Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Paean to the Red Planet

It began with a maelstrom. It ended on a savage red planet, its sun gone sullen and weird, its wind hot and devouring.

A world not so much dying as it was already dead. It just refuses to acknowledge the cruel fact of its demise.

Away from our world's gravity we grew stronger here. Like Icarus, we could leap for the sun. And fail. Perhaps we too grew sullen and weird.

The things we met there were alien and beautiful. The Red Martian warriors, their voluptuous princesses, and their devious menton mind-wizards. The brutal, multi-limbed Thark!!!, whose tribes evidence the nobility of a warrior caste doomed by its own traditions.

Fast friends, some, and implacable foes otherwise.
Beyond those things we might call people we found only monstrosity. 

Death made flesh, death awoken from its long desert sleep, death so cunning that its weirding ways are scarcely comprehensible to our racing Terran minds.

Thirsty death, hungry death, death that comes on night-black wings.

And yet, despite its strangeness, this is a world that could be mapped, traced, and understood. The world of Mars wages its own peculiar war, but it is a war we can win. What else is there? Spilling one's blood on the burning sands, like so many others have done since time immemorial.

The sullen sun, gone weird in its death throes, looks on and laughs.

* * *

What I am saying is that you should seriously consider buying Michael Gibbon's recently released B/X Mars. You may need to log into your account and allow DriveThru to take you to the unheralded garden of NSFW Martian delights, but the naughty thrill you feel by doing so will soon be eclipsed by the greater pleasure of beholding Mars for yourself.