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Kim Stanley Robinson, Geoffrey A. Landis & Gardner Dozois

dozois: Is Stan here yet?

locutis2: i think its a question of funding

Moderator: I don't see him, Gardner.

Moderator: But we have four more minutes!

jrv: but they've chosen to make concessions when concerning funding, especially in Mars work

dozois: Geoff, you may have to break out one of your multiple personalities and be Stan AND yourself!

locutis2: ^commands

Moderator: Hmmmmm...

Moderator: Should I go searching in other channels for the eleusive Mr R???

Geoffrey-Landis: OK, got it.

dozois: Geoff just sold a new story to ASIMOV'S.

Moderator: Cool!

dozois: He might be in some other chat-room, I suppose. It can be confusing.

Geoffrey-Landis: In fact, I just sent Gardner the revised text yesterday.

dozois: He (Geoff) also has a story appearing in this year's YEAR'S BEST anthology.

Moderator: Okay - you all stay here and I'm going to hunt down Kim Stanley Robinson

Moderator: If he shows up here while I'm gone, handcuff him or something - DON'T let him leave.

Geoffrey-Landis: OK, hunt him down and kill him

dozois: HUNT FOR KIM STANLEY ROBINSON! Wasn't that a movie with Sean Connery?

Geoffrey-Landis: we don't need the competition.

dozois: Moderator, I'm sure SOMEbody here in the room would be glad to handcuff him! <g>

Geoffrey-Landis: I thought that it was a story in the anthology _Alternate Resnicks_

Moderator: I'm back!

dozois: Do you have an ax?

Geoffrey-Landis: Find him?

Moderator: Didn't find him, no.

ICE9: Moderator

ICE9: Please do not Zoom

ICE9: its not nice

Geoffrey-Landis: OK, then we can tell dirty stories about him until he shows up.

ICE9: and auto oping yopur self

dozois: Alright, one of YOU out there in the audience is going to have to be Kim Stanley Robinson for the day. Any volunteers?


aranel: sure....

RoyK: Sorry, never been to Mars

locutis2: actualy i assimilated him

ICE9: Moderator OK? and please do not kill my connect.

aranel: LOL locutis

Moderator: Me? Kill a connect?

Moderator: I belong to PETA!

dozois: Ah, I hate to break this to you, Roy, but I don't think STAN has been to Mars either. At least not RECENTLY...

ICE9: PETA.. funny

dozois: Maybe back in the '60s...

Brit34: So what I want to know is when he's going to write the 4th novel - "Plaid Mars" ?

Moderator: Tartan Mars.

locutis2: you know there was plenty of life on mars .....before th borg that is

Moderator: Madras Mars.

Geoffrey-Landis: In sequence, it should be violet Mars, I suppose

dozois: Larry Niven has already preopted him by writing a novel called RAINBOW MARS.

DaveH: then platnium mars?

Geoffrey-Landis: Then Ultraviolet

Moderator: Cubic Zirconium Mars


Brit34: then of course, Black Mars should be the last in the series

Geoffrey-Landis: I wrote a story called "Brown Mars" once... but then I decided to give it a different title so Stan wouldn't complain I stole his idea.

overcee: Chartreuse Mars?

Moderator: Right! You called it Dume Mars

Brit34: Tope Mars?

Moderator: Er - Dune...

dozois: It WAS a Brown Mars, too, Geoff! You should have stuck with your title.


Sarek: hello

DaveH: hi

LadyHood: brown mars....makes me think of chocolate

Moderator: Now's the time for any of Stan's Close Personal Friends in the cyber-audience to get on their cell phones and call him and tell him he's LATE!

WarpTen: Polka Dot Mars.

Sarek: Stan's not here yet?

Brit34: Can anybody remember who it was that wrote RED PLANET? back in the 50's I think

Moderator: Unless he's an Ensign.

Geoffrey-Landis: Isn't Stan one of them humanist writers? He probably doesn't have cyber friends.

dozois: If Stan wrote enough Mars novels, he's run into the same problem Kemmelman did with the Rabbi Mysteries, which all featured days of the week in their titles.

dozois: What do you do after the SEVENTH one?

Sarek: he could write mars roygbiv.

Geoffrey-Landis: Well, Kemmelman moved on to "Some day" and so forth.

Brit34: Hmm, could always ask L. Ron Hubbard I suppose

Moderator: We ALL have cyber-friends, Geoffrey. They're the littel people who live in our computers and make those cute little noises.

Brit34: thought those were Gremlins

Geoffrey-Landis: That's what you think. If you're a humanist writer, you have to use a *quill pen* and write on hand-made paper.

Geoffrey-Landis: Made from trees that died natural deaths.

Geoffrey-Landis: Free range trees, too.

Sarek: Dozois, I love your sf anthologies, man.

dozois: As a humanist, though, Stan's freinds should feel his need and reach out to him psychically...

dozois: Thanks, Sarek.

dozois: Glad you enjoy them.

Sarek: you're welcome.

Moderator: My ectoplasm is thumbing through the phone book, trying to locate STAN.

DaveH: good luck!

RedsRevolt: is he here?

Catmando: Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein

RedsRevolt: are they here?

Sarek: my favorite story out of those, is still "Mr. Boy" by James Patrick Kelly.

Brit34: Thanks Catmando

Moderator: Okay! I'm going to go look in those other channels again - un moment...

Pierre-Paul: (Wasn't that French?) :)

dozois: Well, Stan is late, but since we DO have one genuine Mars expert--and a real sure-enough Scientist--here, Geoff Landis, why don't we start with some questions about Mars for HIM?

Sarek: had to be Heinlein or Asimov.

RoyK: Perhaps his clock operates on Martian time

Sarek: He's eating a Mars bar.

Moderator: Is he HERE yet??

