Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Editor Brian Bieniowski revisits James Blish's novel Welcome to Mars

Brian Bieniowski, managing editor at Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, revisits James Blish’s juvenile SF novel Welcome to Mars (1967) in a lengthy but awesome editorial titled “You Might Go Home Again” in the March 2009 issue of the magazine. Here's an excerpt:
I can recall the day I read aloud my book report on James Blish's Welcome to Mars to Mrs. Blumenthal's seventh-grade English class. It was December 6, 1988 -- the day Roy Orbison died. I spoke with great gusto about Dolph Haertel's historic trip to the Red Planet in his bread-boarded antigravity-driven packing crate loaded with enough K-rations and bottled oxygen to allow him to survive the over-night journey there and back. Dolph appeared so adult, compared to my own eleven years, and would have had the experience obviously necessary to invent a personal antigravity ship at the advanced age of eighteen. More exciting was the high adventure of Dolph's stranding on Mars ...
Pictured above: An early cover of Blish's Welcome to Mars.

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