Dear Martian
(Introducing The Cloud Riders)


Vanera 4 Elementary School, Chris Jones HAVOC, Venus.
March 23, 2316

Dear Martian,

How are you? My name is Samuel Dekker. My friends call me Sam. Well, actually, they insist on calling me Sammy. And then there’s Zia, who’s a friend who keeps calling me Samuel, no matter how often I correct her.

I’m twelve years old. Earth years. If Venus had a calendar, I’d actually be just over 18 days old. Do you think it’s weird that we still measure things in Earth days and years, even though the Earth isn’t around to tell us what day it is? Still, I think I can see why. I mean, how old are you in Martian years? Six?

My teacher told me to write this letter. The whole class got this assignment to write letters to Martian kids like you. I don’t even know who you are, but I’ll find out when you write back.

I’m sure you’ll be cool. You’re from another planet, and that’s cool. You have ground you can walk on. You’ve got ice. And I’ve seen some of the drones you sent us, as they come in from the surface after mining. We took apart an old Martian robot at school yesterday. That was pretty cool.

I’m in sixth year at elementary school. Next year I move to vocational school. I’m going to be a police officer like my Dad. He’s cool, though not quite as cool as the police officers in the old vids. Do you watch old Earth vids? I like Blade Runner. And The Long Goodbye. And Die Hard. And Greenwich Beat, 2200.

We don’t get crime here quite like what Earth had, but being a policeman is still cooler than being a cloud miner. And I’d like to see Dirty Harry do his takedowns in the air.

I look forward to hearing from you, and hearing what it’s like on Mars, and what old Earth vids you like, and what cool things you do. Is your Mom or Dad a policeman?

Sam Dekker

# # #

Viking 7 Grammar School, Utopia Planitia Biosphere 7, Mars.
March 31, 2316

Dear Sam,

How do you do? My name is Pandora…


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