No Marigolds Update: In Which HAL Opens The Podbay Doors To Let In Some Brown Coats Fleeing The Peacekeepers

surface of mars

No Marigolds in the Promised LandI decided I’m going to ride this through to the end instead of writing an episode and putting it down for a week. I realized I need to focus completely on the next novella, most likely a rewrite of Quantonesia. So stopping and starting is not going to work.

A new character has dropped in. Someone suggested the AI in the rover talk to Farno. I toyed with that idea for seven episodes only to not address it at all. What do I do? Upgrade the rover. All rovers have AI even though the AIs are “nice and stupid.” In fact, the new rover’s default personality gets all offended when Farno mentions this to posterity. Eventually, he finds one based on a former denizen of Barsoom (which he’s decided to rename Farno) who manages to project all the sarcasm of the real person.

I keep promising to jump ahead weeks and months, and I think I’ve gotten very near that time. Not only does the story demand I move away from the day-to-day struggle to survive, but events elsewhere in the series will sooner or later impose themselves on the story. Barsoom, after all, is so named because it is a Martian enterprise. And Mars, as has already been established, is one of the 800-pound gorillas in the Compact. One of them, though like the rest, it tends to think it’s the only one.

Plus Farno has discovered how to automate his environment, how to use what he’s found to increase his comfort. By the end of Episode 10, he’s already lounging in someone’s old apartment (or is it future apartment? There’s no one around to explain which) and even found an “adult” AI interface to amuse himself with one night. The regular AI interface finds this highly amusing herself as she draws enough from the woman who served as her template to keep Farno humble.

So maybe this time next week, I’ll be talking about how months have passed. Episode 3 to be posted next week. Episode 4 going out with the newsletter.

Curious about what I’m yammering about? Check out the current episode here, or get the complete story, including the next episode here.

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