Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Fan’s 2002 List of Top Mars SF Books

In 2002, an avid science fiction fan from Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK put together a list at Amazon of his top fifteen favorite Mars SF books. As the fan noted, this is not just a list of the usual suspects!

1. Red Dust (1993), by Paul J. McAuley
“Mixture of gritty politics and surreal settings."

2. The War of the Worlds (1898), by H. G. Wells
“The original is still one of the best. A classic tale of Martians invading England."

3. Martian Time-Slip (1964), by Philip K. Dick
"All the usual wierdness and fractured realities set against a Martian backdrop."

4. Red Mars (1992), by Kim Stanley Robinson
"The first of the Mars Trilogy, a masterpiece of utopian socialist SF writing, combining the political, personal and the physical."

5. Man Plus (1976), by Frederik Pohl
"One of the THE cyborg stories. A classic novel of adapting humans to life on Mars."

6. Solis (1994), by A. A. Attanasio
"Another masterful combination of pulp, quantum physics and emotion, from SF's most underrated stylist."

7. The Martian Chronicles (1950), by Ray Bradbury
"Serene, utterly nostalgic, and faintly disturbing tales written from the 1940s onwards."

8. A Princess of Mars (1917), by Edgar Rice Burroughs
"Fantastic Mars! The first of numerous crazy pulp adventures. Suspend your disbelief and just enjoy!"

9. The Stone Canal (1996), by Ken MacLeod
"Anarcho-communist posthuman politics? Much better than it sounds!"

10. The Sands of Mars (1951), by Arthur C. Clarke
"Clarke's first really good novel - slightly dated but worthwhile."

11. Mars Probes (2002), anthology edited by Peter Crowther
"An essential collection of short stories, chosen by the best editor around."

12. Moving Mars (1993), by Greg Bear
"BIG old-fashioned SF in the best possible way."

13. Kane of Old Mars (1998), omnibus by Michael Moorcock
"Moorcock updates the pulp Mars adventure in the Edgar Rice Burroughs tradition."

14. The Man Who Loved Mars (1973), by Lin Carter
"Emotion rather than science-driven fantasy of Mars by the prolific Lin Carter."

15. Beachhead (1992), by Jack Williamson
"A solid realistic story from a writer whose career spans decades."


Blue Tyson said...

So what are the Lin Carter Mars books actually about? Never seen anyone write about those.

Paul said...

Carter has written four books about Mars: The Man Who Loved Mars (1973), The Valley Where Time Stood Still (1974), The City Outside the World (1977), and Down to a Sunless Sea (1984). I've only read the first one, which is about the hunt for a lost city on Mars. Good book if you like history and archaeology. Paul