A narrative history of the men and women who have explored Mars and mapped its surface from afar, and in so doing conditioned our understanding of our nearest planetary neighbour.
The maps of Mars are exquisitely detailed representations of a land as large as all the continents of the earth combined. Yet they are being drawn before any human eye has seen the wonders they contain. In this fascinating mix of science, travel and the history of scientific imagination, Oliver Morton tells the story of the men and women who are mapping a dramatic, mysterious landscape, without having once set foot on its surface. Filled with awe-inspiring detail about volcanoes twice the height of Everest, basins deeper than the Pacific, ‘Mapping Mars’ is a breathtaking account of a world opening up to the imagination.
Reviews of Mapping Mars: Science, Imagination and the Birth of a World
- ‘A wonderful work of intellectual history and a permanent addition to the Mars bookshelf.’ Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the ‘Red Mars’ trilogy and ‘The Years of Rice and Salt’
- ‘Splendid…the best factual book on Mars that money can buy.’ New Scientist
- ‘A remarkable book…to read this book is to become infected with a fascinating which I hadn’t realised Mars held.’ James Hamilton-Paterson, London Review of Books
- ‘A beautifully intelligent meditation on place, and on the paradoxes of place that apply to a place like Mars…it will be around for a long time to come.’ Francis Spufford, Evening Standard
- ‘Morton’s writing blends romance and rationalism…His treatment strikes a nice balance between the wry journalistic observer and erudite cultural historian. But he finishes with the conviction that the presence of intelligence on Earth means that the futures of the two planets are bound together. Read it, and you’ll be convinced too.’ Jon Turney