From Slashdot: Europe Joins Race To Send Humans To Mars CBC reports that the ESA hopes to send humans to Mars within three decades. They first hope to return a Martian soil sample by 2014. They stress the importance of determining whether Mars ever supported life before humans touch down on the surface, because "You can sterilize a robot. But you cannot do the same to an astronaut. Inevitably a human will introduce microbes to the planet ... and contaminate it." Also, Locus magazine has published its 2003 Recommended Reading List of science fiction, fantasy, and related titles.