Issue 5 of The77 and its deadline approaches! Activity is fierce amongst the writers, the artists and the coffee grinders. Much of that produced has been sent on to the letterers – apart from those which have been drunk. (One refers not to writers and artists but to coffee.)

Scant time remained to research and write these Martian journals, so your pleasure in the Martypedia was postponed. For this I offer angst ridden apologies.

However. A text book found in a dumpster at Martian County Junior High* has saved my day with brief but fascinating accounts of life on the red planet. I’ll recount some of the detail here.
(*A lot of history and scientific texts seem to be binned after every election.)

Unexpectedly preserved pathogens

Were you to discuss geology with a junior on the Martian mainland you would be presented with a face of bafflement. This is not because Martian schools are in any way deficient, but the powers that be, those influenced by the random winds of language, have decided that AREOGRAPHY is the correct term for mountains and dirt and things Martian.

GEO, I am told, is (or was) the Greek term for soil or earth. At some stage it was decided we would name our own planet “Earth” or ‘soil’ also. This was because the word for “whole world” (ie. ‘Universe’) had already been borrowed for something entirely more… entire altogether.
Now as a result ‘Geo’ is unavailable to use on any other planet, no matter how much dirt it has on it.
Those handy with language decided that Mars, having been the Roman god of war, was also inappropriate for the new term because mixing a Latin prefix with a Greek suffix was pure vulgarity*, if indeed vulgarity is a thing that can be considered to contain purity.
(*Vulgar Gr/atin happens though. I’ll award points to you if you can list a number of modern media buzzwords that are a mix of Greek and Latin… in the comments below. Do it now.)

The solution? A GREEK god of war. Ares, the former Spartan sweetheart rediscovers his prominence as a substitute for soil or earth… and Martian geography is officially known as Areography.

There is MUCH to discuss on the subject of Martian Mining, loads to learn about its breathtaking seas and record shattering mountains;
You’ll be tantalised to learn that the red sphere of Ares contains dark dunes of chrome, magnetite and titanium (a boggling surface source of steel without the requirements of deep delving);
We’ll be awed to find that departed Martian volcanoes have left us luscious lavatubes dotted with skylights that look like antique woodworm holes;
Your friends will marvel to hear that the first settlers built their cities in these ready built enclosures…and be shocked at their discovery of the unexpected pathogens preserved deep within.

But ’tis time we heard a bit of something about the individuals of our Areopolitical Atomic Age, is it not?

Let’s reconvene here next week, deadline willing.

Martian Law’s final episode is scheduled for April 2021 in The77 issue 5.
Only popular demand can bring it back!

Remember to subscribe,

Inks for panel one of Martian Law. It contains Areography, lavatubes and woodworm-like skylights.