IS THERE LIFE ON MARS?
- AN EARTHLING'S TALE -
by Kyle O Street
«Not of this World» 02-22-2308
I should extend my most gracious welcome to you–but first a formal introduction is in order. No, I’m not some famous netjournalist or a semi-literate celebritease. In fact, since I don’t know whether or not you’re a net savvy programmer from the city or just the farmer’s daughter on some backwater, rural world that recently got linked-up, I feel the need to mention that, these days, all it takes is a working modem and a solved captcha and just about any noob can further degrade the nets with their very own netlog. I hope it won’t take you long to notice I’m not of that ilk.
My name, for purposes of this tlog, is K. Lane. Rolls off the tongue a bit better than my given name – Klay Lane – don’t you think? I never quite liked the way my first name came out, too abrasive; sounds too old fashioned. My parents were Earthlings after all, so what can I say…
I’m not really what you would call a ‘Writer’, more of a ‘writer’. Lowercase letters keep expectations low, I find. I’ve never had that strong of a relationship with rules of any kind: grammar and syntax doubly so. I’ve always been more of a visual person, I’d say what I do is far from linguistic composition, more akin to painting-with-words.
It’s been a while since I even laid the blinking brush of a cursor to the page. I don’t think I’ve kept a tlog, or any real online correspondence, since before moving here. I’ve been depressed for a few months, I guess. The nets have likely entirely changed since I last signed on, I have no idea who uses them or even who’s reading this. I’d like to think this as a cautionary tale about the perils of Mars, directed at other Earthlings lest they embark on similar tragedies. Although, you may very well likely be from this windswept world, or otherwise already here, and if so you could consider it a survival story.
But even if you were Callitian, Titanese, Plutonian or a Venusian, it wouldn’t hurt to get a good idea of who the protagonist is around here. One might describe yours truly as a dashingly handsome 20-something artist/adventurer, seeking his noble dreams in a foreign and exotic land. Or, one might more accurately describe me a lonely, quasi-introverted Earthling, displaced in this crimson desert and desperately seeking anyone willing to see the universe his way. Either way, I promise to try and keep it interesting, even if it means that I end up sabotaging my interpersonal relationships for your continued entertainment. Now, where to begin…
Well, I came to Mars almost a year and a half ago, and overall I’ve observed that there’s really not that much different from Earth. At least where I grew up. Plastic money and plastic bodies, classy transportation, with a glamorous facade of artificial emotions to accessorize; Synthetic Humanoids. Everything comes pre-fabricated including friendship so, even if there weren’t any palm trees back home, I should be used to this post-suburban Olympus County. Still though, on cold nights when the Tharsis winds whip up and the sun retreats behind the burning orange coast, it feels very alien and alone. Even if the greenbacks nextdoor manage to keep the empty skies filled with awful music all night.
I came here to follow the Martian Dream, which is really just the Earthling Dream on a much more self-centered, ego-absorbed scale. Everyone born here believes they are god’s gift to the stars. And for some reason pop culture has built up this illusion of Mars as a happening, inspiring, and beautiful place where your fantasies come true. So far though, all I see is a sprawling desert and inhabitants fighting nature in vain to hold onto land which really shouldn’t support life, human or otherwise. But we’re told the rest of the worlds aren’t living the life that Mars offers, it’s even said that Novus Angelicas is the ultimest city this side of the asteroid belt. I can tell you that’s a scorching heap of drosslag.
Gork! I’m suspicious that it’s all a giant marketing ploy to generate revenue for a government more interested in hording resources and taxpayer credits than prosperity or advancement of the Martian people. Really though, as forward thinking as it’s is supposed to be—the trend setting cultural hub of the inner worlds as it is—it think Mars is further behind morally and intellectually than most of the Old Worlds. Gork, even Earth and Venus by now.
I came to this planet just to be disappointed thus far, but I’m not willing to give up hope on the decency of the Martian people. There’s a place for me somewhere on this planet I may have just chosen a dull place to live first, too close to the barren wastes. As far back as I can remember, looking up at that blinking little red eye in the evening or on the broadcast during the day, I think I’ve always wanted to come here. I’ve always felt like I didn’t belong anywhere on the Earth, that my destiny was tethered to a distant, magical place.
I still have yet to find the Mars of my dreams, but I’ve only just begun my search, and I’m closer now than I’ve ever been in my little human life.
Read the whole story, order your copy (made available through blurb.com) or Listen along to the Audiobook, recorded by me, for Free: at www.istherelifeonmars.com