“Rocket Summer” takes place in January, 1999. It is winter in Ohio, where the first rocket to Mars turns the cold into a summer-like warmth. “Ylla” takes place in February, 1999, on Mars. Through a telepathic connection, Ylla K. dreams of the captain of the first rocket, Nathaniel York, arriving on Mars. Out of jealousy, her husband Yll K. kills him. “The Summer Night” takes place in August, 1999. Their growing telepathic connection with Earth manifests when Martians sing songs in English.
In “The Earth Men,” which is set in August, 1999, Captain Jonathan Williams and his crew are perceived on Mars as insane Martians. Their appearance and rocket ship are believed to be telepathic manifestations of their madness. Diagnosed as incurable, they are shot by their Martian doctor. After they are dead, the “illusions” remain. The doctor, thinking he must have become infected with the madness, kills himself.
“Taxpayer” takes place in March, 2000. Fearing an atomic war, Pritchard, an ordinary citizen, wants to be a part of the third expedition to Mars, but he is turned away. “The Third Expedition” is set in April, 2000. The titular expedition reaches Mars. The Martians use the illusion of a small Midwestern town, populated with deceased relatives of the expedition’s crew members, to lure them into a deadly trap.
In “—and the Moon Be Still as Bright,” which takes place in June, 2001, the fourth Earth expedition to Mars finds that the remaining members of the already-dying Martian civilization have been killed by chicken pox, which was brought to the planet by one of the earlier expeditions. Jeff Spender tries to defend the ancient Martian civilization, killing several members of the expedition before he is finally killed by Captain Wilder.
“The Settlers” takes place in August, 2001, when the first colonists (as opposed to explorers) arrive on Mars. In “The Green Morning,” set in December, 2001, Benjamin Driscoll acts as a latter-day Johnny Appleseed, seeding and magically transforming Mars. “The Locusts” takes place in February, 2002, as more colonists arrive on Mars, further terraforming the planet.
“Night Meeting,” set in August, 2002, describes a chance meeting of human worker Tomas Gomez and Martian Muhe Ca. They are from different times, and each questions the other’s reality before finally accepting it.
In “The Shore,” which takes place in October, 2002, further colonists arrive, all...
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