WHEN THERE’S NO MAN AROUND
by Stephen Goldin
When There’s No Man Around. Copyright 1977, 2005 by Stephen Goldin. All Rights Reserved.
Cover image courtesy of NASA.
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“Sandrust!” Lucy Stargos said exasperatedly as she kicked the unfeeling machine for the third time. Neither her ejaculation nor her kick did any good, however. The sand tractor still refused to start.
Outside the insulated tractor dome, the Martian night pressed in with cold fixedness and the stars stared down unabashed, the Martian atmosphere being too thin to work up so much as a legitimate twinkle. Phobos and Deimos were both up, doing their feeble part to illuminate the night Marsscape. And in front of the tractor rose the seven-meter crater wall that the vehicle had stalled on while trying to climb it.