View Full Version : Seeking a Bad Book

2002-Aug-11, 09:13 AM
When I was seven years old I found this book that stated that vegetation "appeared to be growing on Mars" and that there were probably animals there, too. There was a nice painting of some astronauts visiting said Martians. This book contained a wealth of space-age propaganda about how we'd all be taking holidays on the Moon in the near future - you know the deal.

Later I found out that this book was published decades ago and that people had since decided that Mars doesn't have forests (or happy little forest-critters) after all.
With my romantic view of space irreparably dashed to pieces, I have since been trying to fill the emptiness with an appreciation for beauty that only science can offer... (:

ANYWAY, that was one great little book. If anybody out there knows its title or where I might be able to find a copy of it, or if anyone has any other info about it, please post your replies!

2002-Aug-11, 07:31 PM
Could it have been the Time/Life science and nature series book entitled "Space"? I remember that one fondly: they had (speculative!) drawings of critters from Mars and Jupiter.

It was a pretty good educational book -- for the time!

(Beats the hell out of their later offerings about mysteries, magic, myth, and other sludge...)


2002-Aug-11, 07:55 PM
It isn't the Life Science Library "Man and Space" book (editor Arthur C. Clarke). I know because I obtained it from Oldham Market for 50p (80c?) and have just gone through it. Let me check another recent purchase ... "Challenge of the Stars" by Patrick Moore (foreword by Arthur C. Clarke).
Nope. Sternly matter-of-fact about Mars. It has a Martian Excursion Module, a Martian polar expedition but - no Martian critters.

2002-Aug-12, 12:03 AM
Conrad: yoop! You're quite right! "Man and Space!"

But I'm certain as certain can be that one of the Time/Life science and nature series (from the good old 1960's) had a sidebar with illos of "possible" alien life, including Martian and Jovian (jovial?)

However, you've demonstrated my memory deficient once, so why not twice?

(I'm gonna forget my head some day...)


David Hall
2002-Aug-12, 06:54 AM
Sounds like a needle-in-a-haystack search to me. Do you remember anything else unique about this book that can help narrow the search a bit? Cover art, or series name, or other topics included in the book? Was it intended to be factual (as in what-if concepts) or was it a fictional representation (a future story)? When you say it came out "decades ago" what era are we talking about? 40's, 50's? Maybe with more details it will jog the memory of someone else who's seen it.

2002-Aug-12, 03:08 PM
Found with a quick Google search...

"ENC#: ENC-003970
Series: Life science library.
Publisher: Time Life Books
Date: 1964

7 8 9 10 11 12 Post-secondary

This book is part of the Life Science Library Series produced by Time-Life Books as a review of the history of human interest in space and the technological developments that have advanced exploration of this new frontier. The book also discusses future changes that may occur on Earth as a consequence of experiments in space. Space explorations are presented in a series of text chapters, with marginal illustrations on specific points and picture essays. The picture essays complement the chapters that they follow, sometimes by illustrating the subject in depth, sometimes by covering supplementary subject material. Topics include a brief history of astronomy, including the work of scientists and science fiction writers such as Galileo, Kepler, and Verne; the launching of Sputnik and the dawn of the Space Age; and living and working in space. The book is illustrated with photographs documenting the development of aeronautical engineering, space crafts, and astronauts at work. Artists' representations depict planets, flight trajectories, and future space craft design."

My own note: terribly dated, but still fun.


2002-Aug-12, 05:11 PM
Man and Space was the first book on the space program I ever read oh so may years ago around 71-72 just as I was beginning to read. I mostly looked at the pictures but was able to read the captions and ask my parents what the words I didn't know were. We had just about the entire Time-Life Science Library (still do actually). I get a bit sad when I peruse it today as A.C. speaks of what we would have by now and we fall far short. Readin 30 year old Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazines will do that too. Ahh well.

2002-Aug-16, 05:27 AM
That abstract doesn't sound like the book I'm thinking of.

The most complete description of it that I can remember:

It was essentially a children's picture book, with a lot of text as well. The artwork was typical 1950's-60's paintings of the sort that you see in Coca-Cola adverts on the wall of Burger King restaurants.

I think the gist of the book's title was some thing like "Let's Go Into Space!" or "Let's All Go To The Moon!" The main story in the book told the reader what it would be like to travel to the Moon (in the future). The description was based on any ordinary airline flight. One of the pictures showed a 1960's family buckled into their seats while a "Space Hostess" brought around the food etc.

The book also had sections about possible manned missions to the terrestrial planets. The description of the mission to Mercury, if I remember rightly, mentioned that Mercury's 'twilight zone' between the 'hot side' and the 'cold side' could be explored by astronauts.
I don't remember anything about Venus in the book.
Mars, I've already mentioned. I think the actual quote was: "Vegetation appears to grow there, and there may also be animals with large lungs to gulp down the thin air." But it's been over 14 years since I read that, so it might be a little different. {-:>
The Martian animals were painted to look like red dog/donkey hybrids. Freaky.

Unfortunately I never got to read the entire book - I only got one brief browse through the first part of it before this guy who was completely nuts about space grabbed it off me and I had to read over his shoulder to see the bit about going to the moon.

Someday I may get to finish reading that book... I live in hope. (-:


I went on a second-hand bookstore hunt for the Time/Life book titled "Space", last year. The closest I came was finding out what its cover looked like. (I do actually have the Time/Life book called "Stars". It's great fun. Makes you realise just how much has been discovered in the last 40 years.)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Sarcastronaught on 2002-08-16 01:32 ]</font>

2002-Aug-16, 05:38 AM
I remember our library in the elementry school had this cool kid's book on the planets, this was the early 70s. It must have been from the 40s or the 50s, I'm guessing. One of the coolest pictures was an artist impression from the 'surface' of Saturn, looking at the rings through a gap in the clouds. There were mountains and everything on Saturn, lol. Part of me was disappointed when I found out that Saturn doesn't realy have a surface in that sense... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif