deliberate cybernetic engineering which turned him into a monster... a machine perfectly adapted to survive on Mars. For according to computer predictions, Mars is humankind's only alternative to extinction. But beneath his monstrous exterior, Torraway still carries a man's capacity for suffering.





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Red Mars [S1]
by Kim Stanley Robinson (1992)


For eons, sandstorms have swept the desolate landscape. For centuries, Mars has beckoned humans to conquer its hostile climate. Now, in 2026, a group of 100 colonists is about to fulfill that destiny. But first a group of idealistic scientists will need to create it using 'terraforming'. Nasty multinational corporations, political radicals and others on overpopulated Earth all have ideas about how to exploit the new Mars. Complex, imaginative and believable.





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Ilium
by Dan Simmons (2003)


The Trojan War rages at the foot of Olympos Mons on Mars, observed by Zeus and his immortal family, as well as 21st century professor Thomas Hockenberry. On Earth, a small band of the few remaining humans pursues a lost past and devastating truth, as four sentient machines depart from Jovian space to investigate the potentially catastrophic emissions coming from the Red Planet.





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The Martian
by Andy Weir (2012)


Outstanding survival tale about an astronaut who is presumed dead and left to fend for himself in the hostile Martian environment. Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Armed only with his ingenuity and sardonic wit, he manages to tough it out long enough to start dreaming of the once remote possibility of rescue becoming a reality.





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Red Rising [S1]
by Pierce Brown (2014)


Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. He works all day in the hope of a better world for his children, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago.


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