Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Martian Race, a 1999 novel written by Gregory Benford

The Martian Race, by Gregory Benford (1999)

Pictured: Paperback (New York: Aspect / Warner Books, 2001), 444 p., $6.99. Cover illustration by Don Dixon. Here's the piece from the back cover:

As NASA bogs down in politics, tycoon John Axelrod mounts a privately funded expedition to the Red Planet. Axelrod's not high-minded -- he expects the televised flight to net him billions. But for astronaut-scientist Julie, Viktor, Marc, and Raoul, the mission's not about money. It’s about discovery ... and surviving for two years on a frigid, alien world that can kill them in countless ways.

For a time will come when -- in order to live -- the explorers must embrace everything that makes them human ... and everything that will make them Martian.

In the afterword to The Martian Race, Benford wrote, “This novel attempts a portrayal of how humanity might explore Mars in the near future, at low cost and with foreseeable technology. Undoubtedly, reality shall prove the details wrong. Still, I hope to sound a note of realism in the sub-genre of exploration novels, to depict just how demanding true planetary adventuring will be.”

An excerpt from The Martian Race is available at SFFWorld.

Benford discussed his novel in a 2000 interview with Locus.

Quite a few individuals have reviewed The Martian Race, including Donna McMahon of SF Site, Steven H. Silver of SF Site, Amy Harlib of SciFiDimensions, Chris Aylott of and T. M. Wagner of SF In addition, Amazon has reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal, as well as from nearly 50 fans.

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