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How to Mars

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  33 reviews
What happens when your dream mission to Mars is a reality television nightmare? This debut science-fiction romp with heart follows the tradition of Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, with a dash of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and a hint of The Real World.

For the six lucky scientists selected by the Destination Mars! corporation, a one-way ticket to Mars—in exchan
Paperback, 256 pages
Expected publication: May 25th 2021 by Tachyon Publications
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mars is one of my favorite armchair destinations, however impractical. And I’ll go there any chance I find with whatever book that’ll take me. Of course, it’s a much safer version and much less of a commitment than the six intrepid Marsonauts sign up in the book for, but hey…we do what we can. And one way trip to the red planet is much too permanent and terrifying of an option. Although when Mars One offered that very option a few years ago, apparently there were something like 200 000 applican ...more
Jan 26, 2021 rated it liked it
A group of scientists are sent to Mars for a lifetime of research under the condition that they will be filmed and the footage will be released as a reality show back on Earth. However, it turns out that Mars doesn't have a lot going on, so eventually the reality show is canceled and the scientists struggle to stay focused in their research. This leads to two of the scientists ignoring the restrictions laid out in the handbook and discovering that there is life on Mars after all... just not in t ...more
Mar 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
March 24th, 2021
*this book and me have been thru a lot..I need some time to reflect before doing any reviewing!”

*Update March 30, 2021*

This novel encompasses a journey and interestingly, reading the novel itself was a journey. It took me a month to read it, but I read it little by little. By the time I finished, I felt a sense of completion like the characters did. This has to be one of the most creative novels I've read. David put a lot of thought and effort into the structure and delivery of e
Feb 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A group of scientists get a one-way ticket to Mars as part of a reality show. Unfortunately as time passes they grow bored as their research doesn’t turn up exciting enough results. Their boredom leads to tension in the group and love affairs, a big no-no accord to the show handbook.

After some of the recent talk about doing a reality show on Mars a few years ago, I couldn’t resist this book. Unfortunately the reality show felt forgotten and wasn’t as big of a part of the story as I’d been hoping
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
How to Mars is a quirky story with heart about a surprise pregnancy that brings a group of people together.

I think I'd have liked it more if it was marketed more honestly; what I mean by that is that by reading the provided summary I assumed this story would be about a reality show on mars. The pregnancy really is the focal point of the story and having my expectations led otherwise ended up making me much more disappointed with the story than I might have been.

There were also some formatting
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was ok
2.5/5 - I’m honestly quite conflicted on how to review this book. I love the title, the cover, and the description immediately hooked me. But then I read literally the first line of the book, and realized that this book includes an accidental pregnancy. Because I read an advanced copy of this book, I hadn’t read a sample of some of the pages prior to actually starting the book, and didn’t know that this was going to be such a main focus of the book.

While the idea of a woman being pregnant while
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is such a cool book. It is a handbook for moving to Mars. It is a reality TV show on Mars. It is the story of six strangers, who go through testing to be chosen for a trip to Mars--paid for by a reality TV show.
It is a story of boredom, friendship, love, rebellion, challenges, gremlins, danger, and more.
It is heartfelt and funny and carefully crafted social science fiction.

It is HIGHLY recommended.
Joe Karpierz
Apr 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
What if you were a scientist who was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to go to Mars and do research on the red planet? What if there was a catch or two, like a) it's a one way trip and b) the mission is going to be the subject of a reality show? Would you consider the proposition? If you were offered a spot on the mission, would you accept it, knowing that you'd never come back to Earth, and that your every move would be scrutinized by not only mission control, but by anyon ...more
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Welcome to Mars, where you can’t have sex because it is not a good idea. No, seriously, don’t do it!

Fast forward a couple of years and Jenny is preggers.


Join our six “lucky” scientists as they continue to be bored, talk really slow, be socially awkward and mentally unstable. It’s truly a fun ride on Mars! Especially when all hell is breaking lose and Destination Mars! turns their lives into a television show once again.

I laughed hard while reading this book. However, I do believe this kind of
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
* I extend my sincere thanks to Tachyon Publications for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review *

How to Mars was a delightfully fun novel about a group of scientists stuck on Mars after their reality TV show doesn't do as well as planned. A few things are important to note about this novel before reading it: firstly, the author wrote the chapters as mostly standalone short stories. If you are looking for an epic sci-fi over-arching plot, you will not find it here. It reads
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Six scientists are selected by the Destination Mars! corporation for a one-way ticket to Mars in exchange for a lifetime of research. The incredible opportunity was clearly worth the absurdly tedious screening process, the constant surveillance edited into a TV show for Earth; it’s even worth following the odd protocols in a nonsensical handbook written by an eccentric billionaire. But what happens when boredom sets in, when tempers flare, and unsanctioned affairs blossom? And what happens when ...more
Mar 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
I am genuinely unsure about how I feel about this novel.

On the one hand, I really enjoyed the originality of a group of people sent to Mars on a one-way trip as part of a Reality TV show. I thought the interactions between the characters with their different opinions, specializations, and interests were fun. I enjoyed exploring the life of isolation on the red planet through the point of view of each person living there. In addition, I was very entertained by the different formats of some chapte
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Zany Space Story. The best way to describe this book, really, is that if you like Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy - a perennial favorite among the geek set for decades now that has in many cases transcended into pop culture - ... you're probably going to like this one too. There are quite a bit of similarities, given the hilarious and offbeat humor and even the "guidebook" element of the story. (Though unlike the Adams epic, this one actually includes at least parts of the guide in the story.) ...more
Aimee (Book It Forward)
This book had such a cool premise! The details provided reeled me in. I loved that the scientists down on Earth had seemed to think of everything before sending up their "cast" to Mars. Details like having unnecessary organs like an appendix or gallbladder, and wisdom teeth in order to prevent emergencies that may kill the Marstronaughts. Knowing that they would not return, each member of the crew had their own individual reasons for travelling to Mars. One factor that the ground team thought th ...more
I would like to thank the author and publisher for providing an electronic review copy of this book.

"How to Mars" by David Ebenbach is a slightly irreverent, sometimes funny, and thought provoking novel about what it would be like to be one of six people chosen for a one-way trip to Mars paid for and featured by a reality television show. No, this is not a story about actual company "Mars One", it is a story about a fictional company called "Destination Mars!".

The story does have enough twists,
Jan 31, 2021 rated it liked it
This was quite a unique conceit, yet one that seems very timely, and strangely (from the afterword) was born of a real-life scheme in 2015. The thumbnail describes a one-way, reality show (funded?) research expedition to Mars, but the left turn (spoilers for the first sentence) comes from the first (forbidden) pregnancy on Mars and the changes that follow in the six person micro-society.

We get a nice sample of the various points of view, interspersed with the fairly hilarious Destination Mars! h
Mar 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Six people, after a rigorous weeding-out process, are selected by DESTINATION MARS! to live out the rest of their lives on Mars. Studying the planet, making it a home, while being constantly filmed as a reality show for everyone else back on Earth.

The biggest rule is NO SEX! (because a baby conceived on the red planet is sure to be doomed) but good luck anyone could follow that rule so naturally the book opens with a pregnant Marsonaut. Oops!

I really liked 𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘛𝘰 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘴. It was funny- sometimes
Rebecca Bowyer
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was really great fun. A reality TV show about 6 people taking a one-way trip to Mars. One of them gets pregnant, even after they were all strictly forbidden from having sex, and all the men have had the snip. What happens next?

Some of it's told in first person by the father-to-be, some of it is in report-format by Jenny, the mother-to-be. Then there are third-person sections with the resident engineer who really doesn't like people and has started hearing voices telling him to do questionab
Shirley Freeman
The title and cover might put off the non-science-fiction reader, but don't let them fool you. I loved this clever, funny, and dare I say, human book. Destination Mars! has arranged for a one-way trip to Mars for 6 people. Trixie, Roger, Nicole, Stefan, Josh and Jenny won the opportunity of a lifetime when they were chosen by the audience of the Destination Mars! reality TV show. One of the 'rules' they agree to is to get sterilized and to not have sex. In the opening pages of the book, after 2 ...more
Mar 04, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ebook/Science Fiction: I loved The Martian and I was hoping for more with this one. The author did some research with the potential problems of living in an isolated place that you can never leave.
There was a lot of narrative that was repeated several times. Part of the book was the Handbook that was cute, but unrealistic. There's a reality show aspect to it, but that angle of the book is never really explored.
Stephan was my favorite character, but his future is never told. The ending goes reall
Randal White
Feb 09, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, fiction
A group of scientists is sent to Mars, on a one-way ticket, as participants in the ultimate reality show. Rather implausible, as the public gets to vote on who gets to go. As you might expect, things start out good, but as time goes on, people start going stir-crazy. Personality conflicts ensue, a surprise pregnancy occurs, and a possible undetectable in the normal way Martian life form interferes. Taken as a form of comedy, the book is entertaining.
Jasmin Brooks
Mar 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. How to Mars is not a typical narrative with a steady A to B to C sequence or singular POV. It's all the better for it. The story isn't the point as much as is the concept of what it means to be a human on earth. Take away earth and everything you know, are we still the same creature? Ebenbach manages to make you think and laugh at the same time and those are my favorite kinds of books. ...more
N. Moss
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Charming book that is often funny and more often moving. Yes, it's set on Mars, but a love story is a love story, no matter what planet it's on, and Ebenbach's loving tone and clear delight in his characters and setting make the book such a delight to read. ...more
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this review copy!
This was fun. It was a little bit more about unplanned pregnancy than details of what being on Mars would actually be like, and I did NOT think that it was as funny as Hitchhiker's Guide, but it was cute and fun.
Mar 07, 2021 rated it did not like it
The story structure is continuous sarcastic observations that the Marsonauts experience while establishing a colony on Mars. It became old after awhile and the sarcastic comments were not funny. I do not recommend this book.
Thanks to NetGalley and Tachyon for providing an ARC!
Paul Goat
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles meets MTV's The Real World. ...more
Mar 19, 2021 added it
Shelves: dnf, arc
DNF. Tedious and not really funny. To me, obvs.
Mar 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Very enjoyable. A unique look at a unique situation.
Mar 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The formatting was a but difficult, but that might have just been the digital ARC. The story was great.
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David Ebenbach is the author of five books of fiction, two poetry collections, and a non-fiction guide to the creative process. His books have won numerous awards, including the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and the Juniper Prize, and David has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. A native of Philadelphia, David now ...more

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