by Kurd Lasswitz
The first English translation of the classic German novel about Utopia created by the technology of the day after tomorrow. Kurd Lasswitz's 1897 utopian novel describes man's first encounter with beings of higher intelligence from another planet, the inhabitants of Mars. Physically differing little from man, but intellectually, ethically, scientifically, and socially far advanced, the Martians seek to educate man, whom they encounter at the North Pole, where they seek air and energy to supplement the diminished supplies in their own, older world. The encounter is seen through the eyes of several characters, both Martian and human, and the action is drawn together by the love affair between a beautiful Martian girl and a man from the earth exploring party. For decades the novel has captured the imagination of Europeans, including that of Dr. Wernher von Braun, who recently noted that he had "devoured [the novel] with curiosity and excitement as a young man." Readers will be especially interested in obtaining a view of the richness of ideas at the eve of the twentieth century which gave rise to this novel.