NPR’s Cultural History of Mars

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NPR - National Public RadioAll thanks to the Marooned: Science Fiction Books On Mars blog for this…

Originally broadcast on January 27, 2004 in the wake of Opportunity’s landing on the Red Planet, Cultural History of Mars is a 35-minute piece from National Public Radio’s program Talk of the Nation.

Hosted by Neal Conan, here’s a description of the piece: “Earthlings were fascinated by Mars long before sending rovers and landers to beam back three-dimensional color pictures of its surface. Does it have canals? Did little green men ever inhabit the planet? Will humans ever walk or live on Mars? NPR’s Neal Conan and guests discuss the history and mystery of Earth’s neighbor, from Galileo to War of the Worlds and beyond.”

Conan’s guests include Dr. William Sheehan, co-author of Mars: The Lure of the Red Planet (2001), David Catling, professor of astrobiology at University of Washington, and Mark Rahner, pop culture writer for The Seattle Times.

Covering both science and science fiction, the discussion mentions a Ray Bradbury episode from X-Minus One (radio drama, 1955), Percival Lowell, Mars Attacks! (film, 1996), H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds (1898), Arthur C. Clarke’s The Sands of Mars (1951), Kim Stanley Robinson, Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles from Dimension X (radio adaptation, 1950/1951), Edgar Rice Burroughs’ character John Carter, C. S. Lewis, Robinson Crusoe on Mars (film, 1964), Angry Red Planet (film, 1960), Total Recall (film, 1990), and Rocketship X-M (film, 1950).

Posted by Jesse Willis

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