Filled with entertaining history, archival images, pop culture ephemera, and interviews with NASA scientists, The Big Book of Mars is the most comprehensive look at our relationship with Mars—yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Mars has been a source of fascination and speculation ever since the Ancient Sumerians observed its blood-red hue and named it for their god of war and plague. But it wasn't until 1877, when "canals" were observed on the surface of the Red Planet, suggesting the presence of water, that scientists, novelists, filmmakers, and entrepreneurs became obsessed with the question of whether there's life on Mars. In The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells suggested that we wouldn't need to make contact with Martians—they'd come for us—while, many years later, Nikola Tesla claimed that he did make contact.
Since then, Mars has fully invaded pop culture. It has its own day of the week (Tuesday, or martis in Latin), candy bar, and iconic Looney Tunes character. It has been the subject of novels and movies, from Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles to Mars Attacks! to The Martian. And it has sparked a space-race feud between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, who both hope to send a manned mission to Mars in the near future.
About the Author
Marc Hartzman is "one of America's leading connoisseurs of the bizarre" (ABCNews.com) and has written books about sideshow performers, Oliver Cromwell's head, weird things on eBay, and unorthodox messages from God. Hartzman's work has also appeared in Mental Floss, Bizarre, and HuffPost/AOL Weird News. He's discussed oddities on CNN, MSNBC, Ripley's Radio, and the Travel Channel's Mysteries at the Museum. More of his love for the unusual can be found on his site WeirdHistorian.com. Hartzman works in advertising and lives in New Rochelle with his wife Liz and their two beautiful Earthling girls.
“[The Big Book of Mars] is both easy and incredibly fun to read. It is the kind of book that makes you want to put it down every few sentences to share a weird or interesting fact you just learned with whoever happens to be nearby, and I highly recommend it."—GeekMom
“A fascinating pop history."—The Florida Times-Union