About Human, Right?”

In “Human, Right?“, the March 14, 2022 drabble from Martian: The Magazine of Science Fiction Drabbles, one finds they can sometimes get what they need after a really bad day.

[SPOILERS from here on!]

When everything’s gone to pieces, who doesn’t need a little comfort food? “Chicken soup is good for the soul” and all that.

It’s good to know that when interstellar civilizations come together, compassion and care for all species will be a shared value, and that there will be those called to serve others.


In my stories I sometimes borrow from other stories I’ve written, some published, some as-yet-unpublished. It’s not that I’m building a coherent shared universe like the MCU or anything–the borrowed entities may be wholly different from one story to another. Okay, maybe there’s a little bit of sharing, but it’s not anything I’m going to go to great lengths to synchronize.

For instance, the “furry maratuses” are from a story I’ve got out on submission–with furry paws crossed that it finds a home; while the “chitin-clad arthropoids” are based on the Sen from Shattered Hand. The medic, along with some of the other patients, are hemsi, which is a shout-out to HEMSI, Huntsville Alabama’s ambulance service. Seemed appropriate for a medic, though I’ve not yet seen any green-tinged, three handed EMTs around here!

In these times especially, go treat yourself to a nice, hot bowl of soup!

About Falling In Love At Verona Rupes

Falling In Love At Verona Rupes is now up as the January 10, 2022 drabble at Martian magazine. (Subscribe!)

When I previously wrote About Mercury’s Ice I mentioned that I became a space nerd at a very young age, and in the decades since have become quite fond of the lesser known–but no less awesome–wonders of the solar system.

Verona Rupes, from NASA’s Voyager 2

Verona Rupes is another one of those wonders. Spotted during Voyager 2’s 1986 flyby of Uranus’ moon Miranda, it’s a candidate for the tallest cliff in the solar system, possibly reaching twenty kilometers (twelve miles) high. With Miranda’s low gravity, less than 1% of Earth’s, that 20 km fall is going to provide ample time for sightseeing on the way down, about eleven minutes.

And we humans seems to have an unquenchable thirst for doing things while falling. (As it turns out, skydive weddings are quite popular among the engaged-to-be-married skydiver population!)

So you just know, how is anybody going to resist having their wedding ceremony performed during the 11-minute freefall off the highest cliff in the solar system?

Base jumping Verona Rupes artist’s concept. Credit: Erik Wernquist

A few things to keep in mind: Miranda is an airless moon, so you’ll need spacesuits. Though the sun is a long ways away, it’ll still be pretty bright, so coordinate suit colors. Rehearse the ceremony a few times at ground level–you do have eleven minutes, so you don’t have to rush too much, but still, be diligent and watch the altimeter.

Finally, parachutes are useless on Miranda, so make sure everyone’s retros are in good working order and fully fueled. You’ll want to ensure everyone in the wedding party has a good time and a soft landing.