Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

"Surveyor of Mars" story now available in WESTWARD WEIRD

I have a new story out - right now! It's called, "Surveyor of Mars," and it appears in in DAW's new Westward Weird [Amazon|Powell's] anthology, edited by Kerrie Hughes and Martin Greenberg.

My story is about a land surveyor - who is also a reluctant gunfighter - working on Mars who gets drawn into larger and less-pleasant events that will shape the future of the pioneer world.

It's set in about 1900 on Percival Lowell's Mars after H.G. Wells' Martian invasion of England. A horrific civil war has wiped out the (sentient) Martians, and human pioneers are homesteading, mining, and looting the planet. The surveyor of Mars is a young man who emigrated because of troubles back home in Montana that led to his father's death. Unfortunately, troubles arise on Mars, too, and a war is brewing between the Company and the settlers...

Gunfighters, Buffalo Soldiers, pioneers, a habitable Mars that never was but maybe could have been: I plan to work more within this setting! By the way, my icon for this post comes from Antoniadi's map of Mars as he and Lowell saw it through the imperfect optics circa the time of this story.

Inspiration came from Wells' War of the Worlds; Percival Lowell's Mars as the Abode of Life and Mars and Its Canals to get a feel for how people thought of Mars at the time; and Jonathan Raban's Bad Land, a wonderful look at the plight of the pioneers who settled northeast Montana, aka "The Great American Desert."

Do you like the Old West, alternate history, and the supernatural? Then you should LOVE this book - and, I hope, my story, too!


Tags: writing

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