This book is a quick read for laypersons to get an understanding of how it would be possible to explore and then settle another planet. A nonfiction, scienfic, compelling case that reads almost like a novel. It starts with what it would take to colonize Mars, and wraps up, perhaps more importantly, with why we really should. Read about how to get there to what we would do there to how we would make it possible to populate - proper dome construction to terraforming to hydroponic farming to addressing fears.
While I still wouldn't sign up to go, at least certainly not in the first waves anyway, I find myself advocating the opportunity for those who would. Reading this book has changed my way of thinking. Not only about space exploration and why it is critical for humans to move into space, but also challenged me about my thoughts on growth and development, fear, the unknown and such topics. Much to mull over. If nothing else read the epilogue.
See online: http://www.marssociety.org/
(Kim Robinson's science-ficiton Mars series are now cued up to read.)
TIGER link: QB641.Z83 1996