The astronomer Percival Lowell envisioned a world threaded by canals and peopled by ancient, intelligent beings. The Viking spacecraft showed us a seemingly sterile planet with a salmon-pink sky and sub-Antarctic temperatures. In this swiftly paced and authoritative book, a Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer traverses the vast physical and cognitive distances between Earth and Mars—and between Lowell’s Mars and Viking’s—while offering an informed vision of the future of Martian exploration. Mars Beckons is a fascinating synthesis of myth, history, politics, and high technology, written with the momentum of a grand adventure story.
“Absorbing, fast, paced and neatly balanced . . . It is a testimony to Wilford that he can cover so much ground. . . . He proves that science writing can be done excellently.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Highly readable . . . well-crafted . . . an important book in the ongoing debate about space.”—Newsday
“An excellent book . . . Wilford offers us a compelling vision of our past, present and future with Mars.”—Wall Street Journal
John Noble Wilford is a science correspondent for The New York Times. His professional career began in 1956 at the Wall Street Journal, where he was a general assignment reporter and a medical reporter. In 1962, he joined Time to work as a contributing science editor,… More about John Noble Wilford