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
Moderator: Should I go searching in other channels for
the eleusive Mr R???
Geoffrey-Landis: OK, got
dozois: Geoff just sold a new
story to ASIMOV'S.
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
dozois: Moderator, I'm sure
SOMEbody here in the room would be glad to handcuff him!
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: 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?
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
ICE9: PETA.. funny
dozois: Maybe back in the
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?
Moderator: Cubic Zirconium Mars
dozois: PLAIN OLD VANILLA
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.
dozois: ICKY COLORED MARS.
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
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
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
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
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
dozois: Thanks, Sarek.
dozois: Glad you enjoy
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!!)
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
Geoffrey-Landis: The gravity
itself is not the problem; the thermal escape time for atmosphere is
very very long, even for Mars' gravity.
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
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
dozois: Moderator, I just gave
you Stan's phone number in private, if you want to try calling
Moderator: I got it, Gardner - I'm dialing and
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
Geoffrey-Landis: However, I also
think that it would be a lot more difficult than the SF books
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 =
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
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
dozois: Which end?
Geoffrey-Landis: Horray for
Moderator: he will be logging RIGHT ON!!!
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
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,
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
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
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
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
dozois: And get laid.
Geoffrey-Landis: Heck, Garder,
that may be bettter in the zero gee.
dozois: Probably a smaller
Geoffrey-Landis: Or maybe not--
that old law of action and reaction...
dozois: Ah! This may be The
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: 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
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
(http://www.asimovs.com) 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: Had to type FAST.
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
Geoffrey-Landis: Your airplane
needs to have a pretty light wing-loading, so that means large
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.
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
dozois: GA. We'll get back to
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
dozois: Stan, do you emotionally
feel that terraforming Mars is MORE or LESS possible after going to
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
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
dozois: Martian fines? Like
violating "No Parking" zones?
Geoffrey-Landis: Probably about
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
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
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
Moderator: Should I repeat the resource allocation
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
Geoffrey-Landis: The really good
asteroidal resources are the platinum group metals (the
Stan: Glaciers will go slower.
I'm up for more resources too. But asteroids don't have
Geoffrey-Landis: Asteroids are
loaded with them-- in fact, they are the signature of asteroid impacts
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
Geoffrey-Landis: As for other
resources-- iron, nickle, oxygen, etc.-- I say, use 'em in space, where
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,
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Stan: Very early on, I knew I
wanted people living longer. I had already worked on that concept in
Stan: and in the novella
Stan: Now that I'm 158 myself, it
only makes sense.
Moderator: You're young yet...
* Moderator sighs *
Stan: At least. But usually it
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
Stan: Oh none at all. Those
stories don't even fit the trilogy's history well. I had to abandon the
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
Stan: not another one.
Moderator: <LadyHood>: Geoffrey, how hard is it
to get a job at NASA
Stan: Not another anthology, I
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
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
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
Stan: about Amundsen. We were
out about two hours and the equipment froze, but we got the site
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
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
Stan: also very interesting, and
one reason for my boredom was I had no job there. EVerywhere else I
Stan: but at the South Pole the
science is astrophysics etc etc., and not much help to be given to the
Stan: So I got a feel for what
the first years might be like on Mars, and I wasn't thrilled at the
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. Robinson...in
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
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
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
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
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
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
Stan: No I'm fine here, could
make up for coming on late
dozois: Geoff, you're writing a
Mars novel right now, aren't you? Is it going to take you as long as
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
Geoffrey-Landis: Not as long as
Stan, I guess!
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 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
dozois: God, he could play
Moderator: <Prometheus>: Could the guests comment
on Robert Zubrin's Mars Direct approach to exploring and colonizing the
Geoffrey-Landis: I love
Stan: It sounds great to
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
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,
Geoffrey-Landis: for me,
Stan: For me it was the Viking
photos from space. I saw those and said WOW what great
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
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.
Stan: also Fred Pohl's Man Plus,
and Frederick Turner's Genesis. And some old classics by Bogdanov and
Stan: In Russia and Germany.
Clarke's book is really good for that version of Mars. But always
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
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,
Geoffrey-Landis: It was his act
of contrition for killing off the Mars of Burroughs and
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!
Stan: Cruxifixus Etiam. Well,
Gardner, there are temples in the collection too. Everything is
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
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: Who's going to
Stan: The telepathic
radio-transmitting lichen beds of NOT IN SOLITUDE were my
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.
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
Stan: It's beaker that gets
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
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...
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...
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
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
DArtagnan: When will mapping begin?
kirby-wan: I'm waiting for the Venus colonization
Geoffrey-Landis: It's in mapping
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
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,
dozois: An old vaudville
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
Geoffrey-Landis: A bit. What do
you want to know?
Stan: I thought McAuley's looked
LadyHood: Let's just colinize the whole solar system
dozois: Geoff's your man for Mars
DArtagnan: Is it for recon of possible landing sites?
dozois: I liked McAuley's
Geoffrey-Landis: Recon is one
dozois: Also Alexander
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
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
Stan: Is that the Mars millenium
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
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
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
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
DArtagnan: Will MGS be used for anything after mapping
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
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
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...
Stan: That would be so
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
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
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
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
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!
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?
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
dozois: Because it's
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
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.
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...
dozois: If you did write another
Mars trilogy, Stan--never say never again!--what would you call
Stan: colors make sense. Aldiss
announced White Mars in Locus; white because no one was ever going to go
Geoffrey-Landis: I think I may
Astronomr: I heard somewhere that Depardieu was in a
gang in his teenage years.
DArtagnan: Good bye Geoffrey
fsuenc1145: thank you
Geoffrey-Landis: see y'all later,
folks. It was fun chatting with you.
Pierre-Paul: Thank you, Geoffrey. Your answers were
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 site--www.asimovs.com--and 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.
Stan: Bye Geoff; and I too should
get back to the boys. Thanks all and sorry again about showing up
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,
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
dozois: I want a nice big juicy
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
dozois: They're from the Martian
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!
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!