Sergeants Ozzy Brooksand Al Shapiro take a week’s leave to travel across Mars from their base, to fulfil Brooks’s ambition of photographing Olympus Mons. The trip brings out the pair’s different characters, with Brook’s romanticism (when they spend the night on the floor of a giant ravine, he says: ‘wouldn’t this spot make a dramatic tomb?’) contrasted against Shapiro’s more practical nature.

I’m not sure what to make of this story: despite the closing twist of the protagonists’ fates, I can’t shake the feeling that there’s little else to the piece besides that contrast in personalities. I may be missing something; I hope I am.

Rating: ***

This is one of a series of posts on the anthology Not the Only Planet.