Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Greg Bishop weighs in with a generous and well-written review of my 2004 book "After the Martian Apocalypse." After enduring a spate of reviews by "critics" unable to extricate themselves from the "believers/debunkers" dichotomy, this comes as a most welcome post-Christmas surprise.

Greg writes, in part:

Two and a half years after it was published, I have just finished reading Mac Tonnies' book.

Yes, I know him, and I wouldn't have published a review unless I actually liked it, but not only do I like it, I think it's one of the best examples of the "new" sort of thinking on anomalies that is the hallmark of good fortean, nay skeptical writing. Tonnies drops all predetermined opinions about Mars, and asks us to do the same.

To order a copy from Amazon, follow this link.


Greg Bishop said...

I've just edited the piece to mention the only complaint I had, which was the lack of more photos so that the reader could more easily visualize what you are talking about. I guess Paraview or S&S had more control over that than you did.

W.M. Bear said...

It's a keeper (Greg's review, I mean!) I thought it was an excellent -- in places brilliant -- summary of Mac's perspective on the Martian anomalies. The review also catches some of the characteristics of my own response to "Martian Apocalypse," to wit: one of the major things I learned from the book as well as just hanging with Mac on PB for the past couple of years, is how to tread the fine line between dogmatic "belief" in the nature of a particular anomaly (in this case, the so-called "Martian engimas") and an equally dogmatic "debunking" stance. Let's just look at the evidence, Mac tells us, and apply a bit of common-sensical logic to what we see. (For example, the eye of the Face being exactly where we would expect an eye to be.) Then let's hypothesize a bit and see what we come up with WITHOUT HAVING A DOGMATIC ATTACHMENT TO OUR HYPOTHESIS. (This, it seems to me, is one of the major things that sets believable anomalists apart from both "believers" and "debunkers.")

Mac said...


Good point re. images. It was indeed a publishing issue, confounded by the fact that Malin Space Science Systems is, frankly, crooked. They wanted to charge outlandish fees for use of (tax-funded) images. We got around it, but not because of any help on MSSS' part.

If you're patient, you can find pictures of all the formations I discuss on my Mars pages: http://www.mactonnies.com/cydonia.html

Anonymous said...

After reading the book I replied privately to Mac how much I enjoyed this book. But I will say publicly that I thought it was excellent, and would highly recommend to anyone interested in the Martian Anomalies.

Though I agree that more pictures would have been better, but that's a moot point at this time.

leo said...

good for you mac. hope this just one of many for you, and that people get their heads out of the compost and open their minds already.