Born Under Mars

Author: John Brunner

Genre: Science Fiction

Year: 1967

Rating: 8 of 10

An interesting tale told in first person from the perspective of a human born on Mars who works the space shipping lanes. It could almost have been an espionage novel set in space but the different human cultures that it portrays are so rich that it makes for excellent science fiction. There is not so much world-building going on but rather culture-building, both thoughtful and intriguing. I particularly enjoyed the interactions between Martians and the peoples that looked down on them, dealing with xenophobia and elitism through language such as “sea-level” being an earth term that feels derogatory to the Martians. Through this device Brunner is able to illustrate just how much humans would change given enough time and distance. In part the book is about eugenics, but not in such a way that racism comes into play. It is more about differences in the way people think based on their environment. Not the best book I’ve ever read but I am interested in checking out more of Brunner’s work.



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