Saturday, October 24, 2009

“Soldier, Sailor,” a 1990 short story written by Lewis Shiner about ruins on Mars

Fiction Liberation Front, the online collection of works written by SF author Lewis Shiner, holds an interesting short story entitled “Soldier, Sailor.” Originally written in 1976 and first published in Shiner’s collection Nine Hard Questions about the Nature of the Universe (1990), “Soldier, Sailor” features a man named Kane and the ruins of a city on Mars. Here are the opening lines:

Stepping out of the airlock behind Reese, Kane was amazed by the weight & wetness of the air. He could make out the odors of cut grass, honeysuckle & ivy. Martian night was falling outside the dome & he sensed clouds forming above him. Rain on Mars. Evenly spaced houses surrounded him, covered with ivy & separated by rows of elephant ears & ferns. The intricacy of the ecological planning startled him; a bee floated over his head & somewhere a mockingbird whistled. …

“Soldier, Sailor” was later expanded into the cyberpunk novel Frontera (1984).

In addition to maintaining Fiction Liberation Front, Lewis Shiner maintains his own website.

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