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GURPS Mars – Cover

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Bibliography for GURPS Mars


Bergreen, Laurence. Voyage to Mars (Riverhead Books, 2000). A look at recent developments in Mars exploration, with a great deal of material on the Martian meteorite controversy.

Burrows, William E. This New Ocean (Random House, 1998). A history of real-world space exploration, with some interesting insights into the Soviet space program and NASA's internal rivalries.

Wilford, John Noble. Mars Beckons (Vintage Books, 1991). A readable history of human exploration of Mars in fact and fiction.

Real Mars

Baston, R.M., Bridges, P.M., and Inge, J.L., editors. Atlas of Mars (NASA, 1979). A very useful collection of USGS 1:5,000,000 scale maps of Mars, based on Mariner and Viking data.

Carr, Michael H. Water on Mars (Oxford University Press, 1996). A relatively readable scientific book which exhaustively covers the subject of Martian water.

Kaplan, David. "Environment of Mars" (NASA Technical Memorandum 100470, 1988). Discussion of Martian surface conditions for future missions.

Kieffer, Hugh; Jakosky, Bruce; Snyder, Conway, and Matthews, Mildred, editors. Mars (University of Arizona Press, 1992). A vast compendium of work by 114 authors, covering the state of Martian science at the time it was published. Slightly dated, but still the standard work on the subject.

Lewis, John; Matthews, Mildred, and Guerrieri, Mary, editors. Resources of Near-Earth Space (University of Arizona Press, 1993). Another vast compendium of papers in the same series as Mars, above, with 86 authors. Lots of useful stuff about Mars and its moons, with a more practical focus than Mars.

Getting to Mars

Lewis, Richard S. Space in the 21st Century (Columbia University Press, 1990). A good rundown of near-future possibilities in space exploration.

Ley, Willy, and Von Braun, Wernher. The Exploration of Mars (Viking, 1956). A detailed mission plan for getting to Mars with 1950s technology, illustrated by the inimitable Chesley Bonestell.

Meyer, Rudolf, et al. "Ion Engine Propelled Earth-Mars Cycler with Nuclear-Thermal Propelled Transfer Vehicle" (UCLA, 1994). A NASA technical paper describing one design for a Cycler spacecraft.

Zubrin, Robert, and Wagner, Richard. The Case For Mars (Simon & Schuster, 1996). A detailed description of the Mars Direct plan, with lots of other useful information about colonizing and terraforming Mars.

Terraforming Mars

Fogg, Martyn. Terraforming: Engineering Planetary Environments (Society of Automotive Engineers, 1995). The biggest and most complete survey of the subject.

Oberg, James. New Earths (New American Library, 1981). A smaller and less technical discussion of terraforming.

Fictional Mars

Since Mars has been one of the main tropes in science fiction for more than a century, there isn't even space here to list all the good novels and stories set there. For several pages' worth of Mars in SF, see:

Clute, John, and Nichols, Peter, editors. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (St. Martin's Griffin, 1995). Massive and highly readable tome about SF authors, themes, history, and fandom.

The following list of titles and authors is entirely subjective and by no means complete. Many of the books and stories have gone through different publishers and editions over the years.

Barnes, John. Orbital Resonance (Tor, 1991). Life aboard a large Cycler station orbiting between Earth and Mars.

Bisson, Terry. Voyage to the Red Planet (Morrow, 1990). Satiric look at a corporate-sponsored Mars mission.

Brackett, Leigh. The Coming of the Terrans (Ace, 1967), The Sword of Rhiannon (Ace, 1967), and various other stories. Some of the best pulp-SF depictions of Terrans on a decadent Mars.

Bradbury, Ray. The Martian Chronicles (Bantam, 1994). Nostalgic fantasy treatment of Mars.

Burroughs, Edgar Rice. A Princess of Mars (Del Rey, 1982) and ten sequels. The original sword-and-planet stories, featuring the stalwart John Carter of Mars.

Clarke, Arthur C. The Sands of Mars (Warner, 2001). A pre-Mariner hard-SF examination of Mars colonization and terraforming.

Dick, Philip K. Martian Time-Slip (Vintage, 1995), The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (Vintage, 1991), and "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale." Surreal, proto-cyberpunk visions of grim Mars colonies and distortions of perception and reality.

