Monday, 8 June 2015

Mars In An Early Future History

Poul Anderson's Psychotechnic History records future events on Earth, in the Solar System and in other planetary systems. The parts of the Solar System visited are:

a desert Venus;
a desert Mars;
the Moon.

This Mars has vegetation, including cactoids, and a few dwindling natives but will have to be terraformed before human beings can walk on its surface unprotected. Flowers live by day but die at night in the Syrtis forests, like the vegetation on Wells' Moon. Colonists ranch, mine for fissionables and build cities like Drygulch, domed and half underground. Genetic engineers adapt Terrestrial food plants to Mars and Martian plants to human needs. Colonists eat yeast-culture from factories because there are no meat animals yet but nevertheless Mars is self-supporting in essentials. Dependence on Earth would be economically prohibitive.

Regarding Mars as the planet that they inhabit, and no longer associating it with the god of war, colonists apply the feminine pronoun:

"...Mars was savage to her lovers, but she gave them of her strange beauty..." (The Psychotechnic League, p. 41).

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