The Martian Chronicles – Chapter Sixteen

The Wilderness (May 2003/2034) It first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November 1952.

Two women, Janice Smith and Leonora Holmes, prepare to leave on a rocket to Mars, to find husbands or lovers waiting for them there. Janice muses on the terrors of space, drinks in last memories of the Earth she will soon be leaving, and compares her situation to that of the pioneer women of the 19th century American frontier.

This story only appears in the 1974 ion of The Martian Chronicles by The Heritage Press, the 1979 Bantam Books illustrated trade ion, and the 1997 ion of The Martian Chronicles. In its original form, the story was dated 2003, and this date is consistent with the other stories. As it seems in the 1997 ion, the date (together with all the other dates) has been shifted ahead 31 years, to May 2034.

Author: Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a full-time writer. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, to a career military father and stay at home mother. He lived in six states and attended eight different schools before graduating high school. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in English and Military Science from The University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Arts and Master of Religious Education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as the Doctor of Education degree. Before writing full-time, he worked as a US Army officer for 10-years, religious educator for 18-years, and as an IT software application engineer for over 20-years. He is a widower. He lives in North Texas with his cat Lacey.