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Mars is ingrained in our culture, from H. G. Wells's 1898 novel The War of the Worlds to Looney Tunes's hapless Marvin the Martian to David Bowie's extraterrestrial spiders. Ancient mythologies defined the planet as a violent harbinger of war, stargazers puzzled over its peculiar motion, and astrologers defined human personalities by its position. Science fact is now surpas Mars is ingrained in our culture, from H. G. Wells's 1898 novel The War of the Worlds to Looney Tunes's hapless Marvin the Martian to David Bowie's extraterrestrial spiders. Ancient mythologies defined the planet as a violent harbinger of war, stargazers puzzled over its peculiar motion, and astrologers defined human personalities by its position. Science fact is now surpassing science fiction. Robot vehicles have trundled across the planet's surface, beaming back views of its rust-orange surface, and have tested soil and atmosphere to get clues about how the planet has evolved and whether it supported (or supports) life. There are many more Mars missions planned over the next decade. And while little green Martians are now firmly the preserve of literature and film, there is growing evidence that the now-arid, frozen planet once had been warm, wet, and possibly thronging with microbial life. One day in the foreseeable future, humans are likely to set foot on the Red Planet. What are the challenges involved, and how are we preparing for them? Is there a long-term future for humans on Mars? 4th Rock from the Sun examines Mars in its entirety--its nature, attributes, and impact on the 3rd Rock's culture; its environmental science and geology; and its potential for human colonization. Writing in an engaging manner, Nicky Jenner provides a comprehensive and spellbinding guide to the Red Planet.


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Mars is ingrained in our culture, from H. G. Wells's 1898 novel The War of the Worlds to Looney Tunes's hapless Marvin the Martian to David Bowie's extraterrestrial spiders. Ancient mythologies defined the planet as a violent harbinger of war, stargazers puzzled over its peculiar motion, and astrologers defined human personalities by its position. Science fact is now surpas Mars is ingrained in our culture, from H. G. Wells's 1898 novel The War of the Worlds to Looney Tunes's hapless Marvin the Martian to David Bowie's extraterrestrial spiders. Ancient mythologies defined the planet as a violent harbinger of war, stargazers puzzled over its peculiar motion, and astrologers defined human personalities by its position. Science fact is now surpassing science fiction. Robot vehicles have trundled across the planet's surface, beaming back views of its rust-orange surface, and have tested soil and atmosphere to get clues about how the planet has evolved and whether it supported (or supports) life. There are many more Mars missions planned over the next decade. And while little green Martians are now firmly the preserve of literature and film, there is growing evidence that the now-arid, frozen planet once had been warm, wet, and possibly thronging with microbial life. One day in the foreseeable future, humans are likely to set foot on the Red Planet. What are the challenges involved, and how are we preparing for them? Is there a long-term future for humans on Mars? 4th Rock from the Sun examines Mars in its entirety--its nature, attributes, and impact on the 3rd Rock's culture; its environmental science and geology; and its potential for human colonization. Writing in an engaging manner, Nicky Jenner provides a comprehensive and spellbinding guide to the Red Planet.

30 review for 4th Rock from the Sun: The Story of Mars

  1. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    Everything you wanted to know about Mars, but were afraid to ask Mars The planet, The space race, Martians - dead and alive (maybe) The god of war, Bowie's Life on Mars, Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars, Mars in films - comics - cards, Fly byes, Crash-lands, Probes, Landers, Robots, The list went on and on. Every facet of Mars is discussed in delightful detail. I am now the most knowledgeable person in my house on the subject of Mars, and that's counting my wife and the cat. P.S. I was personally pleased t Everything you wanted to know about Mars, but were afraid to ask Mars The planet, The space race, Martians - dead and alive (maybe) The god of war, Bowie's Life on Mars, Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars, Mars in films - comics - cards, Fly byes, Crash-lands, Probes, Landers, Robots, The list went on and on. Every facet of Mars is discussed in delightful detail. I am now the most knowledgeable person in my house on the subject of Mars, and that's counting my wife and the cat. P.S. I was personally pleased to find that my name (Martin) is related to Mars. Enjoy!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brian Clegg

