Oliver Morton has a sense of place and a hunger for Mars, and a thrilling manner of communicating both. His account of our nearest neighbor's history, geology, and human potential is exhaustive. Morton touches on just about everything, from soil composition to survival techniques; from Martians to maps (maps, above all: they are his abiding subject, metaphor, and organizing principle). His artistry is to hide his daunting range of interests under a passionate and gripping human narrative: this book is about what Mars has meant, means, and may one day mean for us. And he has a wide-ranging definition of who "we" are. Like a good military historian, Morton knows to pay attention to the foot soldiers of science, as well as to the achievements of their celebrated masters. He understands how different the sciences are from each other, and how rivalries between them arise. Further, Morton understands where these people and their institutions sit in the general culture. He understands the crossover between science and science fiction, between space advocates and space fans.
All of which makes Morton's book something more than just "the story of Mars." It is, in addition, an astute study of how we go about exploring our world. --Simon Ings
I highly recommend Oliver Morton's Mapping Mars. Not only does it frame the debate about the likelihood of life on Mars, but also does a great job of explaning our changing... Read morePublished on Jan. 31 2004
Mapping Mars covers more ground than its title would suggest. Not only does it give an enjoyable account of the attempts to describe Mars' topography, it also tells of how... Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2003
I bought this book on a whim after getting interested in Mars colonization after reading Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy, to which Dr. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2003 by Amazon Customer
Most of this book was actually very interesting. The author describes martian geography, the Mars Global Surveyor, and the evolution of martian maps for the first 3/4's of the... Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2003 by Amazon Customer
Mapping Mars by Oliver Morton is an excellent book! Morton takes the reader on the very human journey to map Mars from Percival Lowell to the folks planning the 2003 rovers. Read morePublished on Oct. 20 2002 by Bruce Crocker