Humans have reached Mars, but just barely. People live on Mars for science, in some form or another, or to support the physical plant for the scientists. Every material item takes on great importance because getting it across space is so hard. People have electronic access to a great deal of intellectual material (not everything; their internet is only updated periodically), but not physical material. As my friend Kathy W. said, “Let’s paint this toothpick green and call it a Christmas tree.”

My Mars stories share that universe. The earliest in my future history is “Ancilla,” in Bull Spec, Spring, 2013. In “Ancilla” (later “Ancilla Christi Sum”), sixteen people live on Mars, including a young nun who doesn’t want to be there. Later in time is “Ghost Strike” in the November/December 2020 Analog, when about sixty people are living on Mars. Much later, with a thousand people or so (and actually in the Asteroid Belt), is “Lemonade Stand,” in the March/April 2020 Analog.