Brit34: Maybe he's having drinks with Marvin

RedsRevolt: do you think the martian gravity could support a breathable atmosphere to the level of earth's?

PeterK: evening (in argentina, even later here!!)

Geoffrey-Landis: Yes.

Sarek: hes drinking MARtinis with Marvin.

dozois: Geoff, why don't you tell us a bit about the Mars projects you're working on for NASA.

LadyHood: hehehe very funy sarek

RedsRevolt: yeah

Geoffrey-Landis: The gravity itself is not the problem; the thermal escape time for atmosphere is very very long, even for Mars' gravity.

DaveH: ?

overcee: "thermal escape time"?

Moderator: I think we're going to start!

RedsRevolt: so the heat would be kept for very long?

overcee: I see.

Geoffrey-Landis: There's a little problem that Mars doesn't have a magnetic field, so the solar wind impacts directly into the upper atmosphere.

Moderator: Mr Robinson will be joining us in a bit (we hope!)

RedsRevolt: can a artificial field be created?

Geoffrey-Landis: Nevertheless, it would take very long for an atmosphere to leave Mars, if we could figure out how to give it one.

LadyHood: so in other words, It is very hot

Sarek: How much atomosphere are we talking about?

Moderator: Geoffrey - hold on for just a sec. We're going to be going into moderated mode.

overcee: So magnetic compasses wouldn't work on Mars?

dozois: Geoff, why don't you take those questions we've got, then we'll go on.

Geoffrey-Landis: OK, if you like. We were talking about terraforming, although nobody actually mentioned that word

dozois: Moderator, I just gave you Stan's phone number in private, if you want to try calling him.

Moderator: I got it, Gardner - I'm dialing and breathing heavilly..

dozois: Do you believe it would be possible to actually Terraform Mars, Geoff?

Geoffrey-Landis: It's still a bit of an open question.

Geoffrey-Landis: I tend to be an optimist, and think yes, it should be possible.

dozois: Could we do it with current technology, or do we need some kind of magic future high-tech?

Geoffrey-Landis: However, I also think that it would be a lot more difficult than the SF books suggest.

dozois: What about the method used in Stan's books? Does that strike you as feasible?

Geoffrey-Landis: There are some people who believe that there is a second equilibrium possible on Mars, warmer and wetter.

Geoffrey-Landis: It's not clear that this is true.

Geoffrey-Landis: The best proposals that I've seen suggest that you might be able to do it by adding chlorofluorocarbons to the atmosphere.

Geoffrey-Landis: CFC = freons

Geoffrey-Landis: They're bad stuff for our own planet's environment, of course-- they catalyze destruction of the ozone layer-- but Mars doesn't have an ozone layer

Moderator: NEWS BREAK -

Geoffrey-Landis: And CFCs are really great greenhouse gasses.

dozois: If YOU were going to be in charge of doing it, how would you go about it?

Moderator: I got ahold of Kim Stanley Robinson...

Geoffrey-Landis: warm you right up

dozois: Which end? <g>

Geoffrey-Landis: Horray for Stan!

Moderator: he will be logging RIGHT ON!!!

Geoffrey-Landis: Great.

dozois: ]RealSoonNow!

Moderator: And for those of you who were sending me questions as private messages, could't get'em while I was on the phone with Stan but I'll start collecting 'em right now!

Moderator: Thanks for yr patience!!!!

Geoffrey-Landis: I think it's pretty clear that if you can give Mars enough of a greenhouse effect, you can warm it enough to have liquid water on the surface.

Moderator: You're a great audience...

dozois: If you all clap your hands, Stan will appear...

Geoffrey-Landis: This is clear because you can see that there is evidence that there *used* to be liquid water

Geoffrey-Landis: so once, Mars must have been warmer.

dozois: Doesn't the "used to be there" part suggest that it's hard to keep liquid water there, though?

Geoffrey-Landis: Right.

Geoffrey-Landis: But it probably mostly just froze, when the planet got cold.

Moderator: We have some questions from the audience...

Moderator: <Astronomr>: I have made several posts to the Future Net BBboard on the subject of Mars colonization and feel that the main function of a Mars colony would be to act as a supply center for asteroid belt mining operations. Do any of you agree with this?

Geoffrey-Landis: so you need to put the blanket back on, keep it warm again.

dozois: Wouldn't there be more ice visible than there is, then, in that case?

Geoffrey-Landis: The ice is probably mostly permafrost.

Geoffrey-Landis: Besides, the north polar cap is two or three miles thick-- that's a lot of water.

dozois: You can go with Astronomr's question if you like.

Geoffrey-Landis: Astronomr, I would think that the asteroid colonies would, eventually, get to be self sufficient.

Geoffrey-Landis: It might well be easier to supply asteroidal colonies from either cometary volatiles or from material from carbonaceous asteroids.

dozois: Tell us a bit about the NASA projects you're working on, Geoff.

Geoffrey-Landis: But it might be nice for those asteroid miners to have a place to go to when they get tired of living in a little tin can and want to see a horizon for a while.

dozois: And get laid. <g>

Geoffrey-Landis: Heck, Garder, that may be bettter in the zero gee.

dozois: Probably a smaller dating-pool, though.

Geoffrey-Landis: Or maybe not-- that old law of action and reaction...

dozois: Ah! This may be The Man...

Moderator: I think I see Da Man...

Moderator: Hi Stan - hold on a second and I'll make it so you can talk!

dozois: Hi, Stan.

Geoffrey-Landis: Da man? Bill Gates is logging on?

Moderator: Steve Jobs!

dozois: While Stan's getting his bearings, tell us about your NASA stuff, Geoff.

Geoffrey-Landis: OK

Geoffrey-Landis: I actually work on a number of projects.

Geoffrey-Landis: Lately my boss has been asking me to support some studies on the Mars airplane.

dozois: (You mean, Stan COULDN'T talk BEFORE? A miracle!)

