In Clarke's first published full-length science fiction novel, renowned science fiction writer Martin Gibson joins the spaceship Ares, the world's first interplanetary ship for passenger travel, on its maiden voyage to Mars. His mission: to report back to the home planet about the new Mars colony and the progress it has been making.
First published in 1951, before the achievement of space flight, Clarke addresses hard physical and scientific issues with aplombâ€•and the best scientific understanding of the times. Included are the challenges of differing air pressures, lack of oxygen, food provisions, severe weather patterns, construction on Mars, and methods of local travel-both on the surface and to the planet's two moons.
Aelita (1923) is a science-fiction fantasy in the manner of H.G. Wells, telling the story of a Soviet expedition to Mars with the aim of establishing communism. A Red Army officer foments a rebellion of the native Martians, who are in fact long-ago emigrants from Atlantis. The story was adapted into a screenplay in 1924. Its futuristic, expressionistic sets were designed by Isaac Rabinovitch of the Kamerny Theatre.
The film influenced the design in Flash Gordon, a space opera, which was created by the artist Alex Raymond in 1934 and led to a popular radio serial and several films. Giperboloid inzhenera Garina (1926, The Death Box) described an attempt of an unscrupulous inventor to use his death ray to conquer the world. He manages to rule a decadently capitalist USA for a short period.
Hanville Svetz was born into a future to match the sorriest predictions of Greenpeace. Most of Earth's original life forms are extinct. It is Svetz's job to go back in time and retrieve them, or at least it was until his Institute for Temporal Research was transferred. Now, with a new boss obsessed with stars and planets, Svetz must figure out why the Martian canals have gone dry and what that means for Earth's future.
Because Mars was inhabited. When Svetz learns how the sapient Martian species were wiped out, he realizes that Earth could soon fall victim to a similar fate. Together with his dog, Wrona, a visitor from the distant past, and Miya, an astronaut with her own complex history, Svetz must struggle to unravel a puzzle that will tax not just his rational mind, but the very limits of his imagination.