Summer Reading B2G1 Free

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | July 15, 2015

    Frank Wilczek: IMG You Are... Who?

    Writing a book is an unnatural act of communication. Speaking to a person, or even to an audience, is an interaction. Very different styles are... Continue »
    1. $20.97 Sale Hardcover add to wish list


On Order

New Trade Paper
Currently out of stock.
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Qty Store Section
- Local Warehouse Astronomy- General

This title in other editions

Dying Planet: Mars in Science and the Imagination


Dying Planet: Mars in Science and the Imagination Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For more than a century, Mars has been at the center of debates about humanityandrsquo;s place in the cosmos. Focusing on perceptions of the red planet in scientific works and science fiction, Dying Planet analyzes the ways Mars has served as a screen onto which humankind has projected both its hopes for the future and its fears of ecological devastation on Earth. Robert Markley draws on planetary astronomy, the history and cultural study of science, science fiction, literary and cultural criticism, ecology, and astrobiology to offer a cross-disciplinary investigation of the cultural and scientific dynamics that have kept Mars on front pages since the 1800s.

Markley interweaves chapters on science and science fiction, enabling him to illuminate each arena and to explore the ways their concerns overlap and influence one another. He tracks all the major scientific developments, from observations through primitive telescopes in the seventeenth century to data returned by the rovers that landed on Mars in 2004. Markley describes how major science fiction writersandmdash;H. G. Wells, Kim Stanley Robinson, Philip K. Dick, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, and Judith Merrilandmdash;responded to new theories and new controversies. He also considers representations of Mars in film, on the radio, and in the popular press. In its comprehensive study of both science and science fiction, Dying Planet reveals how changing conceptions of Mars have had crucial consequences for understanding ecology on Earth.


Analyzes scientific, literary, and popular works of the last century to offer a cross-disciplinary reading of Mars as both an object of scientific study and as a site on which humankind has projected its fears of ecological devastation

About the Author

Robert Markley is Professor of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of a number of books, including Fallen Languages: Crises of Representation in Newtonian England, 1660andndash;1740. He is a coauthor of the DVD-ROM Red Planet: Scientific and Cultural Encounters with Mars and the editor of the book Virtual Realities and Their Discontents.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1. andquot;A Situation in Many Respects Similar to Our Ownandquot;: Mars and the Limits of Analogy 31

2. Lowell and the Canal Controversy: Mars at the Limits of Vision 61

3. andquot;Different Beyond the Most Bizarre Imaginings of Nightmareandquot;: Mars in Science Fiction, 1880andndash;1912 115

4. Lichens on Mars: Planetary Science and the Limits of Knowledge 150

5. Mars at the Limits of Imagination: The Dying Planet from Burroughs to Dick 182

6. The Missions to Mars: Mariner, Viking, and the Reinvention of a World 230

7. Transforming Mars, Transforming andquot;Manandquot;: Science Fiction in the Space Age 269

8. Mars at the Turn of a New Century 303

9. Falling into Theory: Terraformation and Eco-Economics in Kim Stanley Robinson's Martian Trilogy 355

Epilogue: 2005 385

Notes 389

Works Cited 405

Index 435

Product Details

Markley, Robert
Duke University Press
Astronomy - Solar System
History and criticism
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Science fiction, american
Mars (planet)
Astronomy - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
September 2005
4 b+w illustrations
9.25 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Literary and Cultural Studies
Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Astrophysics

Dying Planet: Mars in Science and the Imagination New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$31.25 Backorder
Product details 456 pages Duke University Press - English 9780822336389 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Analyzes scientific, literary, and popular works of the last century to offer a cross-disciplinary reading of Mars as both an object of scientific study and as a site on which humankind has projected its fears of ecological devastation
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at