Mechanical Flower

As I spoke, I craned my neck to look up at the night sky. The major constellations gleamed brightly: Ursa Major, Draco, Cygnus, with Denes as the north star. You can’t see the Milky Way very well in the city; you have to go out into the desert to get a decent view of the Martian night sky. (Martian Blood, by Allen M. Steele)

The sea beast’s image was almost completely defaced by the miner’s tracks. The behemoth’s mechanical growls fades as it turned a far-off corner in its programmed course, putting walls between it and the Earthman. (The ugly Duckling, by Matthew Hughes)

Mars now loomed above the bow, glowing red and huge as the dome of St. Peter’s at sunset. The great north polar cap gleamed white and pristine atop the ruddy globe, but Sexton had rejected Edmond’s idea of landing there to melt water from snow, fearing that the air of the polar regions might be so cold that their limited supply of coal could not heat it sufficiently to raise the ship again. (The Wreck of the Mars Adventure, by David D. Levine)

“Mars isn’t older than Earth. It just feels older”, Tom Beckworth said, as they walked, renewing a discussion they’d been having off and on all the way from Kennedy Base on the icebound shores of the Artic Sea. (S.M. Stirling, Swords of Zar-tu-Kan).

“My race is not the first to inhabit this world”, answered Qudipai. “Before us, there was a race that strode across Mars like the giants they were. A tall man like you would not come up to the waist of even the smallest of them. Nothing could stand in there way, but soon their triumphs made them arrogant. It was when they decided that they themselves must be gods that the true God brought His fist down and flattened their kingdom with a single blow”. (In the Tombs of the Martian Kings, by Mike Resnick)

I slept, but with the strange dreams that I remembered from earlier times here, tormenting images of leatherblack wings and a girl’s face, seen through fire. (Liz Williams, Out of Scarlight)

Oud lived, we think, at the start of the Great Bombardment (see later), before the largest of the geologic upheavals, the rise of the shield volcanoes and the great asteroid impacts that released untold amounts of suddenly boiling permafrost and loosed water vapor and pyroclastic flows that changed the even-then-ever changing face of Mars. (The Dead Sea-Bottom Scrolls - A Re-creation of Oud’s Journey by Slimshang from Tharsis to Solis Locus by George Weeton, Fourth Mars Settelement Wave, 1981, Howard Waldrop).

Shall I recount to you the battle at the edge of the Palace of the Underworld, and how young Carter saved us all by scaling the massive spider-ship as though it were rigging, his dagger in his teeth? Or the fateful meeting with Hermeton, brother to Carina Meer, and the fearful duplicity of his plan to defeat the Ikkeans? Shall I describe to you the great caverns belw the martian surface and detail the mystery and madness of the Elanin Chorus? The death dwarves of Inren-Kah? The hawk-men of Nis? The Plant-Queen of Venus? Like Scheherazade to her Caliph, Il believe I could beguile you with these tales for countless nights. But to what end? (A Man without Honor by James S.A. Corey)

Tilda pushed back the canopy and climbed into her garishly painted ultralight plane. Was it the unremitting red of Mars that made settlers so crazy for color? she wondered. Hers was painted silver, with blue stars and moons and streaks and swirls across the overly long wings and fuselage. (Written in Dust by Melinda M. Snodgrass)

color of Mars

Colors of Mars. The light of Martian Sun. Image : Megan Jorgensen