Geoffrey-Landis: I've also got an experiment flying on the Mars-2001 lander.

Moderator: (Stan - can TYPE now ... dunno about talk!)

dozois: What would a Mars airplane need to be like?

Moderator: Stan... type to me!!!

Geoffrey-Landis: It's part of a package called MIP, that is going to -- we hope-- demonstrate that you can make oxgen out of the atmosphere of Mars.

Stan: Geoff how would an airplane fly there?

Moderator: OKAY!

Geoffrey-Landis: Hi, Stan!

Moderator: Let's freezew for a second.

Moderator: Let me do my formal intro!

Moderator: Hi everyone and welcome to The Sci-Fi Channel's website, the Dominion. Tonight we have a very special event for you: Kim Stanley Robinson - author of the Hugo and Nebula award-winning trilogy (Red Mars, Blue Mars and Green Mars) - is joined by Geoffrey Landis, a scientist at NASA's Lewis Research Center and a science fiction author in his own right. They will be discussing the future of mankind on Mars.

Moderator: Our panelists are joined tonight by our host, Gardner Dozois - the editor of Asimov's Science Fiction ( which is sponsoring tonight's event.

Moderator: Brief word about the drill... Stan and Geoffrey, if YOU start to fade, hit the "reload" button on the top of your browser and if that doesn't work, log off yr browser and then log back on again. People in the audience - you can send your questions for Stan Robinson and Geoffrey Landis as private messages to me, Moderator, and I'll make sure they get asked!

Moderator: Whew!

Moderator: Had to type FAST.

Moderator: Continue...

dozois: AND which--ASIMOV'S--will soon be featuring new stories by both Stan and Geoff!

Geoffrey-Landis: Stan, the Mars atmosphere is roughly the equivalent ot the Earth's atmosphere at an altitude of 100,000 feet or so.

Geoffrey-Landis: So, yes, that does make it a bit tough to fly.

dozois: Flap your arms REALLY hard?

Geoffrey-Landis: Your airplane needs to have a pretty light wing-loading, so that means large wings.

Stan: big arms

Geoffrey-Landis: And you also have to fly faster, to get more lift.

dozois: So, welcome, Stan!

Stan: on take-off too?

Geoffrey-Landis: the proposed Mars airplane has a wing loading like a sailplane, and flies at about 250 miles an hour, about the speed of a jet.

Stan: Hi Gardner, glad to be here and sorry about being late

dozois: Just before you came in, we were discussing terraforming Mars. How feasible do you think this prospect actually is?

Stan: I was getting the kids their dinner and forgot

Stan: As for terraforming, I wonder what Geoff thinks.

dozois: He's had his innings. Your turn.

Moderator: That's okay - we'll make you stay longer!

Geoffrey-Landis: We were discussing that before you came.

Stan: I only averaged the various accounts I read. It sounded pretty possible to me.

Moderator: We have some audience questions if you like...

dozois: GA. We'll get back to terraforming later.

Moderator: <DaveH> : could ya ask Geoffrey: From what I under stand any CFC we put in the atmosphere would deterioate in 300 years - Then what?

Stan: It wasn't like faster-than-light travel or aliens speaking English five minutes after you meet them. More a mmajor engineering feat.

dozois: Put more in?

Geoffrey-Landis: Some CFC's are more stable against ultraviolet attack than others.

Geoffrey-Landis: You have to pick the ones that don't degrade, of course.

Stan: McKay always said the CFCs would be a more or less permanent thing.

Geoffrey-Landis: I think that Martyn Fogg's book (_Terraforming_, SAE Press) discusses it in more detail.

dozois: Stan, do you emotionally feel that terraforming Mars is MORE or LESS possible after going to Antarticia?

Geoffrey-Landis: A pretty major engineering feat indeed, but yes, it's engineering, not magic

Stan: I don't know about Antarctica's effect on my thinking. Terraforming Mars would be hard; very long; perhaps 100,000 years.

Stan: I also worry more, after being at the South Pole a week, and getting bored, what the early years on Mars are going to be like.

dozois: Has there ever been a human-originated project that's lasted a fraction of that time?

Stan: And I've often wanted to ask Geoff about the Martian fines; are they so fine that we will be badly plagued by them on Mars?

Geoffrey-Landis: They're pretty fine.

Stan: Gardner, you could say human art is a hundred thousand year project.

Geoffrey-Landis: On the other hand, there is some pretty fine dust if you go out into the dry parts of the west.

dozois: Martian fines? Like violating "No Parking" zones?

Geoffrey-Landis: Probably about the same.

Stan: I had this vision I had to keep ignoring, of fines clogging everything , esp. lungs, more than we could handle. I had to ignonre that.

Geoffrey-Landis: Well, there are dusty places on Earth, too.

Stan: So it's not really a fantasy novel after all. Good.

Geoffrey-Landis: Once you start terraforming, it probably won't be a problem, and before that, you won't be breathing the air anyway.

Moderator: We have some audience questions...

dozois: Certainly if it was like the worst of the Dust Bowl Days on Earth, it would be nasty.

Moderator: <RedsRevolt>: is the transfer of the necessary nitrogen possible, like in your books Mr. Robinson, from Titan or Earth?

Stan: This is great. Now as long as the planet does not have indigenous life, we'll be fine.

Geoffrey-Landis: The fines are more like cigarette smoke than like dust, actually.

Stan: When I was doing my work, the estimate of nitrogen on Mars had it quite low, compared to Earth.

Geoffrey-Landis: It's actually an important question-- if Mars originally has as much nitrogen as Venus or Earth, what happened to it?

Stan: In fact it was a bit mysterious to the geophysicists why there wasn't more nitrogren. So I thought some could be shipped in.

Geoffrey-Landis: I like the idea of nitrate beds buried beneath the basins of ancient oceans.

dozois: Maybe they used all the nitrogen to make The Face On Mars...<g>

Moderator: <jrv> : Do we really want to give Earth more resources from asteroids?

Stan: Another question for Geoff; will the lander this December land close enough to the south pole ice cap to see it in the pictures?

Geoffrey-Landis: Stan, it probably won't be able to see the permanent ice cap glacier.

Geoffrey-Landis: With luck, though, it will be able to see the seasonal ice.

Stan: I was just asking about that. I think this will get people excited. I know I will be.

Geoffrey-Landis: Me, too!

dozois: Do glaciers on Mars function the same way as on Earth, or does the lower gravity have any effect?

Moderator: Should I repeat the resource allocation question??

Geoffrey-Landis: I have a cynical view that people will get bored when they see that there's no rover, though, I'm afraid.

* Moderator wonders *

Geoffrey-Landis: I think that it would be a great idea to use resources from the Asteroids.

Stan: My name isn't showing, but the single arrow is Stan. Call me straight arrow.

dozois: If anyone wants to tackle it, go ahead. My own reaction would be, why WOULDN'T we want more resources?

Geoffrey-Landis: The really good asteroidal resources are the platinum group metals (the "siderophiles")

Stan: Glaciers will go slower. I'm up for more resources too. But asteroids don't have topsoil...

Geoffrey-Landis: Asteroids are loaded with them-- in fact, they are the signature of asteroid impacts on Earth.

Geoffrey-Landis: And as a bonus, they are really expensive-- good to mine.

dozois: Or are you saying we shouldn't be ALLOWED TO HAVE more resources? Because we wasted the ones we have?

Geoffrey-Landis: As for other resources-- iron, nickle, oxygen, etc.-- I say, use 'em in space, where they belong!

Moderator: 'Nother audience question:

Moderator: <Astronomr>: Has any progress been made in identifying that strange peroxide-like substance the Viking landers found in the Martian soil?

Stan: oh good.

dozois: It's the same stuff that was on Monica Lewinsky's dress...

Moderator: No, that's what they find in SUBMARINES, Gardner!

Stan: ask away

Geoffrey-Landis: There was an experiment to find out more about the peroxides on the Mars-96 probe launched by the russians.

Geoffrey-Landis: Unfortunately, it never made it to Mars.

Geoffrey-Landis: So, right at the moment, we don't know much about the peroxides.

Geoffrey-Landis: There are still some scientists-- the name "Levin" comes to mind-- who still maintain that the Viking experiment is best explained by microbial life, not by peroxides.

dozois: Don't forget, folks, you can ALSO ask Stan and Geoff about their fiction. You don't have to restrict yourselves only to questions about Mars.

Moderator: Station identification - we're talking to Kim Stanley Robinson and Geoffrey Landis (aided and abetted by Gardner Dozois) about the future of man on Mars!

Moderator: Gardner's right though -

dozois: No women?

Geoffrey-Landis: Mars needs women.

Stan: Mars need women

Moderator: you can ask about their books, their fictive processes, the cafeteria at NASA

Moderator: but you have to send your questions to me as private messages!

Geoffrey-Landis: The cafeteria at Lewis has lousy food. Cheap, but lousy.

Geoffrey-Landis: Jet Propulsion lab is better.

Moderator: How's their jello mold?

Stan: AMES is good.

dozois: You would think that a cafeteria on Mars would have cheap but lousy food.

Moderator: <RoyK>: Question for Mr. Landis: is there a definite date for a manned Mars mission?

dozois: How's the food at the South Pole?

Geoffrey-Landis: RoyK: no.

Geoffrey-Landis: There's no Mars mission until Congress says there's a Mars mission.

Moderator: <Pierre-Paul> : Two quick ones for Stan: Can you tell us a little more about the upcoming Martian story collection; and don't you think that, along with terraforming mars, it would be necessary to "areoform" Man?

Stan: Food at the South Pole was great. It was their Thing. Thanksgiving was incredible. Scott would have been appalled.

Geoffrey-Landis: However, -- unoffiocially-- people are talking about 2018 a lot.

Stan: I just turned in a collection of stories with a chapter of poems thrown in, as promised.

Stan: Yes, people would have to areoform to be happy on Mars. Otherwise; south pole! Food....

Moderator: <PeterK>: to Stan: at what stage in making the trilogy did the idea of the life-span and DNA treatment come in ?

dozois: If you want a preview, check out the June 1999 Asimov's. Also, probably the August issue and the October/November issue.

Stan: The more people are in a hurry to get to Mars in person, the higher their financial stake in it.

Stan: Very early on, I knew I wanted people living longer. I had already worked on that concept in Icehenge

Stan: and in the novella "Green Mars.

Stan: Now that I'm 158 myself, it only makes sense.

Geoffrey-Landis: 158!!

Moderator: You're young yet...

* Moderator sighs *

Stan: At least. But usually it feels older.

dozois: How much of the trilogy was roughed out when you wrote "Exploring Fossil Canyon?" How much when you wrote "Green Mars? (the novella).

dozois: You don't look a DAY over 120, Stan!

Stan: Oh none at all. Those stories don't even fit the trilogy's history well. I had to abandon the idea of

Stan: putting them in the trilogy as chapters, and that's how the collection came about. But

Stan: the collection became a scattering of alternative histories because of that.

dozois: Well, now you can do an ALTERNATE MARS! anthology.

Moderator: Ready for another question from the audience?

Stan: not another one.

Stan: Yes.

Moderator: <LadyHood>: Geoffrey, how hard is it to get a job at NASA

Stan: Not another anthology, I meant.

dozois: Or you could do stuff that doesn't quite fit into the trilogy as "imaginary stories," like those comic books where Superman marries Lois Lane/

Geoffrey-Landis: It's hard to say. The trick is to have the right skills when you need them.

Stan: Yes, I did that too. Really the collection has every kind of odd thing.

Moderator: Here's an audience question for Stan...

Moderator: <Roadbustr>: (If no one has asked yet) Mr. Robinson, I read about your finger being frostbitten in Antarctica, and I just wanted to know if it's okay now, and if it has affected your typing speed greatly

Geoffrey-Landis: I meant, to have the skills that NASA happens to be looking for right at the moment.

Stan: My fingers are fine now. No actual frostbite. I was cold taking notes for a beaker, but

Stan: the coldest was at the South Pole, GPSing the exact spot of the pole with a GPS expert who had a thing

Stan: about Amundsen. We were out about two hours and the equipment froze, but we got the site to

Stan: within 2 centimeters, then rushed back inside to drink hot chocolate. Very steamy.

dozois: DO you feel you know more what it would be like to live on Mars now, now that you've been to the SOuth Pole?

dozois: Is it different from the way you discribed it in the trilogy?

Stan: Yes I do. It was a very indoor life, confined, boring, not a landscape experience in any easy way. But

Stan: also very interesting, and one reason for my boredom was I had no job there. EVerywhere else I helped out

Stan: but at the South Pole the science is astrophysics etc etc., and not much help to be given to the beakers involved.

Geoffrey-Landis: beakers?

Stan: So I got a feel for what the first years might be like on Mars, and I wasn't thrilled at the prospect.

Stan: Beakers are what Antarcticans call scientists. It comes from the Muppets I think.

Moderator: We have another question for Stan...

Moderator: <RedsRevolt>: to Mr. your books, the elevators, how were the elevator cars actually rasied and lowered, and were they on the inside or outside of the cable?

Stan: Outside the cable, which was thick enough to have tracks in it, etc. Even smaller cables as in San Fran's cable care system.

dozois: Geoff, Stan, what do you think of the "Martian meteorite?" DID it contain life? Or not?

Stan: I think cars clicked onto the small moving cables and went up and down, and the down ones added force to the up cables.

dozois: Whoops, we've lost Geoff!

Moderator: Uh 0h...

Stan: I defer to the experts' judgments on this one, but see they cannot agree about it. Evidence is simply not enough

Moderator: It's Stan's turn for a solitiquy!

Moderator: He's back, Geoff that is...

dozois: He's back. Geoff, did you see the question.

Stan: to be sure, so they'll go round and round. It may get us there faster, trying to add more evidence one way or another.

Stan: Details of the cable all came from Charles Sheffield, who helped me with his previous work on the subject

Geoffrey-Landis: HI, sorry I froze there for a moment.

dozois: Geoff, the Martian meteortie. Did it contain life? Or not?

Geoffrey-Landis: No clear answer yet.

Moderator: <PeterK>: to Stan: did i read that it took 15 years to make the trilogy? (ok not much for someone over 150) - it has an amazing range of conceprts thrown in so casually... biology, engineering and political science too!

Geoffrey-Landis: There's a new report, just released, that some Earth cryptoendolithic bacteria look just like the Mars "fossils"

dozois: Would there be ANY clear evidence that would be universally accepted by scientists, except for a Martain critter that bit them on the ass?

Geoffrey-Landis: A martian critter would be nice. The bite on the ass is optional.

Moderator: We have a load of questions still from audience members., So I need to adsk:

Stan: I started collecting Mars material in about 1977, and then started writing in 1989, and finished in 1995.

dozois: They might not all believe in the bite in the ass, either...

Moderator: Would you like to continue this chat for fifteen minutes longer? Stan? Will the kids miss their bedtime?

Geoffrey-Landis: Ok with me.

Moderator: Stan?

Stan: No I'm fine here, could make up for coming on late

Moderator: Gardner?

dozois: Geoff, you're writing a Mars novel right now, aren't you? Is it going to take you as long as Stan?

dozois: I'm an editor--I have no life. I'll hang for awhile.

Geoffrey-Landis: Let's see, I've been working on Mars since about 1988... so that makes it ten years so far.

Geoffrey-Landis: Not as long as Stan, I guess!

Moderator: Ahem!

Geoffrey-Landis: But I'm only writing one book, too.

Moderator: Watch that dirty talk.

Moderator: <Pierre-Paul>: I think everybody here has heard about the upcoming Cameron TV project, filming the trilogy. Will you be doing the script? Do you have any information on this you can give us?

dozois: NOBODY'S as long as Stan, Moderator! <g>

* Moderator blushes *

Stan: No and no. I just listen to rumors like anyone else. And ignore Gardner when I can...

dozois: Are they going to star Arnold Schwartzenneger in it?

Moderator: Leonardo DiCaprio!!!!!

Stan: I want Arnold to play X in Antarctica.

dozois: God, he could play ANTARCTICA!

Moderator: <Prometheus>: Could the guests comment on Robert Zubrin's Mars Direct approach to exploring and colonizing the Red Planet?

Geoffrey-Landis: I love it.

Stan: It sounds great to me.

Stan: It kind of rescued the whole idea at NASA, as I understand it.

Geoffrey-Landis: Mars Direct seems, so far, to be the most practical approach to a Mars mission I've seen.

Moderator: <DArtagnan> to <Moderator>: I heard there was a problem with one of the solar panels on MGS during aerobraking..has this problem been corrected?

Geoffrey-Landis: Have you seen the Mars Society's web page, by the way?

Moderator: What's the URL?

Geoffrey-Landis: I think it's

Geoffrey-Landis: Has links to a page on Mars direct, and a lot of other neat links.

Stan: The MGS cracked a shoulder equivalent on the way in, and since then they've just had to do everything very gently so it doesn't get worse.

Moderator: Do either of you two gentlemen have personal web pages where fans can send you email?

