The Martians is a companion volume to the three volumes of the Mars trilogy, published in 1999. It is a short story collection, consisting of stories, poems, in-universe article excerpts, essays, and even meta/autobiographical stories ("Purple Mars"). Some of the stories were published before. Some stories do not take place in the same universe as the Mars trilogy; some others, while they share the same characters, are evidently alternate timelines to the trilogy.
It consists of the following stories:
- Michel In Antarctica
- Exploring Fossil Canyon
- The Archaea Plot
- The Way The Land Spoke To Us
- Maya And Desmond
- Four Teleological Trails
- Discovering Life
- Coyote Makes Trouble
- Michel In Provence
- Green Mars
- Arthur Sternbach Brings The Curveball To Mars
- Salt and Fresh
- The Constitution Of Mars
- Some Worknotes And Commentary On The Constitution, by Charlotte Dorsa Brevia
- Jackie On Zo
- Keeping The Flame
- Saving Noctis Dam
- Big Man In Love
- An Argument For The Deployment Of All Safe Terraforming Technologies
- Selected Abstracts From The Journal Of Areological Studies
- Sexual Dimorphism
- Enough Is As Good As A Feast
- What Matters
- Coyote Remembers
- Sax Moments
- The Names Of The Canals
- The Soundtrack
- A Martian Romance
- If Wang Wei Lived On Mars And Other Poems
- Purple Mars
Michel In Antarctica
Michel on Earth continuity. In Antarctica, psychologist Michel Duval evaluates the First Hundred candidates for the Mars mission.
Exploring Fossil Canyon
Eileen Monday and Roger Clayborne continuity. First published in 1982. A group of hikers finds what look like fossilized sea shells in a Martian canyon.
The Archaea Plot
Martian folklore. Ancient native Martian life forms plot to retake the planet from human settlers.
The Way The Land Spoke To Us
Martian terrain and what it means for people traversing it.
- The Great Escarpment
Maya And Desmond
Maya and Desmond's relationship throughout the years, as it was kept hidden from the Mars trilogy reader, as friends and occasional lovers.
- Finding Him
- Helping Him
- Helping Her
- The Years
- Helping Him
- Losing Him
Four Teleological Trails
Four tales of a hiker, musing on the significance of a trail, of reaching a trail's summit, of finding and losing a trail. Takes place in Crommelin Crater.
- Wrong Way
- Mistakes Can Be Good
- You Can't Lose the Trail
- The Natural Genius
Not found in first editions; in all editions since the Bantam Spectra paperback edition of 2000. A NASA press conference on the finding of life on Mars by robotic probes.
Coyote Makes Trouble
A day in the life of the Coyote, where he sets up a visible banner protesting against the UNTA in a tented city.
Michel In Provence
Michel on Earth continuity. After a stay on Mars, which consists of scientific settlements with rosters instead of full colonies, Michel returns on Earth and rekindles his relationship with Maya.
Eileen Monday and Roger Clayborne continuity. First published in 1988. Climbing Olympus Mons. See main article: Green Mars (novella).
Arthur Sternbach Brings The Curveball To Mars
Eileen Monday and Roger Clayborne continuity (possibly?). An American teaches a native Martian how to throw.
Salt and Fresh
Martian folklore. The little red people and the water from terraforming.
The Constitution Of Mars
Some Worknotes And Commentary On The Constitution, by Charlotte Dorsa Brevia
Some notes on the above by Charlotte.
Jackie On Zo
Memories of Jackie on giving birth to and raising Zo.
Keeping The Flame
While hiking, Nirgal comes across Edvard Perrin and George Berkovic in a Greek-style temple carved in the memory of Phyllis Boyle. They give a reading of past history presenting Phyllis as a force of "good", an alternate reading compared to the account the reader got in the trilogy. They hint at a possible reversal of terraforming in the future (a plot?).
Saving Noctis Dam
The dam over Noctis Canyon encounters geological and weather difficulties.
Big Man In Love
Martian folklore. On Big Man, his amputated penis, John Boone and Zoya (a clone of Zo).
An Argument For The Deployment Of All Safe Terraforming Technologies
Surfing on Mars and dealing with global cooling that started in the 2210s decade.
Selected Abstracts From The Journal Of Areological Studies
A collection of abstracts dealing with the possible discovery of life on Mars. Sax Russell is among the authors.
Memories of living on the Martian Odessa.
A scientist observes similarities in human and dolphin DNA and observes how dolphins adapt to a changing environment; he draws parallels with his observations of women and his own relationship with his partner.
Enough Is As Good As A Feast
Idyllic life in a Martian agricultural commune inside a crater. Hints of a shift towards a cooler climate.
Eileen Monday and Roger Clayborne continuity (possibly?). Peter Clayborne meets Roger Clayborne and have dinner together, talking about history and personal action.
Coyote reminisces about his relationship with some key Mars trilogy characters.
A collection of little scenes from the point of view of Sax.
The Names Of The Canals
On the source of some place names in the Mars trilogy.
On the music listened to while writing the Mars trilogy.
A Martian Romance
Eileen Monday and Roger Clayborne continuity. An ice sailing trip. Mars is experiencing a global cooling and animal and plant life is going through a mass extinction; the older generation of Martians is living this as a tragedy, but for the new generation this is how Mars is supposed to be.
If Wang Wei Lived On Mars And Other Poems
A series of poems on life on Mars. Antarctica continuity (possibly?).
KSR's own account of his last day of writing the Mars trilogy!
Relation to the Mars trilogy and interconnections
The collection includes some stories that could be part of the main Mars trilogy continuity, or at least do not come in direct contradiction with it. These are stories that feature trilogy characters, like "Maya and Desmond" or "Jackie on Zo", or that are more abstract or completely lack any mention of characters or place in the future timeline, like "Four Teleological Trails".
The collection also includes some stories that are explicitly not part of the main Mars trilogy continuity. Some of them, interspersed across the collection, are interconnected: the collection results in a travelling between alternate timelines as the reader moves along. The main alternate continuities are:
Michel on Earth continuity. Consists of: "Michel in Anterctica"; "Michel in Provence".
Eileen Monday and Roger Clayborne continuity. Consists of: "Exploring Fossil Canyon"; "Green Mars"; "What Matters"; "A Martian Romance". "What Matters" blurs the lines with the main trilogy continuity by having the Claybornes from both continuities meet. "Arthur Sternbach Brings The Curveball To Mars" could arguably be set in this continuity, given that it includes a character first introduced in "Green Mars". In addition, there is mention of a global cooling on Mars as time passes, which also connects this with "Keeping The Flame", "An Argument For The Deployment Of All Safe Terraforming Technologies" and "Enough Is As Good As A Feast". "Keeping The Flame" would also blur the lines in terms of continuity, as it includes characters from the main trilogy, but who also happen to remember events differently from the main trilogy.
- Voyager, April 1999
- Bantam Spectra, September 1999
- Voyager, September 1999
- Easton Press, 1999
- Science Fiction Book Club, October 1999
- Voyager, April 2000
- Presses de la Cité, as Les Martiens (French Translation), September 2000
- Libre Expression, as Les Martiens (French Translation), 2000
- Bantam Spectra, October 2000
- France Loisirs, as Les Martiens (French Translation), 2001
- CNIB, audio book, 2002
- Heyne, as Die Marsianer (German Translation), September 2002
- Bantam Spectra e-Book, May 2003
- Minotauro, as Los Marcianos (Spanish Translation), October 2003
- Pocket, as Les Martiens (French Translation), May 2007
- Kabalcı Yayınevi, as Marslılar (Turkish Translation), forthcoming (?)