Mars and Gravity

Mars is certainly getting a lot of news coverage at the moment, and that is not unreasonable given NASA’s remit to land man on Mars within the next few decades. But we have still got a lot to learn about the red planet. See here for news about a massive tilt Mars underwent about 4 billion years ago.

One of the many implications is that until now NASA might have been looking for signs of life on the wrong places. But see my short story here about my thoughts on life on Mars. (And just to please some of you, I won’t say what I normally say under these circumstances…)
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Whilst there has been a lot more popular interest in Mars by the scientists, engineers and the general public, there seems very little corresponding interest by science fiction writers. The notable exception of course in Andy Weir’s The Martian.

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To me this means the science fiction publishers have missed out on a golden opportunity – after all Andy Weir self-published his Martian stories before they became popular enough to interest a publisher.

Let’s turn to another opportunity missed by publishers – this year is the 350th (sesquarcentennial for those of you who like obscure words) anniversary of when Sir Isaac Newton formulated his theory of gravity. And do we have stories about gravity coming out like Hal Clement’s Mission of Gravity. It was first serialised in 1953!

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Science fiction has taken gravitational effects on humans for granted. But I know this is far from the case – there is still oodles to deal with. Of course science fiction has concentrated its gravity issues on black holes and their close relations e.g. white holes. But even here, these days there is a distinct lack of published science fiction. Then of course was the recent announcement about gravity waves. They’ve been looking for them for quite a few years and you would have expected some science fiction on this, wouldn’t you?  All in all it would appear this 350th anniversary turns out to be another opportunity missed in the publishing industry.

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One thought on “Mars and Gravity

  1. There is a new sci-fi book just out that explores the issues of living long term in the one-sixth gravity of the Moon, and the even bigger problems of returning to Earth afterwards. It’s called Mother Moon and I’ll gladly send you a copy for review if you’d like to read it, Rosie. There will be colony on the Moon long before we set up shop on Mars. Also, I was disappointed ‘The Martian’ (film) made no attempt to depict Martian gravity. Sir Isaac would not be impressed!

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