Thursday, 13 April 2017
Alan Moore and Larry Niven each wrote a composite Mars inhabited by several races from different sf works. However, apart from these two exceptions, each Martian race - or set of races, e.g., ERB's greens, reds etc - exists in an alternative timeline. CS Lewis has one Mars (Malacandra) in a novel and another in a short story. "Ministering Angels" could have fitted into the Ransom Trilogy timeline if it had been set in a space station or Lunar base instead of on Mars. However, the Ransom narrative incorporates an alternative Earth in "The Dark Tower" so why not also an alternative Mars?
On reflection, the Old Phoenix seems like a very Terrocentric inter-cosmic inn even though the Taverner on one occasion speaks to shadowy sparkling beings. Could there be a Martian equivalent called, e.g., the Old Egg or the Original Egg since ERB's Martians hatch from eggs? If the Taverner was an Erbian green, then maybe another green could fight him to the death to run the inn? Anderson's colonists of Mars would be able to meet several alternative native Martians and learn the histories of the planet.