    It's rather appropriate that the title of this book seems to be based on the name of the so-so TV show '3rd Rock from the Sun' - like that programme, it shows promise and has plenty of good bits, but as a whole it's rather confused, lacks structure and could have been so much better. What we have here is a rag bag of everything the general reader might want to know about Mars - or about anything vaguely related to Mars. Nicky Jenner has an engagingly open writing style, although I think the copy It's rather appropriate that the title of this book seems to be based on the name of the so-so TV show '3rd Rock from the Sun' - like that programme, it shows promise and has plenty of good bits, but as a whole it's rather confused, lacks structure and could have been so much better. What we have here is a rag bag of everything the general reader might want to know about Mars - or about anything vaguely related to Mars. Nicky Jenner has an engagingly open writing style, although I think the copy editor at Bloomsbury must have been on holiday - I've never known a copy editor let a single exclamation mark through in an adult title, yet this one is littered with them! That did make it feel occasionally as if I was reading a book for children! But it's not! Getting off my punctuation hobby horse, the good news is that there is lots of genuinely interesting material about Mars here, including stuff I've never seen in a popular science title before. Some of this is in the detail of the geology - how and why the two hemispheres are so different, and the future of the moons, for instance - and some is in the cultural impact of Mars. I've never read a book on the subject that doesn't bring in War of the Worlds as a cultural marker - but I can't remember any waxing lyrical on the subject of Captain Scarlet, a series from the makers of Thunderbirds which I loved as a child (though I had forgotten the Martian aspect until Jenner reminded me). There's plenty more to like. Jenner takes a realistic view of the various potential attempts to get humans to Mars and points out very firmly how far the concept of terraforming strays into science fiction. She emphasises the difficulties of making the trip (I knew USSR/Russia had suffered failures, but I wasn't aware of the sheer scale of disaster they've suffered with Martian probes). In a chapter called 'The Massive Mars problem' she dedicates far more to the oddities of Mars being a lot smaller than Earth in models of how the solar system formed than I've seen before, highlighting the unexpected nature of this planet (and, arguably, our solar system as a whole). Unfortunately there are some issues too. Apart from the overall lack of structure, there are some chapters that just didn't work for me. I like a nice bit of tangential material as much as the next person, but chapter 2, titled 'The Wolf and the Woodpecker' and spending time on Mars as a god, astrology and even, somehow, the tarot, seemed too far removed from the topic. As the first chapter is very general, then we get this, I was really feeling 'Get on with it!' with the obligatory exclamation mark by the end of chapter 2. There are a few other chapters where there's the opposite problem of too much information. In one, Jenner goes through pretty well every Mars probe that has ever existed at some length. Similarly, the breakdown of the impact of microgravity on the human body, with around 15 sections such as 'Bones' and 'Blood and urine' just piles in too much detail. Its a mass of fact statements with no flow. Sometimes less is more. Pulling a view of the book together, that lack of structure comes through very strongly. For the reader, 4th Rock lacks any sense of narrative drive. It presents collections of information on different topics, some fascinating, some rather tedious - but even all those exclamation marks aren't enough to keep a constant level of interest. Most readers will learn plenty about Mars they didn't know already, so it's definitely worth a look. But for me, it didn't work as well as it could have.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bandit

