The planet Mars has fascinated people around the world for centuries. Philosophers, scientists, astronomers, and of course writers have all tried to learn more and try to predict how it would be to live on Mars. Many authors have written science-fiction books depicting the way they think life on Mars would be like. Authors often make use of actual facts to base their stories on which means that some of these science-fiction depictions may not be so far from the truth.
In order for us to have any type of idea of what it would be like to live on Mars, we must read about what others think it would be like. Obviously, these books are fiction, but many fiction books have some reality in them. Whether the depictions are accurate or not, we believe that you will enjoy the books on our list and that they will definitely get your mind going about living on Mars.
Our Mars-related book suggestions:
1. Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson
Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars make up the award-winning Mars Trilogy written by Kim Stanley Robinson. The series may be the most realistic depiction of what it would be like when humans finally attempt to colonise Mars. The stories are gripping and have been on the top of literature lists since its publication. The story takes us from the small party of scientists, adventurers, and others that start the process of terraforming through many trials, catastrophes, human conflicts, and more. This is definitely one of the books you must read.
2. How We’ll Live On Mars by Stephen Petranek
Stephen Petranek is an award-winning journalist that believes we will be living on Mars by 2027 and that is both plausible and inevitable. In this book, he explains why colonising Mars is a good backup plan for human life and also how he thinks it will happen. Petranek tells a riveting story and combines real-life interviews, keen reporting, and research to prepare us for living on Mars within the next decade.
3. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
The Martian Chronicles were the first science-fiction books written after science and technology learned that Mars was basically a lot of red dust. Ray Bradbury tells stories in a beautiful way and you will struggle to put these books down. His stories are imaginative and explore a whole range of interesting and sometimes haunting possibilities of living on Mars.
4. Mars Life by Ben Bova
Ben Bova has a whole range of books that speculate and explore the possibility of colonizing other plants, including Mars. Mars Life follows a geologist and a crew of scientists on their journey to and across Mars. As it goes when humans are involved, the story has twists and turns and shows the struggles between money, politics, belief, science, and more that will follow no matter on which planet we live.
5. The Sands of Mars by Arthur C Clarke
This was one of the first novels written about mars. We have learned a lot more about Mars in the decades since this book was published. However, at the time that it was written, it was remarkable and stayed true to the facts we knew at that time. The story follows a reporter who voyages to Mars to write about the colonists and during his journey he comes across native Martians. It is a great story to show the contrast of what we knew then and what we know now.
6. Falling Stars by Michael Flynn
Falling Stars is the final book in the Firestar Series about why humans should leave Earth. The book is based on the belief that humans will go extinct if don’t find ways to live on other planets. Obviously, it is not a simple feat to move humans to other planets. Ethics, politics, religion, and societal norms will inevitably come into play and complicate things. The series follows humankind in its quest to overcome these issues and become an interplanetary and superterrestrial race.
7. Moving Mars by Greg Bear
Moving Mars is another award-winning book on this list. Together with Red Mars, it renewed interest in colonising Mars in the 1990s. It centersaround the idea that when we colonzse Mars there will inevitably be conflict between Mars and Earth. Mars is portrayed as the open-minded and radical side that clashes with Earth and its conservative way of seeing things. It is a high-tension novel that will keep you riveted until the last page.
Other titles that you can read for ideas and see how opinions have changed include Destination Mars by Hugh Walters, The Martian Way by Isaac Asimov, Voyage by Stephen Baxter, and Red Planet by Robert A Heinlein.
Besides these science-fiction novels, many documentaries and movies have also been made about living on Mars. A few that are worth watching include:
- Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger made in 1990. It is loosely based on a short story by Philip K Dick.
- Mission to Mars made in 2000. It is a science-fiction thriller centeredaround the failure of the first manned mission to Mars and the rescue mission that follows.
- Race to Mars made in 2007. This is a documentary miniseries produced by Discovery Channel Canada about the red planet.
- The Martian made in 2015 and based on the novel by Andy Weir. This is a more recent film that depicts Mars more in the light of what we know already.
- Marsmade in 2016. This is a docudrama miniseries that was made by National Geographic. In the series, they combine real interviews with fiction to create a story of the first astronauts to travel to Mars to explore and colonise it. The film is based on the novel How We’ll Live on Mars by Stephen Petranek.
These novels and films are just the top of the iceberg of works about Mars and humans living on the red planet. Mars is truly a fascinating planet and the stories and depictions of what it may be like are amazing and sometimes scary. If you want to know more about the world’s fascination with Mars and why we need to colonise it, you must read these books.