Geoffrey-Landis: I'm actually a fan of a slightly different in-situ resource plan, namely to use resouces from Phobos.

Stan: Bantam handles that for me. I think of my books as my website, silly luddite that I am....

dozois: What turned you guys on to Mars in the first place? Was it stuff you read as children? If so, what?

Geoffrey-Landis: for me,

Stan: For me it was the Viking photos from space. I saw those and said WOW what great backpacking.

Geoffrey-Landis: Guess it was the Heinlein novels for me.

Stan: As for the books, Mars fiction, I like best PK Dick's Martian Time-slip, DG Compton's Farewell Earth's Bliss,

dozois: RED PLANET.

Moderator: <kirby-wan> to <Moderator>: Could space colonisation lead to a booming industry in the manufacture of large scale electrolysis devices?

dozois: MARTIAN TIME-SLIP was great, too. Also, one of my favorites, THE SANDS OF MARS, by Arthur C. Clarke.

Stan: also Fred Pohl's Man Plus, and Frederick Turner's Genesis. And some old classics by Bogdanov and Lasswitz

Stan: In Russia and Germany. Clarke's book is really good for that version of Mars. But always Martians!

Stan: I don't want there to be Martians, except us.

Geoffrey-Landis: Not to forget Stanley G. Weinbaum, "Martian Odessey"

dozois: I wonder at what point the idea in fiction changed from adapting humans to life on Mars (MAN PLUS, some of Walter Miller's stuff) to changing MARS to fit us?

Stan: Oh yeah that's a great story. What a loss Weinbaum's early death was to sf.

Stan: Terraforming Mars began to be talked about by people like Sagan first, then sf in the 80s, far as I can tell.

Stan: That Walter Miller story is also a great one. One of his best, Latin title....

Geoffrey-Landis: Yes, Sagan pretty much invented the concept of terraforming.

dozois: So I take it there will be no discovery of The Lost Temple of Mars in future Mars books by you, Stan? <g>

Geoffrey-Landis: It was his act of contrition for killing off the Mars of Burroughs and Schaperelli

dozois: I thought that Jack Williamson had come up with the concept of terraforming?

Moderator: I thought Frank Robinson invented "terraforming." At least the OED credits him.

Geoffrey-Landis: Jack Williamson coined the word.

Moderator: Jack Williamson I meant!

Moderator: Duh-uh.

Stan: Cruxifixus Etiam. Well, Gardner, there are temples in the collection too. Everything is there.

Moderator: And yeah, he's got the OED cite.

dozois: Jack Williamson, Frank Robinson--they could be twins!

Geoffrey-Landis: Sagan invented the concept, or at least figured out how it could be done realistically.

dozois: Yeah, Miller's "Cruxifixus Etiam" was a great story.

Stan: But I only meant Mars terraforming. Jack coined the term in 1938 I think.

Moderator: Final audience question for the evening:

Moderator: <Alan5> to <Moderator>: <Alan5> does anyone ever believe that after landing and studying the planet that it will ever be declared open for colonization, terriforming, or mining whatever ?

dozois: Both Howard Waldrop and I were deeply impressed as kids by a Winston juvenile that featured the Lost Martian City of the Ant-Men, or somesuch. <g>

Geoffrey-Landis: Sure.

Geoffrey-Landis: Who's going to stop you?

Stan: The telepathic radio-transmitting lichen beds of NOT IN SOLITUDE were my favorites.

dozois: Actually, just to be mischeiveous, since I have you guys here, I have to ask you, What do you think of The Face On Mars? <g>

Geoffrey-Landis: Colonization and terriforming might give you a hard choice, though: which?

Stan: As for opening Mars, it will get discussed first I think. But that might get pre-empted too. Who knows?

Geoffrey-Landis: If terraforming, for example, requires that you sock Mars with comets for a few hundred years, the colonists might object.

Stan: I love the new photos of the face on Mars showing what an ordinary hill it is.

Stan: Ecopoesis. Not just a great Landis story, but the law

dozois: Noone ever talked about the Kermit The Frog on Mars, I notice...

Geoffrey-Landis: The Pathfinder pictures clearly showed a rock with the face of a bear.

Geoffrey-Landis: It was very clear.

Stan: It's beaker that gets there.

Geoffrey-Landis: So, obviously, the Martians were bears.

Stan: Tell Bisson

dozois: I saw The Old Man Of The Mountains when I was a kid, so The Face On Mars never impressed me.

Moderator: Okay - at this point I'm going to open the chat to public typing... Geoffrey, Stan, Gardner - if you have a few minutes, come hang out with yr audience...

Geoffrey-Landis: OK

Stan: fine I can type fast

dozois: Lots of Mars novels out there in the last few years. Leaving YOURSELVES out of it, what current Mars books and stories do you like?

Moderator: Can EVERBODY type?

Moderator: You should be able to...

DArtagnan: Yes

Moderator: Cool!

dozois: If you can't, Moderator has the magic power of making you be able to...

Stan: I avoided reading any of the contemporary Mars books so I wouldn't know what they were doing.

DArtagnan: Thank you.

Moderator: only one of my Magic Powers!

kirby-wan: are men really from mars?

Moderator: No - bars are from Mars.

Roadbustr: The report of life found in the Martian meteorite surprisingly depressed me. I found Mr. Robinson's Mars trilogy exciting and compelling, and was somewhat letdown at what might be the indefinite postponement of terraformation. Of course, I snapped out of it and was interested in the story. What was each of your reactions to the report?

DArtagnan: Has mgs completed aerobraking?

dozois: We can't talk about your OTHER Magic Powers here on a Family Channel, though, Moderator.

Roadbustr: Pardon me for the long message.

Stan: I had the same reaction exactly. It seemed my book would go from hard sf to fantasy

Geoffrey-Landis: Yes, MGS has completed aerobraking.

