How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet
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How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  137 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Thinking about moving to mars?

Well, why not? Mars, after all, is the planet that holds the greatest promise for human colonization. But why speculate about the possibilities when you can get the real scientific scoop from someone who’s been happily living and working there for years? Straight from the not-so-distant future, this intrepid pioneer’s tips for physical, financ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 2nd 2008 by Three Rivers Press (first published 2008)
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Robyn Briggs
Dec 28, 2011 Robyn Briggs rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Humor Fans, Science Fans, Astronomy Fans
How to Live on Mars is a hilarious guidebook catering to anyone interested in the scientific side of things who also harbors a sense of humor. Quirky and entertaining this fascinating book by Robert Zubrin gives a step-by-step explanation of how to move to, and survive on Mars. A book that caters both to the Scientifically inclined and the common folk this book is a great read for any I.Q. level.

In the book Zubrin thoroughly and humorously explains exactly what it would take to survive and thr...more
Matthew
This is a truly amusing little book that provides much of the science for getting to Mars and for terraforming it as well as riffing on Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis and the writings of Science Fiction author Robert Heinlein. The author is a former NASA engineer and founder of the Mars Society who put forward a comprehensive plan for getting to Mars with technology we have now. While the author’s libertarianism can get to be a bit much, it was worth the read for the information it g...more
David
Good science and an interesting format, but the tone....zeesh. It was reviewed on the cover as "irreverent", I found it more to be snide. It presumes a Martian libertarian "paradise" combined with the corruption endemic to a 3rd world banana republic. Pretty depressing, if that is indeed the future.
Robert Spillman
This book was written by a Martian. He was considerate in pointing out that he has no relationship with an individual with the same name living on Earth, and who happens to work at NASA. The book was written with a dry sense of humor but filled with actual facts and points about living on Mars. I have a science background and found the information factual and fascinating. It is presented in such a humorous manner that it blends in and you find yourself learning about the true challenges of a MAR...more
Goodacre
The writing is workable and the humor is mostly of the "look how stupid people are" sort (which according to research is the most common in American humor, but here it's a blunt instrument) in this scientific, pragmatic, and playful look at the reality of colonizing and terraforming Mars. If you warm up to the author's quirks, you'll find him very knowledgable and the scenarios wonderful to imagine, and you may laugh in a blue moon--or often, if you're getting jokes I missed. However, I'd say th...more
Templehurst
Mildly entertaining, as far as it went. Alas, the 'science' quotient was pretty much nonexistent. Definite nods to Heinlen in the writing style and predictions of the future, which help explain, if not justify, some of the sexist/reactionary remarks others noted. Certainly the hard-bitten, enterprising, and scarcely legit colonist narrator could have come straight out of Farmer in the Sky or Have Space Suit-Will Travel--except that there might have been more hard science worked in. However, I st...more
Bourbonface
He's a brilliant scientist, and I highly respect his objectives, but his bitterness in this book is palpable. His attempts at humor come across as sneering rather than jest. He has contempt for NASA and humanity at large-- which doesn't make for compelling reading. After about half the book, I was so put off by his negativity I just put it down and forgot about it.
Clinton Hopper
If you’ve read Zubrin’s The Case for Mars, you’re aware of his rigorous science and compelling arguments for how and why we should pursue a Mars mission, followed by colonization. This book is meant, I assume, as an attempt at a slightly more popular, narrative means of presenting much of the same information. I just didn’t find the book that interesting and I’m concerned the disdainful, laze-faire attitude of the narrator makes Zubrin’s arguments and information seems untrustworthy (one needs o...more
Chris White
How To Live On Mars is a handy little guidebook detailing everything you might need to know about your new home. Set one hundred odd years in the future, Zubrin adopts a LonelyPlanet-style voice for his guidebook, with topics ranging from How to Find a Partner to How to Get a Job. It's light and casual style makes it an easy read, and the heavy science sections are marked out at he end of each chapter. Fast and funny, coming from one of the pioneers and loudest voices arguing for the colonisatio...more
Patrick Ritchie
A humorous voyage to the mars of the future as told by a martian. It's not my favorite of Zubrin's books, but it was an entertaining look at how some of the ideas in Mars Direct might play out on Mars.
Adam  McPhee
Loved the science and speculation about Mars, but ruined by the author's libertarian schtick and his backfiring sense of humour. (Though I laughed at his suggestion that the Johnson Space Center was renamed the Bush ibn Saud Space Center sometime after 2008.)

