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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on Mars?
Grattan Street Press’s sci-fi release Melbourne and Mars: My Mysterious Life on Two Planets tells the story of an unassuming colonial merchant who finds himself living a parallel life on Mars. The Red Planet has a lot in common with colonial Melbourne, it turns out. Except that ‘Martials’ are smaller and more beautiful than ‘Earthborns’, and they thrive in an altruistic socialist utopia of abundance and technological marvels.
Originally published in 1889, Melbourne and Mars is Book 5 in GSP’s Colonial Australian Popular Fiction series. The creation of a Melbourne phrenologist and amateur philosopher, Joseph Fraser, it is a fascinating early example of Australian science fiction that is a novel of ideas as well as action. It imagines a utopian world without money, social disadvantage or crime, where free education, electricity and everyday comforts are provided to all.
Here is a philosophical and spiritual adventure which poses many fascinating parallels to questions faced by society today – including the meaning of gender equality, humanity’s relationship with nature, and the role of scientific achievement.