The Martian Chronicles The Wilderness
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- (Publishing history snack: This story was added in 1997 to replace "Way in the Middle of the Air.")
- In Independence, Missouri, Janice Smith and Leonora Holmes prepare for their trip to Mars.
- Janice is not looking forward to her ride in a spaceship, because she was once stuck in a dark closet and fell down a flight of dark stairs.
- Since falling down a dark flight of stairs is almost exactly like flying through space. Yup.
- Anyway, Janice is conquering her fear to go to Mars because her BF Will is already there.
- Janice and Leonora hit us over the head with some themes by talking about how colonizing Mars is a lot like settling the Old West.
- (For more about this, see "Setting"—and every other story that says that same thing, especially the interchapters.)
- Janice and Leonora say goodbye to their town one last time—goodbye trees, goodbye chocolate malted at the soda shop, goodbye perfume. You know, the important things.
- Janice calls Will on the lightphone, which is apparently a piece of technology that hasn't made it through the Apple labs yet, but the only message that gets through from Mars is "love."