The last two chapters about the social life on Mars were a bit much: he 'humorously' suggests that the institution of marriage ended on Earth because of too many domestic violence laws, and then has two pages full of lame Martian pick-up lin...more
Matthew
Conceived as a satire written as a guidebook to future settlers, this book is interesting but frustrating. Probably because Zubrin is so wacked that I can't tell the difference between his tongue-in-cheek jabs at modern American society and his earnest blueprint for the Martian future. Which, as far as I can tell, seems to be a radical libertarian free-for-all zone filled with rampant corruption, government by graft and croneyism, and rule by crime syndicate, all for a disgustingly value-free--a...more
Patty Jansen
I chuckled my way through most of this. While it's meant to be non-fiction, and there is certainly a very large non-fictional basis for this book, a lot of the commentary is akin to fiction. The author's (assumed) opinions come through loud and clear, although I half-suspect he's taking the mickey a lot of the time.
I cannot help but wonder how Zubrin would do as a fiction writer.
Anyway, this is a fairly detailed account of what settlement on Mars might look like, based on solid science, with soc...more
Sam
Depressing and awful. Basically a tiny fraction of the interesting science from The Case For Mars bundled up with pages and pages of Zubrin's terrible humor and creepily reactionary political invective. Message to Zubrin: I don't read your books for this bullshit. Your ideas on space colonization are smart and visionary; writing crap like this makes you look like a crank, and damages your cause. Ugh.
Cris
I'm ready to start my life on Mars!

*sheepish grin* I was disappointed each time I had to put the book down for some reason and remembered that Mars isn't actually in the process of being colonized right now. Zubrin did an *excellent* job of making the idea of colonizing Mars seem realistic and very reasonable. (The occasional humor poked at today's science was just some subtle icing.)
D.tabor
Highly interesting. I like the science aspect and how it discusses several different ways, in comparison to the most economical and/or most effective method of doing something (Obtaining metals from ore for example). Additionally I like how it maintains a very human aspect throughout the book regarding things like dress, housing, employment, and social activities.
Trey Nowell
Made me laugh, but has some realistic ways that may become a reality living on Mars. I personally feel we will land there in about 20 years, probably and independent mission funded by a multi-millionaire. A lot of $ to be made mining sources here such as iron. I advise this for more advanced readers that know science, the ultimate book for geeks :)
Heather
Cute & comical, but a lot of the wording/math/chemistry was over my head--I wish the author would've broken the wording down for the more complex parts for "normal folk" like me, who don't inherently understand full-throttle chemistry and NASA-based ideas as much as he (the author) does...
Benjamin
Written as a humorous guidebook from the future, the book examines some of the science and issues of colonizing Mars. On the downside, I think author often got a little too silly, especially when offering suggestions that fall in the more illicit category.
R.K. MacPherson
Not only is this book packed with facts, figures, and technologies needed to build a bright new future on Mars, but it is one of the funniest reads I've ever had. If you love science, Mars, or just good writing, this book won't disappoint.
Katrina
I know this is supposed to be a satirical guidebook, but the style was too rough for my taste. If the narrator was a real person giving me advice about Mars, I would not listen to him simply because he is a jerk.
Beth
I didn't get into this book. I started reading it, got bored, started flipping through it, got bored, and gave up. It's too Sci-Fi, which I don't enjoy. If someone likes Sci-Fi, they'll probably really enjoy it.
Anne
Evidently the best way to live on Mars will be as something of a criminal, or at least a scofflaw. Funny, but also a bit depressing for those of us with sneaking noble dreams about humanity's future.
Joel A.
Sexist and stupid. Interesting and intricate science details, but the style is so obnoxious and offensive, and the lack of narrative so spineless and unsatisfying that it's just not worth it.
Brandur
A handbook written in a joking sense about how to move to Mars and be successful in everything you do there. Zubrin backs up his fictional stories with a lot of scientific figures.
Simon
Learned the basics on living away from Earth, as well as many tips on becoming successful and how to prevent the problems of Earthly society.
Cynthianna /Celine Chatillon
Funny, but thought-provoking book detailing what all it will take to live on Mars. It sounds like it'll be a great place once we get there. ;)
Ralph McEwen
I didn't think it was funny just cynical. By half way I was contemplating giving up but I finished it and it just a waste of time.
Jim
Entertaining look at a possible future Mars community from a 'how to' viewpoint. Nice plane reading.
Kris Roadruck
Cheeky hard sci-fi guide to life on mars. If you like hard science fiction, you will like this book.
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“...[C]ontrary to your Earth experience and its derived cynicism, on Mars, such things are possible. Yes, fully possible, even for you, a person who obviously was a complete social failure on Earth--otherwise you wouldn't be here.” 2 likes
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