The acclaimed anthologist collects stories from the 19th and 20th centuries in which Mars became an object of fascination for writers interested in life on other planets and its implication for humans—with entries from the likes H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, and J. G. Ballard, as well as hard-to-find stories by forgotten writers from the genre.
He lists many, many stories and novels set on Mars from this period to the present, and groups them thematically, with each work summarized in a single sentence. But there is very little analysis as to why the themes arose at the various times they did ... Ashley does not address why using Mars as a thought experiment was the default approach ... The absence of deeper criticism would be a minor disappointment if the stories were all fun, but most of them feel more like curiosities than hidden gems ... Any fan of old science-fiction magazines will find stories to enjoy in Lost Mars, but if you’re looking for a more nuanced examination of how the red planet functioned in the minds of the people who chose it as their milieu, you might be disappointed. And if you are looking to read a quality collection of short stories set on Mars, you might do better to just read The Martian Chronicles.
Despite the advanced age of some of these tales, they’re sure to keep the interest of modern readers ... Bradbury’s 1950 'Ylla,' a tense, taut portrait of an unhappy Martian woman and her jealous husband, feels as if it could have been written today. Other stories by less well-known authors also shine ... A thoroughly enjoyable assemblage of old-time science fiction.
Editor Ashley...dusts off 10 enchanting stories of Mars by famous and forgotten British and American writers from the late 19th century to the 1960s for this nostalgic retrospective collection... Readers fond of classic science fiction imbued with romance, exotic settings, and whimsical scenarios will treasure these evocative stories.