Mars is a society based on extreme shortages. Every material item takes on great importance because getting it there is so hard. People have electronic access to a great deal of stuff (not everything; internet is only updated periodically). This leads to a kind of asceticism. As my friend Kathy W. said, “Let’s paint this toothpick green and call it a Christmas tree.”

I have written several stories set on Mars and in its environs, and all share the same universe. The earliest in my future history is “Ancilla,” in Bull Spec. Another is “Lemonade Stand,” in the March/April 2020 issue of Analog.