    For a seasoned armchair traveler such as myself Mars remains a fresh destination. One worth visiting in fictional or nonfictional form, especially when the latter is presented as nicely as in this book. I'm very surprised it doesn't have more favorable reviews. Maybe the readers expected more heavy duty science. For me this was perfect. Well rounded look at the mysterious red planet that doesn't follow rules whether it comes to its size (should be larger if you think about it in comparison to ot For a seasoned armchair traveler such as myself Mars remains a fresh destination. One worth visiting in fictional or nonfictional form, especially when the latter is presented as nicely as in this book. I'm very surprised it doesn't have more favorable reviews. Maybe the readers expected more heavy duty science. For me this was perfect. Well rounded look at the mysterious red planet that doesn't follow rules whether it comes to its size (should be larger if you think about it in comparison to other planets in order), color (rust rust baby), moons (potato shaped and so very different from our moon and each other and so on. And yet then there are the similarities to Earth...length of day, potential for water, etc. And so we just can't look away from Mars, even if the face that stares back at us from its surface is just a trick of low resolution photo. I've studied and read a fair amount about astronomy and found this book to be a great revisit of what I knew and an opportunity to learn some new things. Jenner's narration is assured, lightly humorous and erudite. The woman knows her space and her enthusiasm for the subject comes across loud and clear. It's an actually exciting read, which for nonfiction (so often torpid, sonorous and pedantic) is no small task and I enjoyed reading it tremendously. Of course, science constantly evolves and for all we know any day now a discovery can be made that will change most/all of what we understand about the subject as it has occurred historically, but for now this is a great overview of what we know. And somewhere on Mars in a comfortable secret lair there is a Martian sitting around reading this book and laughing hysterically at how many things the inferior Earthlings have gotten wrong once again. Because ...you just never know. Great book, educational and lots of fun to read. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Talia Couch

    This was quite a good book, it was fascinating to learn all the different stuff about Mars and the fact that we keep trying to explore it or at least did, I had no idea we were ever interested in Mars, this wasn't a book I had to force myself to read, it was very well written and nice to read. This was quite a good book, it was fascinating to learn all the different stuff about Mars and the fact that we keep trying to explore it or at least did, I had no idea we were ever interested in Mars, this wasn't a book I had to force myself to read, it was very well written and nice to read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gary Lang

    Jenner does a fantastic job of melding the history of man's thought about Mars - novels, media excitement about it ("War of the World", "The Martian", etc.), and the geology, physics, and geography of Mars as a planet. The physics of Mars as a planetary body is dealt with in some detail. As a result, the book is extraordinarily well-rounded, giving the layperson just enough science to be challenging but digestible, and giving people like me just enough to satisfy my curiosity about what it would Jenner does a fantastic job of melding the history of man's thought about Mars - novels, media excitement about it ("War of the World", "The Martian", etc.), and the geology, physics, and geography of Mars as a planet. The physics of Mars as a planetary body is dealt with in some detail. As a result, the book is extraordinarily well-rounded, giving the layperson just enough science to be challenging but digestible, and giving people like me just enough to satisfy my curiosity about what it would take to travel there, and even populate the planet. Since the first trips are likely to be one-way, she spends time on the ethics of space travel, which are well worth considering. 5 stars for this book. It was pretty great.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Sankey

    This is engaging popular science, outlining the global cultural pull Mars has exerted on people in the past, the current efforts to survey it, and potential for colonization.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I've really been enjoying this series of titles [Sigma Series]. I've also enjoyed this book. The book is about Mars the planet, and how it's impacted our world and popular culture- David Bowie and 'The man who fell to earth' , Marvin the Martian etc., and how NASA and other agencies have grappled with the idea of figuring out the planet and how to get us there. Like the other books in this series, this title is well written and worth a read. I've really been enjoying this series of titles [Sigma Series]. I've also enjoyed this book. The book is about Mars the planet, and how it's impacted our world and popular culture- David Bowie and 'The man who fell to earth' , Marvin the Martian etc., and how NASA and other agencies have grappled with the idea of figuring out the planet and how to get us there. Like the other books in this series, this title is well written and worth a read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stef

    good book, well written, lots of interesting facts. for anybody interested in knowing how much exploration has been done on Mars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Xanthi

    I listened to this on audiobook. This book reminds me a bit of Mary Roach's books, in that a topic is picked and then the author just runs with it and injects some humour along the way - except the humour here is a lot more restrained. And whilst the author does talk about Mars in popular culture and mythology, she does mainly stick to the astronomical information. I have to admit that I struggled a bit with the physics parts but I did find the parts about space travel to Mars interesting. I listened to this on audiobook. This book reminds me a bit of Mary Roach's books, in that a topic is picked and then the author just runs with it and injects some humour along the way - except the humour here is a lot more restrained. And whilst the author does talk about Mars in popular culture and mythology, she does mainly stick to the astronomical information. I have to admit that I struggled a bit with the physics parts but I did find the parts about space travel to Mars interesting.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    This one was pretty good - I personally was hoping for more on the geology of Mars and the moons, which it does have, but also looks at the history of our fascination of the planet and the like.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    Skimmed and abandoned. I wasn't learning anythng. YA-level prose. Skimmed and abandoned. I wasn't learning anythng. YA-level prose.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Read Ng

