– Expandable stomach (now 3x original capacity)

– Easy survival on mostly carnivorous diet (formerly an orthodox diet of rabbit food)

– Polyphasic Sleep (improved)

– Talking slowly (a reduction of at least 50% from former speed)

– Ability to miraculously transform into a butler in the hour after a shower (the kind that freaks everybody out with his charismatic aura)


I grew up with the prettiest view of the seaside that Mars had to offer.

Imagine taking the Red Planet and terraforming it and transmogrifying it and doing all those human-y things to it that you could think of. The resulting Earth-ish thing was where I used to live and what Mars used to be like.

I was the son of the King of Mars. That made me the Prince (duh). I grew up in an environment restricted to the best of the best – the best tutors, the best musicians, the best servants, the best living quarters, the best family.

You superimpose pictures of the Red Planet and my home, and you shake your head and conclude that the latter must be a fake. But Mars was more earthly than anything I see and hear and feel today.

I remember learning to dance in 11/8 and 7/8, the standard ballroom time signatures of Mars. The popular music was all written in 4/4 (less) or 15/8 (more). My tutor told me that 4/4 and its cousins once dominated long, long ago, even before we really learned to write our music down.

The violin and the oboe, to name two major instruments, were both of Martian design. Thousands of years ago, we sent emissaries to quietly steer the development of “western” music in that same direction…and many of the earthly instruments of today had our hands in their makings.

There were no concert halls in my time. Music was always performed out in the open, unless it was a royal occasion, in which case we would be in the ballroom with the whole city anyway. It was free for everybody to sample and savor.

And in a single day and night of misfortune, we inherited what Curiosity (a pretty name for a doomed device left in solitude to suffer interminably) sees now: a dead planet, captured by its dead eyes and relayed to the world of the living, which heaves with joy at every new picture.

We came to Earth, of course. We blended in. The King my father, the Queen my mother, and the Princess my sister – we all settled down quietly and drifted into obscurity.

Sometimes I hear the unearthly strains of our music – and I pine for my home. But when I look up at the cold, black sky and realize that there is nothing out there, I pine no more.


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