The Martian in the Wood

Year of publication: 2017

The Martian in the Wood

Stephen Baxter

Science fiction, Story

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Stephen Baxter THE MARTIAN IN THE WOOD For Robert Holdstock I I never saw Holmburgh Wood before it was destroyed. To help me imagine it, I have only the descriptions of Walter Jenkins, that notoriously unreliable narrator of the First Martian War, and Zena Gardner, who was at least an eyewitness to the events that led to the Wood’s burning. Holmburgh is in Sussex, in the south of England. This is old country, older in a sense even than the rest of our venerable island nation. For, you see, it always lay beyond the reach of the glaciers. Even at the height of the Ice Ages past, these southernmost counties were spared the grinding and bedrock-scraping suffered by more northern terrains. Holmburgh Wood in modern times was a tangle of tree species, of deciduous and evergreen mixed in together, that could not, of course, have survived in that form since the last warm interval between the returns of the ice. In the frozen desert south...

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