By Jonny Cuba:
A short word about one of my favourite books. Ken Hollings - Welcome to Mars published by Strange Attractor press. http://strangeattractor.co.uk/shoppe/welcome-to-mars-2/
As an adolescent in the early 1980’s I saw a series of American Sci-Fi films from the late 40’s through the 50’s mostly black and white, including many classics such as: This Island Earth, The day the Earth Stood Still, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, War of the Worlds and many others.
These movies left a deep impression on a mind of a young person who had led a pretty sheltered and comfortable life but definitely felt the chill of the cold war in the air. Now you are wondering why I am writing about movies when reviewing a book? Simple answer, watching them left me with a lifelong obsession of post war Americana.
In Welcome to Mars auther Ken Hollings explores how the fantasy of Sci-Fi penetrated the very core of American life, especially for the newly emergent middle classes living in their ‘Levittown’ homes. Hollings also peers into the darker side of the fantasy where the US government and military exposed their own citizens (almost always without their consent) to physical and social experiments.
Welcome to Mars is a tapestry that slides and weaves effortlessly between film studio to institutional science lab taking some fun pop culture rides on the way. The world of tomorrow was never so promising and I feel the narratives of that time as still relevant today as we question the nature of truth and reality through fiction like never before.