Book: Journey Between Worlds by Sylvia Engdahlcategories: Book, Mars, Space Travel, Space Colonies, Coming of Age, Young Adult, Science Fiction Romance
Sylvia Engdahlabout this book: This was my first book (although it was published second) and the only one dealing with the relatively near future: the colonization of Mars. That's something I have believed in since the late 1940s, and I'd always wanted to write about how important I feel it is. So when I came to write a novel for young adults, that was naturally the subject I chose. It was first published in 1970 and a revised hardcover edition, also traditionally published, was issued in 2006. It didn't need much revision with respect to my descriptions of Mars and of space travel--just some minor details. More change was required by the advent of personal computers, ebooks, and mobile phones. But the biggest changes were due to the difference in attitude toward women's roles between 1970 and the 21st century. There were a lot of sexist assumptions and phrasing that had to come out.
Some readers thought the heroine still isn't enough like a modern woman, and I feel they missed the point. As one reviewer wrote, "The 'Journey Between Worlds' is not just between Earth and Mars; it is also between youth and adulthood, and between comfortable, ingrained mental patterns and processes and true thought and openmindedness." It's the heroine's indivudual personality that makes her hesitant to go to Mars; I intentionally portrayed her as unlike the majority of her contemporaries. And, I might add, her attitude is symbolic of our whole society's reluctance to venture into the wider universe.
The most frustrating thing to me as a writer was the failure of either of its publishers to promote it as a romance for teenage girls rather than as science fiction. Not surprisingly, average science fiction enthusiasts don't identify with it. However, it got excellent, enthusiastic reviews from the romance webstes to which it was sent; many of these reviewers enjoyed it as adults. Nevertheless it was marketed as YA science fiction so YA romance readers never discovered it; most girls seeking love stories don't look at science fiction listiings. Furttermore, the cover of the 2003 edition and subsequent paperback was designed to appeal to romance readers, yet was seen mainly by science fictiion fans to whom it didn't suggest a serious story about Mars, I hope my current edition will finally reech the story's intended audience.
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Other books by Sylvia Engdahl
• Book Review: Above The Moon by Robert Marquiss|
• Book Review: Star Runners (#1) by L.E. Thomas|
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