I wanted to drop a very quick note on the roll-out of my book Mars, The Bringer of War. By roll-out, I mean the opportunity to download and read the book for free, this Saturday, March 10. I did not want to misrepresent to my readers that it is in any way, shape or form about the planet Mars, ala John Carter. The main character in my book just happens to be John Mars, the oldest astronaut in the fleet. But I do have a private fixation on Mars, something that has been an obsession of mine for some time. I do not believe I am alone.
I actually wrote a screenplay dealing exclusively with the planet Mars, which I called, Olympus Mons. I tweeted on Olympus Mons a few days back. Olympus Mons is the highest mountain - or volcano, to be precise - in our solar system. It rises 110,000 feet above sea level - or, rather, Mars level. It is, of course, inactive, but if you were on top of this mountain looking out over the Martian landscape, you would actually see the curvature of the planet. To get some further perspective, a commercial jet airliner cruises at an approximate altitude of 30,000 feet, and Mount Everest is just under 30,000 feet at 29,895 feet high. So, picture (or imagine) a geological force of nature three times higher than these two references.
Olympus Mons can actually be viewed in photographs taken from Mariner, and other probes we've sent to Mars. I shall endeavor to push the screenplay here in Hollywood, but am also contemplating turning it into a novel. Two years of research went into the script - from Martian vulcanism to Martian topography. In any event, I hope you all enjoy Mars, The Bringer of War ... and John Carter, which opens today, March 9. I'm told that the Edgar Rice Burroughs created this character some 90 years ago, the story still holds up.
Little trivia to end this blog madness: John Carter was created before Tarzan - ERB's most famous character.
P.S. Here is a link to some photos of Olympus Mons on Mars