The Sands of Mars
Author: Arthur C. Clarke
Last Read: June 2014
Quick Summary: A famous sci-fi writer gets a chance to travel to mars (and takes lots of shit for how unrealistic his writings about sci-fi and space travel were). He meets the colonial leadership on Mars, eventually finding native creatures and falling in love with the planet.
Arthur C. Clarke is one of my favorite sci-fi writers, and this was his first published sci-fi novel. The fact that he takes the chance to make his main character a writer, and has that writer get picked on for his wild and crazy predictions about the future of human space travel was quite enjoyable. The story was a smooth read as well - highly recommended.
Well, this is it, thought Gibson. Down there is all my past life, and the lives of all my ancestors back to the first blob of jelly in the first primeval sea. No colonist or explorer setting sail from his native land ever left so much behind as I am leaving now. Down beneath those clouds lies the whole of human history; soon I shall be able to eclipse with my little finger what was, until a lifetime ago, all of Man’s dominion and everything that his art had saved from time.
This inexorable drawing away from the known into the unknown had almost the finality of death. Thus must the naked soul, leaving all its treasures behind it, go out at last into the darkness and the night.
Gibson had found it very hard to get his impressions of space down on paper; one could not very well say “space is awfully big” and leave it at that.
Only Hilton, who seemed to possess unlimited reserves of patience, took life easily and relaxed while the others fussed around him.
It’s always fatal to adapt oneself to one’s surroundings. The thing to do is to alter your surroundings to suit you.”