About an hour ago as I write this, NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander successfully delivered my novella, “In the Hall of the Martian King,” to a soft landing near the Martian north pole.
Oh, sure, there were other stories aboard by people like H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Theodore Sturgeon, and Carl Sagan.
And if you want to get technical about it, I suppose the actual reason for the $467-million-dollar mission was all the instrumentation and stuff that’s supposed to try to detect water and other … stuff. Maybe it will look for evidence of a Martian Santa Claus. I don’t know.
But as far as I’m concerned, the most important part of the mission was landing my fiction safely. There’s a small but enchanting possibility that even now (taking the speed-of-light time lag into consideration) some Martian fan has popped the mini-DVD into his Walkman/Kindle/iPod, or whatever they use up there, and is reading my story.
Yeah, I know that some people have craters on the Moon and Mars named after them, but this will do for me. I feel like I’ve become a citizen of Mars!
May 25, 2008