Fifteen all-new stories by science fiction’s top talents, collected by bestselling author George R. R. Martin and multiple-award winning editor Gardner Dozois
Burroughs’s A Princess of Mars. Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. Heinlein’s Red Planet. These and so many more inspired generations of readers with a sense that science fiction’s greatest wonders did not necessarily lie far in the future or light-years across the galaxy but were to be found right now on a nearby world tantalizingly similar to our own—a red planet that burned like an ember in our night sky . . . and in our imaginations.
This new anthology of fifteen all-original science fiction stories, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, celebrates the Golden Age of Science Fiction, an era filled with tales of interplanetary colonization and derring-do. Before the advent of powerful telescopes and space probes, our solar system could be imagined as teeming with strange life-forms and ancient civilizations—by no means always friendly to the dominant species of Earth. And of all the planets orbiting that G-class star we call the Sun, none was so steeped in an aura of romantic decadence, thrilling mystery, and gung-ho adventure as Mars.
Join such seminal contributors as Michael Moorcock, Mike Resnick, Joe R. Lansdale, S. M. Stirling, Mary Rosenblum, Ian McDonald, Liz Williams, James S. A. Corey, and others in this brilliant retro anthology that turns its back on the cold, all-but-airless Mars of the Mariner probes and instead embraces an older, more welcoming, more exotic Mars: a planet of ancient canals cutting through red deserts studded with the ruined cities of dying races.
FEATURING ALL-NEW STORIES BY
James S. A. Corey • Phyllis Eisenstein • Matthew Hughes • Joe R. Lansdale • David D. Levine • Ian McDonald • Michael Moorcock • Mike Resnick • Chris Roberson • Mary Rosenblum • Melinda Snodgrass • Allen M. Steele • S. M. Stirling • Howard Waldrop • Liz Williams
And an Introduction by George R. R. Martin!
Praise for Old Mars
“Strong, fun and evocative.”—Tor.com
“A fantastic anthology . . . Pulp magic lives in these pages.”—Bookhound
the ship stood alone but spiked through with the enemy until she looked like nothing so much as the back of a cat covered in burrs. And curving below, the vast convex surface of Mars itself. “We are trapped, and the enemy coming,” I said. “The Ikkean ships have all attached to the Serkeriah,” she said. “I am sorry to hear it,” I said. “It may yet work to our advantage,” she replied, then reached into the play of light and volume to indicate a feature on the face of the world I had not
had seen what lay ahead if the seas continued to shrink. And they had a solution. By the time that places like the buried city before them had been lost to dry land, a complex system of canals had been constructed, linking points of extremely low elevation where, it was hoped, the waters would be retained even if they disappeared from the rest of the globe. The populace relocated to these new sanctuaries, leaving their old homes behind but retaining as much of their former cultures as possible
visit an aboriginal settlement. Is that still what you want to do?” “Yes, I do.” He hesitated. “But now that we’ve met, I think it’s only fair to tell you that this is not all that I mean to do. The trip here involves more than just meeting the natives.” “How so? What else do you want?” He peered at me over the top of his glasses. “The blood of a Martian.” When I was a kid, one of my favorite movies was The War of the Worlds—the 1953 version, made about twelve years before the first probes
dark side,” commented Scorpio, staring at their surroundings. “If you say so,” replied Quedipai. “I have never been off the planet.” “It’s an interesting solar system,” said Scorpio. “You should try to see some of it.” “We each have our passions. Mine is—” “I know,” Scorpio interrupted. “Merlin, how close are they?” “They?” repeated the Martian uneasily. “Three outlaws, hiding from the authorities,” answered Scorpio. “Is it safe?” “They’ve been here long enough to prove that the city’s
on water. The smoke that rose from her was the pale white of great heat, and as we came alongside, my only fear was that the fire might reach whatever magazine the merchant possessed and detonate her powder while we were near enough to be harmed. The name on her counter was Vargud van Haarlem. I prided myself on knowing the waters where I plied my trade, and I had never heard of her. That alone should have been warning, but I was rash and, worse, curious. I ordered her boarded, gave command to my