The Sands of Mars - Arthur C. Clarke

*** Hard science fiction from the past

I know I find myself in front of a science fiction classic written in the 50s of the past century, but I’m obviously forced to judge it according to my tastes as a reader from these times.
This is an early example of hard science fiction, that is, a science fiction that seeks to be based on real science, but being a novel from 1951, most of its science is outdated. Therefore you must take it as it is.
The story sounds cold and linear, even though there are passages that theoretically should excite, both with regard to the private scope of the protagonist and the adventurous events and discoveries that he has witnessed. This causes the novel to appear as a report that doesn’t make you feel involved as you read.
The simultaneous presence of these two aspects unfortunately prevented me from enjoying the book.
I have read other classics that show a totally different Mars from what it turned out to be, but the way they were written still made it enjoyable, as they allowed me to feel along with the protagonist, suffer with them. It created a strong reader-protagonist bond that surpassed all scientific nonsense and anachronistic aspects of the story.
I wasn’t able to create such bond in this book. I just found it boring and I’m afraid that it hasn’t left me anything at the end of the reading.
I know that this is a risk you take by reading classic novels, since some of them are the mirror of a type of fiction that is very different from the contemporary one and therefore not everybody likes it today. I certainly don’t.
Anyway I enjoyed some suggestive ideas generated by the imaginative setting.


The Sands of Mars on Amazon.