    This was a GoodReads giveaway Advance Reader Copy provided for review purposes. This copy does not have any illustrations, nor an index. The title is too light hearted and a bit misleading for this more serious look at the planet Mars. This was a good mix of pop culture references of the 4th Rock from the Sun and our efforts to understand and explore this heavenly body, with emphasis on the more serious science end. It does examine our fixation with going to Mars. And it is full of the science be This was a GoodReads giveaway Advance Reader Copy provided for review purposes. This copy does not have any illustrations, nor an index. The title is too light hearted and a bit misleading for this more serious look at the planet Mars. This was a good mix of pop culture references of the 4th Rock from the Sun and our efforts to understand and explore this heavenly body, with emphasis on the more serious science end. It does examine our fixation with going to Mars. And it is full of the science behind our explorations. It makes a good reference to how we got where we are. The science and history is condensed and simplified to make this easy to read regardless of your background, or lack of background. It should be easy to read for those not wanting a Bachelor's degree in Mars. I was most disappointed in the closing chapter and the discussion of the the ultimate fate of Mars and really of our entire solar system. Yes, in 50 million years (not to mention in another 5 billion years), some bad things are likely to happen to Mars, but what does that have to do with our actions to understand Mars and the solar system today? I will have to read the finished book to properly evaluate the overall impact to the story telling. Just skimmed through the finished hardcover. The inclusion of several photos from the red planet were a welcome addition, but I think this is where the author/publisher went a bit astray. I think the photos should have also reflected that same poppori of images to enforce we have of Mars instead of limiting themselves to Mars probe photos. Have a GoodReads.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pete daPixie

    It was a Goodreads e-mail that alerted me to the publication of this book, then, low and behold, there it was in the public library. As a long time amateur astronomer and 2018 fast approaching when the red planet will be very favourable to view and photograph, '4th Rock from the Sun' was a natural book selection for me. The down side of my review concerns the first 100 pages, a large percentage of the 260 pages. Nicky Jenner orbits Mars to fill her text with all things related to the red world. L It was a Goodreads e-mail that alerted me to the publication of this book, then, low and behold, there it was in the public library. As a long time amateur astronomer and 2018 fast approaching when the red planet will be very favourable to view and photograph, '4th Rock from the Sun' was a natural book selection for me. The down side of my review concerns the first 100 pages, a large percentage of the 260 pages. Nicky Jenner orbits Mars to fill her text with all things related to the red world. Links to mythology, folklore, astrology, occultism, tarot, pop culture, and seemingly all things red, apart from 'little green men'. The up side for me was from page 101 onwards. Published in 2017 it is certainly up to date in relation to our scientific knowledge of this world, and gives fully comprehensive information on all the probes, flybys, landers and robotic machines that have both failed and succeeded in their missions to Mars over the past decades, as well as future planned endeavours. Perhaps the photographic section is missing a topographic map that could have assisted the reader in identifying the locations of the main features of the planet's surface along with the places where landers and rovers have visited. All things considered, I liked this book, even the printed review of 'Santa Claus Conquers the Martians'.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jim Witkins

    Picked up a few tidbits of Mars science I didn't know. Could have done w/o the popular culture chapters. Picked up a few tidbits of Mars science I didn't know. Could have done w/o the popular culture chapters.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I was very eager to read this book about the planet Mars; however, I was disappointed that the author tried to cover so much information in it. Frankly, I was reminded of an undergrad paper that had a word count and the writer figured as long as the info had been pulled down, it might as well be put in the paper somewhere. I also got distracted with the amount of detail the author sometimes went into. I did very much enjoy the last half of Chapter 11 (medical issues) and the beginning of Chapter I was very eager to read this book about the planet Mars; however, I was disappointed that the author tried to cover so much information in it. Frankly, I was reminded of an undergrad paper that had a word count and the writer figured as long as the info had been pulled down, it might as well be put in the paper somewhere. I also got distracted with the amount of detail the author sometimes went into. I did very much enjoy the last half of Chapter 11 (medical issues) and the beginning of Chapter 12 (the future direction of Mars exploration), and am glad I did not give up on the book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    If you’re a fan of space exploration, you will read this book. It’s a hodgepodge of info on the red planet, from its history in popular culture to the likelihood of our traveling there. Don’t get your hopes up it’ll happen anytime soon. Space is a toxic environment for humans and life in general. With our current technology, the long journey there and back would either kill you or leave you a cripple. As Bill Maur said, “Fuck Mars! Fix Earth first!”

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ray Quirolgico

    A lot of interesting science facts collected here but the arrangement of those tidbits into categories like missions to Mars, geology of Mars, planetary origin of Mars, left me feeling like the whole book was a very clinical survey textbook. The promise of weaving in culture and mythology was never fully realized in any kind of narrative plot. As a science geek, I still enjoyed it, but was hoping for a more entertaining balance in the presentation.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    I really wanted to like this book, I have always loved the planets, but it oscillated between interesting, super boring, and down right out there. It got to be a slog that I finished with the motivation other people were waiting to read it on the library list. Otherwise I probably would have taken months.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paul moved to LibraryThing

    Hobbled by whole chapters' worth of irrelevant drivel about comic book characters and other such pop-culture "context" (as it is presented) but otherwise refreshingly modest and down to earth without too much lofty language that this subject often elicits. Hobbled by whole chapters' worth of irrelevant drivel about comic book characters and other such pop-culture "context" (as it is presented) but otherwise refreshingly modest and down to earth without too much lofty language that this subject often elicits.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Spuckler

    4th Rock from the Sun: The Story of Mars by Nicky Jenner is a detailed look at Mars as a planet and how we on earth have perceived it. Jenner is a freelance writer and editor. Her news stories, features, interviews, and reviews have appeared in a variety of international popular science magazines, including New Scientist, Nature, BBC Sky at Night, Astronomy Now, The Times Eureka, and Physics World. Nicky is also a copywriter for the European Space Agency and the European Southern Observatory. Whe 4th Rock from the Sun: The Story of Mars by Nicky Jenner is a detailed look at Mars as a planet and how we on earth have perceived it. Jenner is a freelance writer and editor. Her news stories, features, interviews, and reviews have appeared in a variety of international popular science magazines, including New Scientist, Nature, BBC Sky at Night, Astronomy Now, The Times Eureka, and Physics World. Nicky is also a copywriter for the European Space Agency and the European Southern Observatory. When I was a kid looking at the night sky, Venus was easy to spot as the brightest light in the sky next to the Moon. Next, giant Jupiter was the brightest. Saturn's rings could be seen in my simple telescope. Mars was a different kind of planet. It was the only object that glowed red in the black sky. This red light was not lost on the ancients either. Perhaps even more unusual was, at times, Mars moved backward in the sky. In the geocentric view of the universe, this was truly odd. Mathematicians tried to explain this in a variety of ways usually ending up with something that looked like it was made with a Spirograph. Once mankind began to accept the heliocentric universe with elliptical orbits things began to make sense. Jenner takes the reader on a history of the planet and its place in our solar system. She also spends a good deal of time on the cultural impact Mars has made on mankind. Not only did it intrigue the ancients, it also intrigued people like H.G. Wells and writers through the pulp age to Kim Stanley Robinson and the major motion picture The Martian. Mankind has looked to Mars as a future home, an occupied place, and even the invading planet in War of the Worlds and Mars Attacks. Mars was the one place that writers, as well as scientists, hoped to be home to life. When most Americans remember the Space Race, they think of the Moon, forgetting that Mars played a large role too. The Soviet Union was fixated on Mars throughout its existence. Mars is the most visited planet in the solar system and would even more so if it wasn't for the high failure rate of other countries. Currently, Mars is the only known planet entirely inhabited by robots. Rovers are still exploring the planet. Jenner takes a detailed look at the exploration and logistics of sending probes for fly-bys, landings, and rovers. Although the exploration of space costs money, a great deal to some, NASA's technology and science returns much more money that it spends. India, a recent add on to those planning to explore Mars, has spent about $70 million to launch and send a probe to Mars. Expensive? The fictional journey to Mars in The Martian cost $100 million to make. 4th Rock from the Sun is an up to date and informative book about Mars. Jenner's writing is smart but easy to follow. There is not an attempt to dumb-down the science nor an attempt to put it out of reach of a layman. The history and science work well together to bring a complete picture of the red planet.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ann Rufo

