Friday, July 24, 2009

Take the University of Maryland's 1997 "Mars in Science Fiction Quiz"

Want to test your knowledge of science fiction books and films about Mars and Martians? Take the University of Maryland’s “Mars in Science Fiction Quiz,” which was created in the Fall of 1997 as part of the university’s Mars in Fact and Fiction exhibit. Housed in “The Mars Room” at the Hornbake Library, the exhibit displayed items such as the U.S. postage stamp honoring NASA's Pathfinder, miniature models of Pathfinder and Sojourner, and old paperback versions of H. G. Wells' seminal novel The War of the Worlds (1898). In addition, the walls of the exhibit area were decorated with Hollywood movie posters, a NASA poster of Mars, 3-D photographs
of the Martian surface, a cardboard model of the planet's Valles Marineris, illustrations from the original serialization of The War of the Worlds in Pearson's magazine, newspaper articles, and copies of script pages from the famous 1938 Orson Welles radio broadcast.

Ready? Here’s the quiz:

1. What well-known American writer, in a series of novels, referred to Mars as "Barsoom"?

2. In the 1938 Orson Welles radio program where did the fictional Martian invasion of the USA begin?

3. In what novel did a noted science-fiction writer have a colony named "Port Lowell"?

4. What was the name of the 12-year-old boy-hero of the 1953 movie Invaders from Mars?

5. In what 1984 science-fiction movie was the Orson Welles 1938 radio play suggested to be a cover for a real invastion of the Earth by aliens?

6. What famous short story about Mars, written by Stanley Weinbaum, featured a Martian named "Tweel"?

7. Who played the scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester in the 1953 movie The War of the Worlds?

8. What famous English novelist and essayist called Mars "Malacandra"?

9. Who is the author of the trilogy, Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars?

10. In what famous science-fiction novel was the Martian verb "to grok" introduced? What does "to grok" mean?

Although no answers to the quiz are provided, I’ve figured out the answers and posted them in the comments section. I answered most, but not all, of the questions correctly. Good luck!

Pictured: Cover of 1976 Andor Classic paperback edition of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Answers to the University of Maryland’s 1997 “Mars in Science Fiction Quiz”:

1. Edgar Rice Burroughs

2. Grover’s Mill, New Jersey

3. The Sands of Mars (1951), by Arthur C. Clarke

4. David MacLean, played by Jimmy Hunt

5. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)

6. “A Martian Odyssey” (1934)

7. Gene Barry

8. C. S. Lewis

9. Kim Stanley Robinson

10. Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), by Robert A. Heinlein. According to the novel, the Martian verb “to grok” means “to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed -- to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science -- and it means as little to us (because of our Earthly assumptions) as color means to a blind man.”