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Zubrin, Robert

Entry updated 13 February 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1952-    ) US aerospace engineer and author who in his nonfiction has been a strong advocate of the exploration and exploitation of Mars, as articulated in The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must (1996; rev 2011) with Richard Wagner and other texts, all advocating the "Mars Direct" programme, which describes the use of available Technology to move toward the ultimate goal of settlement. His first sf novel, First Landing (2002), fictionalizes this programme, invoking the discovery of bacterial life on Mars, and invoking the sf Clichés where Earth politicians behave nefariously to the pioneers, who are too plucky to give up. Zubrin's second sf novel, The Holy Land (2003), is a Satire on the tangled Middle East, its main targets being Arabs unreconciled to the existence of Israel, though Israelis themselves come in for some stick; the story, involving an Alien invasion of a mulishly recalcitrant Earth, is amusing but simplistic if read as allegory. How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet (2008) is, as described, a manual for survival on the planet, as told by a twenty-second century Martian resident. [JC]

Robert Zubrin

born New York: 19 April 1952


nonfiction (selected)


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