California Invented Mars?

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California invented Mars. Don’t believe me? Then take my quick quiz.

Question one: Who wrote “A Princess of Mars,” the sci-fi novel that launched the famous Barsoom series of books, and inspired the recent movie “John Carter of Mars”? If you said Edgar Rice Burroughs, I don’t know, give yourself a Mars bar.

Question two: Who wrote “The Martian Chronicles,” the groundbreaking book of fantasy stories about man’s colonization of the red planet — which works as an allegory for the suburbanization of Southern California. Ray Bradbury.

Three: Who wrote the sci-fi novels “Red Planet,” “Podkayne of Mars,” and “Stranger in a Strange Land,” the last of which found a huge readership in the 1960s with its portrait of a gentle, freedom-loving Martian who refuses to adjust to life on earth? The answer: Robert Heinlein — you hippie you.

Four: Who wrote “Black Amazon of Mars,” a delightfully cheesy novelette about the sword-wielding interplanetary hero Eric John Stark — and then co-wrote the screenplays for “The Big Sleep” from 1946, “The Long Goodbye” from 1973, and The Empire Strikes Back, from 1980? The same woman, Leigh Brackett.

Read the full article at KPCC Public Radio (and thanks to Bill Hillman for finding this!)

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