Science Fiction – Life On Mars

Life on Mars
The Departure: The Owner, Book One
by Neal Asher

Space Opera. Twelve million people must be eliminated in order to stabilize the inhabited solar system. That is the decision of the Committee, future Earth’s totalitarian government, which regards human life as a “zero-asset” commodity. One of the condemned is Alan Saul, an escaped convict whose brain harbors Janus, a powerful rogue AI. Another is Varalia Delex, who works to save her fellow colonists on Mars’ Antares Base — another casualty of Committee budget cuts. Both are fighting for their own survival as well as the continued existence of their species. The Departure kicks off the Owner series, which continues with Zero Point and Jupiter War.

The Martian Chronicles
by Ray Bradbury

Classic SF. These interconnected short stories describe Earth’s colonization of Mars, from the first expedition ships to the establishment of permanent settlements to the conflicts that arise between Earthlings and Martians — and their far-reaching repercussions. One of the late Ray Bradbury’s most beloved and enduring works, The Martian Chronicles blends thought-provoking scenarios and evocative descriptions of both the red planet and its inhabitants.

Marsbound
by Joe Haldeman

SF. Likable teen Carmen Dula departs with her family on an ultimate near-future vacation — to be short-term colonists of Mars. But long-distance travel in cramped quarters isn’t likely to sweeten anyone’sdisposition: Carmen’s got attitude to spare upon arrival; taking out her frustrations on colonial authorities quickly leads to a deadly solo walk in the Martian wastes. What she discovers there will change everything — if she lives to tell the tale. Fans of the author’s signature hard-SF details will not be disappointed by Carmen’s story, and this gutsy youthful protagonist gives this book teen appeal. Greg Bear’sMoving Mars and Robert Heinlein’s classic Red Planet are similarly recommended.

Red Mars
by Kim Stanley Robinson

Near-Future SF. A hundred settlers from a desperately overpopulated Earth are sent to make Mars’ barren, freezing wastes habitable. Individuals with unique skills struggle to help ensure humanity’s survival on Mars — but as more and more settlers arrive from Earth, personal and political tensions threaten to make life impossible on either planet. Red Mars is 1st in the author’s iconic Mars trilogy (continued in Blue Mars and Green Mars), in which human conflicts play out against a vividly drawn Martian landscape.

The Martian: A Novel
by Andy Weir

Near-Future SF. Stranded on Mars after an aborted surface mission, astronaut Mark Watney must rely on his wits to survive on an inhospitable planet. As Watney documents his attempts to create food, water, and oxygen from limited resources, NASA officials scramble to come up with a way to increase his chances of survival until they can find a way to bring him back to Earth. Fans of hard science fiction and survival stories will appreciate this debut novel for its smart, likable lead who uses humor and technological ingenuity to make an impossible situation bearable.

List created 4/05/16 – James Hartmann

Adapted from Nextreads.

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