First Landing

2003-09-21

I don't read many novels anymore. I used to read a lot of SF, but nowadays I mostly read boring books about philosophy, history, music, science, and the like (this fits with my philosophy of life: "Dare to be dull!"). However, a recent post on space exploration led to me to check Robert Zubrin's novel First Landing out of the library. A bit hokey in spots, but overall a fine dramatization of the themes Zubrin set forth in his nonfiction books The Case for Mars and Entering Space. Some years ago I soured on the far-future speculation of many SF novels, but I think I might enjoy reading more explorations of the near future -- you know, L5 habitats, lunar colonies, Mars settlement, asteroid mining, and the like. Personally I think the near future could get interesting and that humanity will most likely break out of our current gravity well before long, but not necessarily for the noble reasons that novelists often portray and most likely with a significant element of history repeating itself. Penal colonies on the moon? Crazy utopian communities in L5? Greed and exploitation in the asteroid belt? Anarchy and rebellion on Mars? I consider such things a lot more likely than the sanitized version of the future dished up by the likes of Star Trek. Ad astra per aspera!


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal