- Paperback: 200 pages
- Publisher: Strange Attractor (30 Oct. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0954805488
- ISBN-13: 978-0954805487
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 20 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 997,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Welcome to Mars: Fantasies of Science in the American Century, 1947-1959 Paperback – 30 Oct 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
There are connections between these spheres, of course: to pluck one example from many, the developer of some of the earliest planned suburban communities had begun his career building secret housing, not appearing on any maps, for workers in the atom bomb programme. Personnel appear and reappear in the different strands of the story to the extent that it can be difficult to keep track, which is perhaps the point. Hollings' modus operandi is the rapid shuffle between narratives, the jump cut that juxtaposes two strands: his chronological framework commits him to this rapid switching, but it is also one of the means whereby he builds up a convincing structure. In the end, this is perhaps not so much history, or at least orthodox "balanced" history (in which one would be required to look more closely at how representative certain figures actually were), as one history, one possible use of the facts, a paranoid riff in which images from reality are selected and juxtaposed in cut-up fashion.Read more ›
Welcome To Mars examines the period immediately after WWII, and the American Miltary/Industrial complex's dark mirror of the burgeoning science fiction which was prevalent in the mainstream consciousness of the era. Hollings draws dark parrallels which takes in the 'Red Terror' undercurrents of Saucermen movies, the terrible and true-life tales of the Military/Industrial complex, utopian social engineering and their nutty (and invariably unethical) masterminds, mind control, dreams of life on other planets etc.
Slanted and selective in its view of history (as with Curtis' work), Hollings weaves a captivating and fantastically subversive take on post-war America. Tip-toeing carefully through the muddier parts of American history, Hollings skillfully navigates away from conspiracy theory territory (dont worry, no shape-changing lizards here!), essaying some of the more extreme ideas and experiments borne out of the paranoia of the era. Unbeleivably, nearly all of which are a matter of public record. Less a history, more of a meditation on America's post war empire building days (with one eye gazing at the stars).
Highly reccomended, especially if you can keep your wits, perspective and sense of humour around subject matters like these!
Being a baby boomer myself, I was familiar with a great many of the topics covered in Ken Hollings' book - mainly those dealing with UFO sightings and the sci-fi films of the decade. The author assigns each chapter to a year in covering American cultural, political and scientific happenings, as the book's subtitle indicates. While the chronological deluge of people, places and things held interest it did so only up to a point: the point where it seemed I was reading a more densely packed "birthday" card, the kind that lists all the happenings in the year you were born, from the miraculous to the mundane. So that is what this book became, in the end. It is a blink-and-miss it approach that over time grows exceedingly tedious. A tidal wave washing everything and anything up on the shore of a reader's scrutiny. I dare say, if someone knows next to nil about this seismic decade in American history, the book may seem to be written in Greek. I know that if one never saw the films discussed, the discussions would by-and-large seem decidedly confusing, pointless and vague.Read more ›