Lavie Tidhar is the World Fantasy Award winning author of Osama, of The Bookman Histories trilogy and many other works. He won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, for Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God, and a BSFA Award for his non-fiction. He grew up on a kibbutz in Israel and in South Africa but currently resides in London. His 2013 novels are the just-released Martian Sands and forthcoming The Violent Century.
by Lavie Tidhar
My new novel, Martian Sands, is out now from PS Publishing in the UK. It builds on my fascination with the novels of Philip K. Dick, which had such an impact on me when I was reading them as a teenager – the only American novels, it felt to me, to describe a future in which I had a place. Dick wrote about kibbutzim on Mars, and I grew up on a kibbutz (a sort of Socialist commune in Israel). He also wrote about time travel and the Holocaust, obsessing in the way I too obsess over that enormous psychic wound. My mother was born in a refugee camp in Germany after the war: the majority of my family died at Auschwitz.
Pulp fiction, it seemed to me when writing my World Fantasy Award winning novel, Osama, and seems to me still, allows us a way to look at truly unbelievable, implausible things, things that look like, that feel as though they should belong in the pages of cheap, disposable literature.
In many of my recent short stories I have been exploring a vast future history, one in which humanity has populated the solar system. Martian Sands takes place roughly in that same universe, or at least adjacent to it. It is a novel about pulp – the Martian pulps of Philip K. Dick as well as Edgar Rice Burroughs – and it is a novel about time travel, which is impossible, and the Holocaust, which should have been impossible.
Think of it as Total Recall meets Schindler’s List…
It is a very strange book.
Here, I wanted to explore five other weird journeys to Mars. The usual suspects may be missing, but each of these, in their own way, has contributed to Martian Sands.