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Jul 14

Reading the Red Planet

Posted on July 14, 2017 at 11:43 AM by Elizabeth Land

Humanity has known about our closest planetary neighbors since ancient times, when they earned the names Venus and Mars. While Venus is the closest planet to Earth, it has been the Red Planet that has truly captured our collective imagination. Through hundreds of short stories, novels, radio plays, television shows and movies, humanity has imagined what life on Mars could be like. This imagination has stretched into the scientific world, with NASA being the driving force behind plans to explore and — eventually — colonize this world.

At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, in the Tabb Library Meeting Room, NASA engineer Dr. Mike Cooney will be bringing his expertise to bear on the subject. His presentation will focus on what it will take for humanity to survive on another planet, and why NASA is targeting the Red Planet for colonization. If you have ever wondered what the future holds for humanity, then this is the presentation for you!

York County Library also has plenty of books on Mars, from imaginative fiction to informative nonfiction. Check out the books below, or search our online catalog for more resources.


Check out how these science fiction authors have imagined life on Mars to be like:

  • The Martian by Andy WeirThe Martian — Stranded on Mars by a dust storm that compromised his space suit and forced his crew to leave him behind, astronaut Mark Watney struggles to survive in spite of minimal supplies and harsh environmental challenges that test his ingenuity in unique ways.
  • The Martian Chronicles — In The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury, America’s preeminent storyteller, imagines a place of hope, dreams, and metaphor - of crystal pillars and fossil seas - where a fine dust settles on the great empty cities of a vanished, devastated civilization.
  • Stranger in a Strange Land — A young man from Mars comes to Earth and must learn our strange ways in this Robert A. Heinlein classic.
  • Marsbound — Joining her family as a colonist on Mars, rebellious young Carmen Dula ventures alone out into the harsh Martian landscape, where an accident nearly claims her life and she is rescued by a mysterious alien being.
  • Life on Mars: Tales from the New Frontier — Presents thirteen short stories by various science fiction authors which center around the theme of life on the planet mars (Young Adult).
  • Mars Evacuees — Twelve-year-old Alice Dare is one of 300 seven- to sixteen-year-olds evacuated to Mars to attend school and train as soldiers, safe from the war with Earth, invading aliens, the Morrors, but when all of the adults and robots mysteriously disappear, the youths must survive on their own (Juvenile).

Explore what we have learned about the Mars and how far humanity has come in its exploration of our planetary neighbor: