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Blue Sunset by Mary Jo Rabe

November 24, 2012


For anyone who is wondering what my first e-book, Blue Sunset (available in most online shops), is about:

Blue Sunset is inspired by Edgar Lee Masters’s Spoon River Anthology and numerous stories of life on Mars, but mainly Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles. In Blue Sunset I let the first settlers on Planet Mars tell their stories with the epitaphs they could have written for themselves.

These are the stories of good versus evil, intelligence versus stupidity, rashness versus hesitancy, with Planet Mars providing additional challenges.

If you loved Spoon River Anthology, there’s a very good chance, you’ll like Blue Sunset. If you aren’t acquainted with Spoon River Anthology, by all means, go read it first. You don’t have to buy it; it’s available at or

To me the most memorable epitaphs from Spoon River, Illinois, are the accounts of: Minerva Jones, “Indignation” Jones, Doctor Meyers, Mrs. Meyers, Sarah Brown, Dorcas Gustine, Margaret Fuller Slack, Lois Spears, Lucius Atherton, Nellie Clark, Herbert Marshall, William and Emily, Mrs. George Reece, Elsa Wertman, Hamilton Greene, Mrs. Purkapile, Walter Simmons, Mrs. Merritt, especially Lucinda Matlock.

Edgar Lee Masters had various agendas behind his Spoon River Anthology. A former lawyer, he was very concerned about the poor, the downtrodden, the exploited. And he wasn’t too fond of the theory of monogamy, preferring to speculate on the benefits of free love or open marriage, and that at the beginning of the 20th century.

I let my own characters on Mars relate their hopes, adventures, fears,

If you’d like to read about the lives of the first settlers on Mars, you might like Blue Sunset.

I also have an agenda, though it differs wildly from that of Edgar Lee Masters. I think we need a permanent human settlement on Mars.

Think about it. Exploring new places and creating a home in a challenging environment is what humans are good at. We’re not good at a number of desirable activities, like living in peace and harmony with each other, but we love to strive for almost impossible goals.

Settlements on Mars are possible, as opposed to, for example, faster than light or time travel. We know how to get to Mars and how to survive there. We just need the engineers to work out the details. All the new inventions necessary to make human habitation on Mars possible will end up improving the quality of life on Planet Earth.

Rovers and robots are great, but as soon as they get one wheel stuck, that’s the end of their research, whereas a settler could ride out, pick up the rover, free the wheel, and send it on its curious way.

It’s not a good thing to keep all our eggs in the basket of Planet Earth. The universe is a chaotic, often unpredictable place. Earth is a perfect habitat for human life, but Mars as a backup is a sensible alternative.

So, if you think this is the kind of thing you might enjoy reading, go for it. If you’re not sure, go to Smashwords ( first where you can download 50% of Blue Sunset for free. Then you can decide if you want to read the rest.

If you like Blue Sunset, please recommend it to others who like this kind of thing.

If you’re sure Blue Sunset isn’t for you, no problem. Read something else. There are plenty of wonderful books by great authors out there. As soon as I have time, I’ll recommend some of my favorite poets and genre writers.

  1. Good luck with your blog, and your novel … and your publishing company.

  2. It might be nice to see a sample of the poems

    • Thank you. If you go to Smashwords (, you can download the first 50% of the book for free. I will post links to my other poems (in e-zines) soon.

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