Booking It with Mars

Rocket Well before the 20th century, Mars found its way into the human imagination through fiction. In Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift's fictitious astronomers study the moons of Mars more than one hundred years before an American astronomer actually discovered them. In a more sinister view of the Red Planet, H.G. Wells painted a picture of horror when Martians invade Earth in The War of the Worlds.

In the last century, the allure of our solar neighbor took greater hold. Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a series of novels, known as the Martian Tales, whose hero is transported to Mars and adapts to Martian culture. In The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury depicts the dark side of human nature when explorers from Earth land on Mars. In the 1960s, author Robert Heinlein told the story of a man who was the sole survivor of the first human mission to Mars. After being raised by Martians, the hero of Stranger in a Strange Land returns to Earth and adapts to human ways.

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