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French ET contest...?


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I need some help!


I am going to be interviewed on Norwegian radio Monday about "Mars in science fiction" since the movie War of the Worlds opens here on Wednesday.


I am doing some research and have found all I need except *one* thing: I seem to remember something about a competition in France at the beginning of the 1900s. The aim was to provide the first solid evidence for extraterrestrial life. But Mars was *excluded* because life there was a given (!). However, I am unable to find any sources.


Is anyone able to help me out?


And if you don't have the answer to this, feel free to list your favorite sci-fi books about Mars. I might have missed some good ones.

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