    Do you want to go Mars? Me either. Do you like the idea of someone else going to Mars and taking video and pictures and sending it back to you so you can see everything and experience the view without having to leave the comfort of your home and gravity? Me too! Mars is pretty popular right now. I mean it's always been kind of there in the cultural zeitgeist, but it seems to be having it's moment, like a Taylor Swift rising planet. Or, cause if it were a person I would actually expect Mars to be Do you want to go Mars? Me either. Do you like the idea of someone else going to Mars and taking video and pictures and sending it back to you so you can see everything and experience the view without having to leave the comfort of your home and gravity? Me too! Mars is pretty popular right now. I mean it's always been kind of there in the cultural zeitgeist, but it seems to be having it's moment, like a Taylor Swift rising planet. Or, cause if it were a person I would actually expect Mars to be kind of nerdy (despite its greek namesake) , like the new silver-haired Steve Carrel - the kind of planet that is smart and attractive, that makes you laugh but also doesn't really care what others think about it. That's Mars' thing right now. Or it's possible I'm overthinking this. Jenner's book fits exactly into this moment of planet stardom. It's neither a heavy scientific tome nor a whimsical science-fiction romp. Instead it's more like a survey or issues or thoughts, or general things we think about when we think about Mars. Chapters range from the cultural (exploring its namesake or cataloging it's appearances throughout film and books,) to the scientific (looking at the reality of attempts to get there, or addressing the myriad biological issues a visit to Mars could have on the human body). It's a kind of taste or dabble in the red planet that works perfect for a casual read or listen, but will disappoint if you wanted something deeper or with more structure and argument.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Frrobins

    This book seemed to spew random trivia about anything related to Mars, rather than forming some sort of cohesive narrative. I got about 60 pages in and then I couldn't take it anymore. It wasn't even too heavy on the science, there was a lot about how Mars is seen in pop culture and astrology which, the author says, is pseudoscience BUT then she does this "isn't it interesting how astrology is right about saying Mars has this characteristic about being emotionally cold and low and behold it turn This book seemed to spew random trivia about anything related to Mars, rather than forming some sort of cohesive narrative. I got about 60 pages in and then I couldn't take it anymore. It wasn't even too heavy on the science, there was a lot about how Mars is seen in pop culture and astrology which, the author says, is pseudoscience BUT then she does this "isn't it interesting how astrology is right about saying Mars has this characteristic about being emotionally cold and low and behold it turns out Mars is a cold planet so the astrologists are right" type dance that got extremely aggravating (plus tangents about how astrology is pseudoscience but right about the other planets...and palmistry! Which is also pseudoscience, BUT...I wish I was making this up). The random trivia wasn't even given in any sort of chronological order so we could see how our views of Mars evolved with time which could have been interesting (for instance, she talks about how Mars is portrayed in "Doctor Who" while talking roughly about the 1960s, goes way into the 2000s to talk about an episode with Tennant before going back and talking about an episode with Troughton in the 60s). And she does not combine how Mars is portrayed in popular culture side by side with how our scientific findings impacted the media portrayal, which also could have been interesting. It was just a spew of loosely connected facts. Skip.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Grabbed this from free library, and it was just OK. First hundred pages was what I'll call a social history of Mars. Mars , in myth, fable, and fiction. Lots of fun references to cartoons, Ziggy Stardust (yes, those spiders were from Mars!), and science fiction classics. But that was not what I was expecting, nor especially interested in. The next 10o pages covered the actual science, the history of Mars exploration, and what we've learned, and what we still aren't sure about. The final 50 pages Grabbed this from free library, and it was just OK. First hundred pages was what I'll call a social history of Mars. Mars , in myth, fable, and fiction. Lots of fun references to cartoons, Ziggy Stardust (yes, those spiders were from Mars!), and science fiction classics. But that was not what I was expecting, nor especially interested in. The next 10o pages covered the actual science, the history of Mars exploration, and what we've learned, and what we still aren't sure about. The final 50 pages look at what's coming in the potential future. So, ultimately, I did learn about the recent explorations of mars (this was published in 2017), but somehow the text just never grabbed me, and I really was kind of forcing myself to continue.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chris Jaffe