DArtagnan: When will mapping begin?

kirby-wan: I'm waiting for the Venus colonization myself

Geoffrey-Landis: It's in mapping orbit.

Pierre-Paul: Stan, what will the next book be about, the one after the Martian collection? Or is it a secret yet? :)

Roadbustr: I still feel a strange little hope that maybe it's not true...

DArtagnan: Thank you Geoffrey Landis.

Geoffrey-Landis: Venus is going to be a tough one to colonize.

Roadbustr: Even though a Mars with past life might be equally compelling

Stan: I hope to finish that book by the end of 2000, but then it's out of my hands.

dozois: Did either of you read McAuley's Mars book? Bear's? Bova's? McDonald's?

fsuenc1145: how long will it be until people go to mars

MajorTom: Stan, who were the authors you mentioned earlier? Bogdanov and Lasswitz..?

Geoffrey-Landis: No, yes, no, who?

dozois: An old vaudville team...<g>

DArtagnan: Does anyone know about the Mars Airplane project or other Mars micro-missions?

Stan: I read MacDonald's, what a rip of Garcia-Marquez's 100 Years of Solitude. Proved that magic realism without realism is just cotton candy.

jlorman: Since Mars Needs Women, we should accelerate the schedule!

Geoffrey-Landis: A bit. What do you want to know?

DArtagnan: When?

Stan: I thought McAuley's looked great.

LadyHood: Let's just colinize the whole solar system

dozois: Geoff's your man for Mars airplane stuff.

DArtagnan: Is it for recon of possible landing sites?

dozois: I liked McAuley's too.

Geoffrey-Landis: Recon is one possible mission.

dozois: Also Alexander Jablokov's.

kirby-wan: In the meanwhile, why not set up a circum-lunar city or two?

Prometheus: Have any of you perused "The Millennial Project" by Marshall Savage?

Stan: McAuley is very good.

Roadbustr: Mr. Dozois, will you ever take a leave of absence as Michael Whelan did in order to give all those other poor editors a chance at the best editor award?

Geoffrey-Landis: The mission I think is exciting is the canyon flyer-- fly down the middle of a canyon and examine the walls.

dozois: Yes, he is. So is Greg Egan.

Stan: Is that the Mars millenium project?

DArtagnan: Mariner Valley?

dozois: Could you go slow enough to examine the walls?

DArtagnan: That would be cool!

Geoffrey-Landis: Well, you'd be going about 250 mph... but cameras are very fast.

Stan: When they get good video from low altitude, people will go crazy. We'll be on Mars a few years later.

fsuenc1145: how determined is nasa to make mars a possible goal in the near future

Geoffrey-Landis: It's not up to NASA... it's up to congress, I'm afraid.

DArtagnan: I think it's all about to break...glad to be part of the generation that will see it all!

Geoffrey-Landis: If it were up to NASA, we'd do it today!

dozois: Roadbustr, editors don't take a leave of absense, they die. Or lose their magazines. When either of those things happen, I'll stop.

Stan: But what if NASA put the plan on the tables of Pres. and congress and said here it is, do it?

Randallj: Is it true that the two of you belive that Mars is, and always has been, a dead rock?

LadyHood: Mr Landis, how did you get your job at NASA

fsuenc1145: do we have the ability to send manned missions to mars now

Geoffrey-Landis: No, I don't think there's conclusive evidence that it's dead yet.

kirby-wan: Could a lunar mining project actually turn a profit?

dozois: Careful, Geoff! Lots of people here would obviously like to have your job! <g>

Stan: I'm agnostic but tend to think life starts only unusually, so it's probably dead.

Roadbustr: Mr. Dozois, all the other editors may hope for that day. <g>

Geoffrey-Landis: There is some good evidence that there is bacterial life in rock down to kilometers depth on Earth. If Earth, why not Mars too?

jlorman: Mars is NOT dead, Jim. The Real McCoy.

dozois: I hope they don't hasten it TOO much!

Geoffrey-Landis: So I'm reserving judgement on Mars life.

Stan: We want Gardner to keep getting Hugos every year, that's proof the field is healthy.

Randallj: thanks guys. I tend to agreen with both of you, it's dead. But I'm open to the possibilities of what we don't know anything about.

DArtagnan: Will MGS be used for anything after mapping is over?

dozois: Stan, doesn't the discovery of life at deep-sea vents and smokers, totally cut off from the rest of the Earth's life-cycles, make you any more optimistic?

fsuenc1145: what about the other planets in our solar system...any possability of life there

Geoffrey-Landis: Yes, MGS will still be a relay for data from the other probes.

Geoffrey-Landis: Also, once it's finished mapping, it still has a high-resolution camera.

Stan: It shows life is very versatile, but that first start is a Mystery.

DArtagnan: Anything about an interferometer being placed near Martian orbit?

Geoffrey-Landis: Yep-- how did life start? That's the big question.

dozois: First, there was The Internet...

DArtagnan: lol

Roadbustr: Mr. Robinson, I would like to see a good television series made by James Cameron, but I suspect that if he does it justice, he will probably bankrupt two networks while he's at it. :)

Geoffrey-Landis: Nah== if you hang out on the net, people tell you *get* a life...

DArtagnan: l

Stan: That would be so great.

Astronomr: DArtagnan, I believe the interferomter would be placed at about the orbit of Jupiter. Not Martian orbit.

DArtagnan: Spielberg tried it...what a bust!

Roadbustr: I agree. There are too many networks as it is.

dozois: Are you excited about the TV series, Stan?

Geoffrey-Landis: At the orbital distance of Jupiter is what I'd heard, as well.

Roadbustr: Oops, I mean yes, I hope it's a great series. <g>

DArtagnan: Astronomer, do you know when?

fsuenc1145: is there any possability of civilian trips into space in the "near" future

Talon: if roadbstr had his way there would only be PBS

Stan: I'm excited by the idea of the series. But it may be that it never gets farther than that.

