Sunday, August 16, 2009

Issac Asimov’s Mars, a 1991 anthology edited by Gardner Dozois

Issac Asimov’s Mars (1991), an anthology of nine stories set on Mars that originally appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Edited by Gardner R. Dozois.

At left: Paperback original (New York: Ace Books, 1991), 225 p. Cover art by Bill Binger. Featuring nine fantastic journeys to the Red Planet, here’s the blurb from the back cover:

Destination: Mars. Your Tour Guides: Today’s Masters of Science Fiction. Gregory Benford attempts to drink “All the Beer on Mars.” Allen M. Steele reviews the future of rock-and-roll-and-mankind, playing “Live from the Mars Hotel.” George Alec Effinger reveals the startling reason why “Mars Needs Beatniks.” Brian W. Aldiss sets the focus on fear and explores “The Difficulties Involved in Photographing Nix Olympica.” Plus: Other brilliant tales from the pages of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine – exciting stories by Robert Frazier, Ian McDonald, Kim Stanley Robinson, Eric Vinicoff, Lawrence Watt-Evans.

Here’s the table of contents, with comments by Gardner Dozois:

“Live from the Mars Hotel” (1988), by Allen Steele. A “hard-edged, yet gently ironic story ... which takes us traveling very far indeed to hear the music of home.”

“The Difficulties Involved in Photographing Nix Olympica” (1986), by Brian W. Aldiss. “He takes us along to a military base on a future Mars, and shows us that what’s most important is not so much what you see, but how you see it.”

“Windwagon Smith and the Martians” (1989), by Lawrence Watt-Evans. A “whimsical story of a journey to a Mars that ought to have been.”

“Retrovision” (1988), by Robert Frazier. “He shows us that the old saying about how we live on only in the memories of those who loved us may be a good deal truer than we think.”

“The Great Martian Railroad Race” (1988), by Eric Vinicoff. A “clever and suspenseful story of entrepreneur Timothy Lo, who thinks that he knows just what the developing Teran colonies of the Red Planet need - a railroad!”

“All the Beer on Mars” (1988), by Gregory Benford. “He takes us along on a near-future expedition to the Red Planet - one that’s going to run into a few surprises.”

“The Catharine Wheel” (1983), by Ian McDonald. An “evocative dream-vivid portrait of everyday life on a future Mars.”

“Mars Needs Beatniks” (1983), by George Alec Effinger. “In the remarkably silly story ... he takes some of the Beat Generation On the Road to a brand-new destination.”

“Green Mars” (1985), by Kim Stanley Robinson. “One of the classic Mars stories of the eighties - perhaps the classic Mars story - it was the first story I thought of when I began to assemble this anthology, and clearly the one story that had to be in the book. You’ll soon see why, as Robinson sweeps us along with him to a vividly realized future Mars, for an exciting and evocative story about a band of men and women determined to climb the tallest mountain in the Solar System - Olympus Mons.”

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