Dr. Larry S. Crumpler is a geologist preeminent among those that understand the freezing, hostile landscape of Mars. Yet he also happens to be a brilliant writer and, despite the generic title of his new book, Mission to Mars, one who has managed to make the backstory of humanity’s next great adventure entirely about the men and women involved in the hard science. One might even say this; if you plan on reading one book on Martian geology and our exploration of the red planet this (or next) year, then make sure it’s this book.