Heinlein, Robert A. Red Planet (Del Rey, 1991) and Podkayne of Mars (Baen, 1995). Entertaining juvenile novels which were the default picture of Mars for a generation.

Landis, Geoffrey A. Mars Crossing (Tor, 2000). A recent novel about an ill-fated expedition, by an SF writer who is also a NASA scientist.

Lewis, C.S. Out of the Silent Planet (Scribner, 1996). A very different take on Mars and the theological aspects of interplanetary exploration.

Moore, C.L. Scarlet Dream (Grant, 1981). A collection of stories featuring tough guy Northwest Smith, including the classic "Shambleau." A perfect depiction of a "Cliffhangers" Mars.

Piper, H. Beam. Federation (Ace, 1981). Contains his pioneering short story "Omnilingual," about deciphering ancient Martian language; indispensable for any Red Planet archaeology adventures.

Pohl, Frederick. Man Plus (Baen, 1994). Thoughtful novel about adapting humans to live on Mars.

Robinson, Kim Stanley. Red Mars (Bantam Spectra, 1993), Green Mars (Bantam Spectra, 1995), and Blue Mars (Bantam Spectra, 1997). A truly epic depiction of the colonization and terraforming of Mars; very much the new "standard version."

Serviss, Garrett P. Edison's Conquest of Mars, collected in the anthology Treasury of Science Fiction Classics (Hanover House, 1954), edited by Harold Kuebler. A violently chauvinistic "sequel" to The War of the Worlds which is so bad it's good.

Stapleton, Olaf. Last and First Men (Dover, 1968). A truly mind-expanding work, highly influential on later science fiction, which includes some of the most innovative Martians devised.

Steele, Allen. Labyrinth of Night (Ace, 2001). Near-future hard-SF depiction of life on Mars.

Varley, John. The Persistence of Vision (Tor, 1991). Contains his dazzling story "In the Hall of the Martian Kings," about slumbering life on Mars and bioterraforming.

Weinbaum, Stanley. A Martian Odyssey (Sphere, 1974). An anthology which includes the title short story, a landmark in SF for its sympathetic and complex depiction of alien life.

Weir, Andy. The Martian (Crown, 2014). Widely acclaimed novel about the nuts and bolts of one man's struggle to survive after being presumed dead and stranded alone on Mars.

Wells, H.G. The War of the Worlds (Indiana University Press, 1993). A critical edition with lots of useful footnotes; there are many, many other versions in print.

Zelazny, Roger. Four for Tomorrow (Baen, 1991). Contains his short story "A Rose for Ecclesiastes," a nostalgic farewell to the Lowellian Mars.

Weird Mars

Abraham, Lyndy. A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery (Cambridge University Press, 1998). A good quick reference on how Mars and a lot of other things fit into the Great Work.

Ma'sar, Abu (Burnett, Charles; Yamamoto, Keiji, and Yano, Michio, translators). The Abbreviation of the Introduction to Astrology (E.J. Brill, 1994). A very readable translation of a medieval Arabic work on astrology, along with a later Latin version by Adelard of Bath.

Carlotto, Mark J. The Martian Enigmas: A Closer Look (North Atlantic Books, 1991). An otherwise run-of-the-mill treatment of the Face and Pyramids, but with cool computer-enhanced 3D images so the Face is in your face!

Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels (The Free Press, 1967). The main source for the alarming Martian patron angel Sammael.

DiGregorio, Barry E. Mars: The Living Planet (Frog, Ltd., 1997). An attempt to prove that the Viking probes did so discover life on Mars.

Flournoy, Theodore. From India to the Planet Mars: A Case of Multiple Personality with Imaginary Languages (Princeton University Press, 1994). Originally published in 1899; first English edition 1901, with an introduction by Carl Jung. Study of a spiritualist's visions of Mars, from a refreshingly rationalist point of view.

Hite, Kenneth. Suppressed Transmission and Suppressed Transmission 2 (Steve Jackson Games, 2000). Lots of gameable High Weirdness backed by solid research.

MacNeice, Louis. Astrology (Doubleday, 1964).

Lowell, Percival. Mars and its Canals (New York: MacMillan, 1906). It was science fact when he wrote it, but now it's a good introduction to the Mars used in classic science fiction for half a century. Lowell's earlier book Mars is available on the Web.

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