    There is some good stuff in here, but also some dross. The first 80 pages or so are less about Mars and more about Mars in Earth's pop culture. You get talk on David Bowie, Marvin the Martian, 1950s sci-fi films..... OK, but I don't really want so much of this. The low point is probably an in-depth discussion on what the color red signifies in different cultures around the world. But eventually Jenner focuses more on Mars and its moons. The most interesting part for me was a depiction on all the There is some good stuff in here, but also some dross. The first 80 pages or so are less about Mars and more about Mars in Earth's pop culture. You get talk on David Bowie, Marvin the Martian, 1950s sci-fi films..... OK, but I don't really want so much of this. The low point is probably an in-depth discussion on what the color red signifies in different cultures around the world. But eventually Jenner focuses more on Mars and its moons. The most interesting part for me was a depiction on all the health problems on space travel and how that relates to Mars. (Even a bigger problem for Mars than how cold it is? All the radiation is receives). Parts are OK, but parts are flat.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alex Yard

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, which is what I do best. That full review is available on RunSpotRun.com. The gist of it is that this book is on the dull side. The way it's structured is that of a tedious laundry list, and it contains far too much disproven pseudoscience. Not that the author is presenting astrology as fact- she completely acknowledges it's bogus- but there's so much space in this book spent on that garbage content that it gets increasingly frustra I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, which is what I do best. That full review is available on RunSpotRun.com. The gist of it is that this book is on the dull side. The way it's structured is that of a tedious laundry list, and it contains far too much disproven pseudoscience. Not that the author is presenting astrology as fact- she completely acknowledges it's bogus- but there's so much space in this book spent on that garbage content that it gets increasingly frustrating. And most of the science-related stuff, was just not engaging.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    I'm fascinated by our solar system, our galaxy, & the universe, and, so, I thought I would enjoy reading this book, but.... I read to page 46, and I must say that it's obvious that the author thoroughly researched the subject of her book. And perhaps that's the problem I had with the book--too much detail. But I will never know for sure because I will start reading Nora Robert's new book--"Come Sundown"--on Saturday. I'm fascinated by our solar system, our galaxy, & the universe, and, so, I thought I would enjoy reading this book, but.... I read to page 46, and I must say that it's obvious that the author thoroughly researched the subject of her book. And perhaps that's the problem I had with the book--too much detail. But I will never know for sure because I will start reading Nora Robert's new book--"Come Sundown"--on Saturday.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joseph M. O'Connor

    Tiresome I just couldn't get into the book. As I read it seemed like the author was repeating herself, and had the annoying habit of relating each little anecdote in excruciating detail. I skimmed, looking for the interesting part to arrive. It never really did. Tiresome I just couldn't get into the book. As I read it seemed like the author was repeating herself, and had the annoying habit of relating each little anecdote in excruciating detail. I skimmed, looking for the interesting part to arrive. It never really did.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Krause

    Some very interesting Mars trivia, but at other times too trivial.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katerina

    Bit ramble-y and boring at times, but it gave some really pertinent information that I needed to know, so it was worth it in the end.

  30. 4 out of 5

    John

    3.25. About 40% of this book is very interesting, but the other 60% not so much.

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