Monday, August 10, 2009

Author Scott Westerfeld inspired by Fenton Ash’s 1909 novel A Trip to Mars

A few weeks ago, Publishers Weekly ran an interesting profile of award-winning science fiction author Scott Westerfeld, who is perhaps best known for Uglies, his Young Adult series of books. Westerfeld’s forthcoming novel Leviathan (Simon & Shuster, October 2009), which “imagines a WWI fought with hybrid creatures, living products of Charles Darwin's 19th-century discoveries about DNA and bioengineering,” is packed with steampunk, airships, and military history.

Westerfeld’s inspiration for Leviathan, which will contain 50 interior illustrations, began with A Trip to Mars, a 1909 science fiction novel written by Fenton Ash, a pseudonym of Francis Henry Atkins, Sr.,
that follows two British juveniles on a voyage to Mars, where they encounter the planet’s winged inhabitants. A Trip to Mars featured full-color illustrated plates but no female characters. “There was a King of Mars, and a Prince of Mars, but typical of books written in that era, no Princess of Mars,” Westerfeld told Publishers Weekly.
“I wanted a story that had the same look and feel of something like Boys' Own Adventures, but would appeal to girls, too.”

Scott Westerfeld is married to YA novelist Justine Larbalestier.

Pictured: A Trip to Mars (1909), by Fenton Ash.

No comments: