Good Minds Suggest—Andy Weir's Favorite Books Set on Mars

February, 2014
Andy Weir When science geek and software engineer Andy Weir started imagining what strategies would be best for a manned mission to Mars, he realized he could make it happen—in novel form! The result of his thought experiment is the science fiction thriller, The Martian, which Weir self-published online to rave reviews in 2012, before landing a book deal with Random House and a film deal with Fox. In his meticulously realistic and high-stakes adventure, a lone astronaut is left stranded on Mars when his crew must abort their mission. With damaged equipment and no way to phone home, his death seems imminent, except for his dogged will to live. Weir, who is also the author of the online comics Casey and Andy and Cheshire Crossing, shares his favorite works that take place on the red planet.

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
"Written way back in 1917, this book defined a genre of storytelling and inspired some of the greatest sci-fi authors of the 20th century. Follow Civil War veteran John Carter in the first of his many adventures on Barsoom (what the locals call Mars). He punches and sword-fights his way across the planet, eventually winning the heart of the Martian princess. It just doesn't get any more pulpy than this fun romp."


Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein
"Two human boys at a boarding school on Mars discover a sinister plot. They have to travel overland on the harsh world to warn their home city of impending danger. Along the way, they have adventures, meet helpful Martians, and just generally do everything they can to survive. It's one of Heinlein's earliest works (only his fourth novel) and is considered by many to be the first of his novels to truly stand out for its excellent storytelling."


Mars by Ben Bova
"Definitely the most scientifically accurate and plausible story on this list, Mars is about the first manned mission to the red planet. Numerous problems plague the mission and threaten the very lives of the astronauts, while their own personal interactions provide an interesting insight into the psychology of explorers."


Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
"Red Mars is basically a political thriller set on Mars. Taking place in a severely unpleasant future where Earth is overrun by corporations that have more power than nations, the colonization of Mars leads quickly to a full-scale war between the two worlds, with disastrous consequences."


The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
"Perhaps the most famous book about Mars ever written. This collection of short stories revolves around the colonization of Mars by humans and their interactions with the native Martians who already live there. From mass murder to hopeful renewal, The Martian Chronicles explores the good and bad sides of how colonization actually works."



Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Books Set On or About Mars



Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Cecelia (new)

Cecelia My favorite is Moving Mars by Greg Bear


message 2: by Charley (new)

Charley Brady I have to mention Philip K. Dick's brilliant 'Martian Time-Slip'.


message 3: by Clay (new)

Clay Brown I remember reviewing Mr. Weir's own book The Martian (http://clayscottbrown.biz/kindle/2013...) sometime ago...

I've been waiting to see if he, himself will write again, as impressive as The Martian was...

At any rate, these are good choices... I have read Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars books and would recommend them highly.


message 4: by Terry (new)

Terry Mccamish It's not a book about Mars but it is about a human raised by Martians and it is definitely a classic, Stranger in a Strange Land.

Come to think of it, Heinlein had a definite fascination with Mars and some of his best work revolved around the red planet. Check out Podkayne of Mars, too.


message 5: by Tim (new)

Tim Poston Don't forget Heinlein's "Double Star" -- partly on Mars, all about Mars-Earth relations -- or Winterstrike by Liz Williams, Born Under Mars by John Brunner, China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F McHugh, ...
Fine books.


message 6: by Rafcardone (new)

Rafcardone The unforgettable non-fiction Packing for Mars, by Mary Roach, a must read for all sf readers


message 7: by Dave (new)

Dave Ian McDonald Desolation Road and Ares Express.
Leigh Brackett novels (The Secret of Sinharat,etc)
Lin Carter The Man Who Loved Mars (and other novels and short stories)


message 8: by Kammera (new)

Kammera I just read EON by Greg Bear. Now THAT book is uber packed with scientific "stuff" way over my head! But I sure enjoyed it even though it is a little dated.


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