Astronomr: Most likely early in the 21st century. I've heard 2010 a few times.

dozois: Who would you want to see cast as your characters?

fsuenc1145: really that soon, who would be able to take these trips

DArtagnan: I think that should be given top priority.

DArtagnan: Relatively cheap, isn't it?

Stan: None of the movie actors I know fit any of my parts! It's terrible. I want John to play John, Frank to play Frank, etc.

Roadbustr: I find John and Frank and Maya as such real characters, bringing them down to Earth would be a bad thing. Exactly.

Stan: rich people.

Astronomr: It's not too expensive as space projects go.

Stan: thanks rodbustr

Roadbustr: A letdown, I guess I mean.

dozois: Before everyone leaves, Stan, Geoff, why don't you do the Traditional Plug for Works in Progress. You both have novels underway, don't you?

kirby-wan: does the "teacher in space" fiasco still effect NASA's plans for civilian riders?

Stan: I'd love to see Depardieu as Michel.

fsuenc1145: what would they do, would one be able to go to the moon?

Stan: Yes Gardner, working on a novel, so happy, never expect to finish, never want to finish....

Geoffrey-Landis: Works in progress? Well, I have some great stories coming up in this magazine _Asimov's Science Fiction_...

Roadbustr: Now that Cousteau is dead, Depardieu is the only current likeable Frenchmen. Of course he'd play Michel. <g>

DArtagnan: Pardone moi!

Geoffrey-Landis: But, yes, I have ( at last) been convinced to write a novel.

Astronomr: Depardieu likeable?

dozois: What are you calling your novel, Geoff? PLAID MARS?

Stan: If Pierre Paul is still on, he will know I don't agree with that one!

DArtagnan: lol

Pierre-Paul: Stan, thanks! :)

Geoffrey-Landis: The working title is _Mars Crossing_.

Roadbustr: Oops, sorry about that. <g> Almost no other Frenchmen have as high a profile as Depardieu.

Geoffrey-Landis: If I can think of a better title, though, I'll use it!

dozois: What's your new novel called, Stan? Can you tell us anything about it?

DArtagnan: Merci.

Stan: That's Rainbow Mars, by Larry Niven. Or is it Martian Rainbow by Robert Forward.

fsuenc1145: why is mars such a fasination with science fiction writing

dozois: Because it's there?

Stan: My novel is called A World Without Europe but I can't tell you anything about it, ha ha.

DArtagnan: Most Earthlike.

Astronomr: With his nose, Depardieu's profilewould bbe distinctive. <g>

Stan: there and empty

DArtagnan: He made a good Porthos!

dozois: A NOSE AS BIG AS OLYMPUS MONS! Now there's a title! <g>

kirby-wan: how would you know?

dozois: Did you get the feeling that Niven was trying to steal a match on you, Stan, by calling his new book RAINBOW MARS? <g>

Astronomr: What I don't like about the guy was that he was quite a criminal in his youth.

DArtagnan: Really?

fsuenc1145: is anyone here from english class...if so how long does our synopsis of this chat have to be

Geoffrey-Landis: Well, this conversation seems to be winding down...

DArtagnan: lol

dozois: If you did write another Mars trilogy, Stan--never say never again!--what would you call them?

Stan: colors make sense. Aldiss announced White Mars in Locus; white because no one was ever going to go there.

Geoffrey-Landis: I think I may bow out.

Astronomr: I heard somewhere that Depardieu was in a gang in his teenage years.

DArtagnan: Good bye Geoffrey

DArtagnan: Thanks.

fsuenc1145: thank you

Geoffrey-Landis: see y'all later, folks. It was fun chatting with you.

Pierre-Paul: Thank you, Geoffrey. Your answers were quite enlightening!

Geoffrey-Landis: Drop by my web page if you get a chance.

Astronomr: Bye! Thanks for coming by. Good luck!

Annika: bye bye thanks

dozois: Everybody be sure to go to the Asimov's subscribe to the magazine so as to be sure not to miss upcoming stories from Geoff and Stan!

Stan: I won't, but it would have to be yellow, pink, purple. But I already wrote Purple Mars, it's the last story in the collection.

dozois: Including new Martian stories by Stan!

Pierre-Paul: (I mean, even *I* understood them.)

Roadbustr: Orange Mars, Yellow Mars, Indigo Mars, Purple Mars and Black... are still available, exactly

dozois: Bye, Geoff.

DaveH: 'night

Geoffrey-Landis: bye

Stan: Bye Geoff; and I too should get back to the boys. Thanks all and sorry again about showing up late.

DArtagnan: I'm off too, adieu mes amis!

Pierre-Paul: Bye, Stan. Hope to get in touch soon!

Roadbustr: Thanks for being here!

dozois: Yeah, I should get going, myself.

Astronomr: Well, I got to get going. Bye

DaveH: 'night - and thanks

Roadbustr: Good night!

Stan: P-P, email me, I've lost your address. Bye all! S

dozois: Hope with all this novel-writing, Stan, you have time to turn out some more short fiction for me!

dozois: I want a nice big juicy novella! <g>

Pierre-Paul: Gardner, the short stories in Asimov's are excerpts from the Martian collection, or are they something else?

Stan: Every story in The Martians is yours to print. but only for Gardner, the greatest editor in the world!!! bye

dozois: They're from the Martian collection, Pierre.

dozois: Goodnight, Stan. Say Hi to your family for me.

Pierre-Paul: Okay. It's been fun, but I need to get some sleep, here. :) Bye, all!

DaveH: bye

dozois: Yeah, I'm going to push on, too. Don't forget to come to our NEXT chat here, February 23, with the formidible Walter Jon Williams!

DaveH: see ya then

dozois: Goodnight, all!