Sunday, May 3, 2009

1993: Editor Scott Edelman discusses Mars with scientists and authors Geoffrey A. Landis, Robert Zubrin and Doug Beason

Back in May 1993, the (now dead) magazine Science Fiction Age published a neat conversation about Mars among editor Scott Edelman and scientists
and authors Geoffrey A. Landis, Robert Zubrin and Colonel Douglas Beason. Here’s an excerpt that focuses on Martian science fiction:
Scott Edelman: Would anyone care to comment on Mars fiction? What works, what doesn't? What's scientific, what's fantasy? Can you still read bad Mars fiction?

Robert Zubrin: Yes, I can. Burroughs or Bradbury are still fun.

Doug Beason: Look at the recent number of Mars books ...

Geoff Landis: There has been a recent space of novels taking place on Mars, and the post-Viking Mars at that --

Doug Beason: Bad fiction is bad no matter where it takes place.

Scott Edelman: Have you read "Danny Goes to Mars"?

Geoff Landis: Yes, amusing, although now outdated.

Scott Edelman: At least the VP doesn't believe in canals any longer ...

Geoff Landis: Kim Stanley Robinson's "Exploring Fossil Canyon" (a prelude to his Green Mars series) was an excellent post-Viking look at Mars in SF.

Robert Zubrin: I think that SF still has a major role to play in helping get us to Mars. As Shelly said, poets are the legislators of mankind.

Scott Edelman: Is there anything to fill in above? Did I skip over what you wanted to talk about?

Robert Zubrin: We need to create a vision among the public, including those who eventually turn up in the seats of power, that a human civilization on Mars is an idea whose time has come.

Geoff Landis: If not us, who? If not now, when?

Robert Zubrin: People need to know that history is not a spectator sport. The SF and pro-technology communities have more than enough clout to make a Mars mission happen, if we just decide to do so. People need to stop moaning about the stagnation of our space program and start doing something about it.
Former Vice President Dan Quayle is chairman of an international division of Cerberus Capital Management, the multi-billion dollar private equity firm that just drove Chrysler into bankruptcy.

No comments: