Mars is a planet that has not only inspired the imagination through literature, history, and cinema it has been one of the main preoccupations of explorers throughout time, to go to the planet and see what’s there. In The Red Planet, Simon Morden allows us a taste of what to expect as he guides us through a geographical history of our elusive neighbour who has been shrouded in mystery since the early days of human civilisation.
Admittedly, Mars isn’t the Final Frontier, yet it is a vital step to our understanding of how to survive on other worlds and also help to understand the world in which we currently live and it’s Morden’s expertise as a planetary geologist and geophysicist that helps the reader understand the turbulent history of Mars.
With new expeditions to explore Mars, now is the ideal time for such a book as The Red Planet to be published. With NASA and SpaceX landing rovers, and projects looking to land people on the planet, we need to know what to expect and why go there in the first place. In The Red Planet, Simon Morden doesn’t just guide us through the planet’s history but reveals the planetary aspects currently unknown to us that can not only help us in our exploration of other worlds but help us understand some of the geographical histories of our own planet, some things that are still unknown to us today.
Mars has long been in our imaginations and it’s likely not going to change much, with much popular fiction from science-fiction writers such as Ray Bradbury and H.G. Wells who have given us not just visions of Martian invaders but a vision of a future that, likely won’t exist but isn’t stopping us for reaching out in the first place, just to see what’s really out there.
The Red Planet is not just the story of Mars, it’s the adventure of Mars and all the dreams that have dwelt upon it for thousands of years of human history, and even as we know the planet is not full of Martians waiting to attack our planet it stands as a pinnacle to the highest of our desire to explore.
- The Red Planet by Simon Morden is published by Elliott and Thompson (£14.99). To order a copy go to eandtbooks.com
Founder and Editor of Pilgrim House, currently undertaking a research degree at Bangor University and working on a book on Folklore and early Welsh Christianity. Tom’s other work on music, poetry, health along other writings and images can be found at tomasstanger.com