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Genesis [Paperback]

Frederick Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Oct. 1 1988 --  

Book Description

Oct. 1 1988
Originally published in 1988, Genesis was the first major work of fiction that addressed the idea of terraforming Mars. It not only suggested the idea, but provided a feasible solution for doing so. During its initial publication, Genesis was on the list of recommended reading at NASA, and has since gone on to enjoy cult status. Its acknowledged list of admirers includes such literary luminaries as Brian Aldiss, Amy Clampitt, Arthur C. Clarke, Thomas M. Disch, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Pulitzer Prize winning poet, James Merrill. It is with great pride that Ilium Press brings this influential and prescient work back into print.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A nation-building poem March 6 2000
Format:Paperback
This is a really bold project---nothing less than a conscious attempt at creating a founders' epic myth for the colonization of Mars. The science fiction was appealing, but the adoption of epic poetic structure to that sturdy narrative style is what raises this to the 5 star level. There is an equal amount of what I would call mysticism, especially as a new prophet for humanity springs from Martian soil. If you ever got excited by reading Virgil, when you had to translate and put yourself back into time, but still wondered what would be the outcome of Aneas' various adventures, this is for you, except it has at its disposal the tools of modern poetry, and is fueled by a genuinely new epic story. The narrative and poetry are perfectly interfused. Turner is somewhat of a throwback, and Genesis could be taken as an apologia for human imperialism on the grand scale. However, he portrays diversity as a real virtue, and also gives the Malthusian intellectual tendency a fair chance to make its case. Humorous subsections of the poetry descend from the lofty rhythm of iambic pentameter into tetrameter, highlighting his contention as a critic that form is central to the understanding of content. The meter is the message, perhaps? This is one of the most moving things I have ever read.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars A nation-building poem March 6 2000
Format:Paperback
This is a really bold project---nothing less than a conscious attempt at creating a founders' epic myth for the colonization of Mars. The science fiction was appealing, but the adoption of epic poetic structure to that sturdy narrative style is what raises this to the 5 star level. There is an equal amount of what I would call mysticism, especially as a new prophet for humanity springs from Martian soil. If you ever got excited by reading Virgil, when you had to translate and put yourself back into time, but still wondered what would be the outcome of Aneas' various adventures, this is for you, except it has at its disposal the tools of modern poetry, and is fueled by a genuinely new epic story. The narrative and poetry are perfectly interfused. Turner is somewhat of a throwback, and Genesis could be taken as an apologia for human imperialism on the grand scale. However, he portrays diversity as a real virtue, and also gives the Malthusian intellectual tendency a fair chance to make its case. Humorous subsections of the poetry descend from the lofty rhythm of iambic pentameter into tetrameter, highlighting his contention as a critic that form is central to the understanding of content. The meter is the message, perhaps? This is one of the most moving things I have ever read.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Aug. 4 2002
Format:Paperback
Epic poetry has lost its place in our culture. The common reader is not interested in the discipline of verse writing, looking more for a simple and easily-accessible series of actions with a bit of descripition thrown in. Turner's "Genesis" is a tribute to Homer, Virgil, the Arthurian tales, "Beowulf", and "the Song of Roland". Turner's story is excellent, narrative and verse techniques wonderful, and characters deep and complex. Anyone interested in epic poetry or science fiction as a genre should read this great work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and beautiful Nov. 18 1999
Format:Paperback
"Genesis" is an epic poem about the terraforming, or environmental transformation, of Mars. It's a beautiful, thoughtful, captivating treatment of a difficult set of environmental, spiritual and political issues. It deserves to be much more widely known than it is, as it ranks with Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles as one of the most moving and unusual literary works about the planet Mars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nation-building poem March 6 2000
By Brendan Frost - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a really bold project---nothing less than a conscious attempt at creating a founders' epic myth for the colonization of Mars. The science fiction was appealing, but the adoption of epic poetic structure to that sturdy narrative style is what raises this to the 5 star level. There is an equal amount of what I would call mysticism, especially as a new prophet for humanity springs from Martian soil. If you ever got excited by reading Virgil, when you had to translate and put yourself back into time, but still wondered what would be the outcome of Aneas' various adventures, this is for you, except it has at its disposal the tools of modern poetry, and is fueled by a genuinely new epic story. The narrative and poetry are perfectly interfused. Turner is somewhat of a throwback, and Genesis could be taken as an apologia for human imperialism on the grand scale. However, he portrays diversity as a real virtue, and also gives the Malthusian intellectual tendency a fair chance to make its case. Humorous subsections of the poetry descend from the lofty rhythm of iambic pentameter into tetrameter, highlighting his contention as a critic that form is central to the understanding of content. The meter is the message, perhaps? This is one of the most moving things I have ever read.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Aug. 4 2002
By Glenn McDorman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Epic poetry has lost its place in our culture. The common reader is not interested in the discipline of verse writing, looking more for a simple and easily-accessible series of actions with a bit of descripition thrown in. Turner's "Genesis" is a tribute to Homer, Virgil, the Arthurian tales, "Beowulf", and "the Song of Roland". Turner's story is excellent, narrative and verse techniques wonderful, and characters deep and complex. Anyone interested in epic poetry or science fiction as a genre should read this great work.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and beautiful Nov. 18 1999
By John McKnight - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Genesis" is an epic poem about the terraforming, or environmental transformation, of Mars. It's a beautiful, thoughtful, captivating treatment of a difficult set of environmental, spiritual and political issues. It deserves to be much more widely known than it is, as it ranks with Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles as one of the most moving and unusual literary works about the planet Mars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow Sept. 14 2012
By William Crosby Prentice - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When I first received Genesis, I had no idea what an extraordinary work it was going to be. I had shied away from poetry for many years, and had forgotten how enjoyable it can be to read an epic poem written by a master story-teller and applied to a marvelous story. Genesis is now on the shelf right next to the other books that I keep handy to re-read every three or four years, trying to pretend that I am reading them for the first time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Epic Science Fiction Feb. 12 2012
By Sax - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It's got everything that an epic poem needs: love and war, tragedy and betrayal, death and renewal, and a grand stage for a great story. It's also science fiction--which is something you don't see very often in poetry--about terraforming Mars. Though the story is a bit too fantastic in places to be plausible, and the ending gets a little sidetracked with hippie metaphysics, it's a glorious read that expresses the values, anxieties, and dreams of its culture, just like any epic poem should.
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