Author(s): Adrian Tchaikovsky
Mars. The red planet. A new frontier for humanity: a civilization where humans can live in peace, lord and master of all they survey.
But this isn't Space City from those old science-fiction books. It's more like Hell City, built into and from a huge crater. There's a big silk canopy over it, feeding out atmosphere as we generate it, little by little, because we can't breathe the air here.
I guess it's a perfect place to live, if you want to live on Mars. At some point I must have wanted to live on Mars, because here I am. The money was supposed to be good, and how else was a working Joe like me going to get off-planet exactly? But I remember the videos they showed us - guys, not even in suits, watching robots and bees and Bioforms doing all the work - and they didn't quite get it right...