Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet
Robert Zubrin
Three Rivers Press, 197 pages

How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet
Robert Zubrin
Robert Zubrin is a recipient of the National Space Society's prestigious Robert A. Heinlein Award and is the author of the bestselling The Case for Mars, as well as Entering Space, Energy Victory, and First Landing. He is the president of the Mars Society, an international organization committed to furthering the exploration and settlement of the Red Planet. With a doctorate in nuclear engineering and a master's in aeronautics and astronautics, Dr. Zubrin led the "Mars Direct" project at Martin Marietta Astronautics (later Lockheed Martin) and is the founder and president of the engineering firm Pioneer Astronautics.

ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by David Maddox

Could we live on other planets? Is it possible? Human ingenuity has always thrived to grow and expand our boundaries. But which worlds could support us? And how? All this and more is answered in this remarkable well explained guidebook that gives you the do's and don'ts of living on Mars.

Having been written well in the 22nd century, Robert Zubrin's book is part humor and part science. Taking the reader through the various stages of not only getting to Mars, but once there how to achieve a habitat, means of transportation and becoming self-sufficient in creating one's own materials from basic Martian elements, the book is a complete analysis and it's quite obvious not only has Zubrin done his research but he wholeheartedly believes in what he writes.

It's also quite evident that he has little to no respect for the folks at NASA and JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) as he repeatedly criticizes their "past" attempts to get to the moon, from mold-growing space stations, to the "ridiculous" idea that the moon was worth visiting. However, his arguments are sound and learned, so even if you might disagree, you can't fault his logic.

There is also a nice "future history" of Mars included. Featuring such references to Becky Sherman, the explorer who first discovered pre-bacteria on Mars, the signing of the Martian Declaration of Independence and the founding of a full fledged Martian city, Zubrin does create a believable Mars that seems quite possible to inhabit.

There are several levels of humor in the read as well, from a section on silly ways Martian "newbies" have died, how to pick up a possible mate on Mars, and a very compelling sell to buy stock and join up with the Ares Asteroidal, Zubrin's own (fictitious) company that is making financial, social and political leaps and bounds ahead of the Mars Authority.

And, yes, there is science involved as well, but the reader is warned with a Technical Note that High Science Content is coming. And Zubrin does make it quite easy to understand as well so it's nothing to fear.

Overall How to Live on Mars does just what the title suggests. And it does it with well-crafted ideas and just the right amount of sarcasm that, with luck, if enough of the right people read it and decide to pursue the science of space, it won't be too far in the future that such a book will really become necessary.

Copyright © 2009 David Maddox

David Maddox
Science fiction enthusiast David Maddox has been many things, including Star Trek characters and the Riddler in a Batman stunt show. He holds a degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University, and has written several articles for various SF sites as well as the Star Wars Insider and the Star Trek Communicator. He spends his time working on screenplays and stories while acting on stage, screen and television. He can sometimes be seen giving tours at Universal Studios Hollywood and occasionally playing Norman Bates. Really.

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide