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Sat Jun 30, 2012, 06:54 PM

I recall when KSR's Mars books were first issued.

I had quit new science fiction by then but also knew of KSR's PKD thesis as I was on academic/collector email lists for PKD circa 1992-1994.

However regards Mars and American fiction:

1. Bradbury's Martian Chronicles was one of the most influential books I read in grade school (during the time of Sputnik and Apollo).

2. John Carter Martian's novels are my favorite ERB and were read contemporay to Martian Chronicles.

3. The first PKD novel read belonged to my 67-68 boarding school roomate via scifi bookclub, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Later The Martian Time Slip blew my perceptions and led to other source material.

But quit new scifi about the time of the emergence of William Gibson.

Knew of the KSR - PKD connection and pawed the Mars books in retail outlets and chose not to buy nor read KSR. My awareness of the KSR Mar's books occurred because of the loose PKD - KSR connection.

Seems KSR was a Orange county homeboy and PKD lived his final and most secure years in Orange county (but most of life in northern California).

I have no idea of the KSR Mars books contents, assumed space opera.

Now have read the California Trilogy - I'm a native Californian. KSR uses much California ecology as frame and filler and he makes technical mistakes but to me the framing is a plus (as a Californian).

Psyching out KSR in the California Trilogy, I would ponder KSR had distant parents, an influential but sphinx grandfather, poor relations with women (often used or heartbroken, the second choice or fool), and used his high school and university friends as character models. KSR also used some PKD techniques in his writing.

Liked the California books as easy, comfortable, and familiar entertainment (and after getting 400 pages into Years of Rice and Salt and liking) work of an immature but talented novelist that that improved.

Think I will scan Leary, Alpert, and Metzger's The Psychedelic Experience (a sort of Cliff Notes version) rather the the Tibetan Book of the Dead English translation itself about the bardos et al after reading Years of Rice and Salt.

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