2.3 2070

The News

All the news, all the time.

3 January 2070

Press release

Quiz: What’s your ticket to Mars?

By Lauren Beukes

Ah, Mars, that russet interstellar paradise we mere mortals can only gaze up at in envy, through the blur of smog and light pollution and the white glare of the sulphur dioxide skein in the atmosphere. It’s a dream come true among the terraformed lava tubes, if you could only get there. Mars is a paradise for the lucky few who can afford it, but there are other ways to get a piece of that red life. Take our quiz to find out what Mars-specific job you’d be best suited for.

Pick a romantic Mars vacation spot:

  1. A rustic cabin on the ski slopes of Olympus Mons outside Lovelace One
  2. At the Hilton Honeycomb in Medusa Fossa, where the rooms have been carved from the lava tubes to resemble the strange rock formations
  3. At Sun International’s Tropica, an immaculate rain forest family resort with luxury cabanas, waterslides, nightlife and shopping
  4. A private Tuscan-style villa on the shore of the newly-filled-in Valles Marineris dam
  5. In a radiation-proof tent at the South Pole – bring on the adventure!

Pick a horror movie monster that genuinely frightens you:

  1. The killer clown
  2. Bodysnatching aliens
  3. Serial killer
  4. Zombies
  5. Evil dolls

If you had to stay on Earth, which corporate haven would you choose?

  1. Gatesville
  2. HSBC-Hariri
  3. The Republic of Jeff
  4. Kanye Island (Ukraine)
  5. Teslamerica

Choose one essential to take with you:

  1. A family keepsake
  2. A camera
  3. Your mom
  4. Your best party outfit
  5. A multitool

You get a Mars-appropriate genetically modified pet! What’s it going to be?

  1. A low-gravity dog
  2. A really exotic melange like a tigerslothtardigrade
  3. No animals, I’m allergic
  4. A racehorse
  5. Something I can eat if the going gets tough

Pick your Earth-favourite comfort food to eat on the long journey there:

  1. Mac and cheese
  2. Intravenous nutrition infusions – I want the full cosmonaut experience, please
  3. Dhal curry and grilled vegetables
  4. Real-fish sushi; it’s probably going to be the last time
  5. Barbeque – I want all that sweet protein

Finally, what’s your hidden talent?

  1. A robust immune system
  2. Unique artistic vision
  3. I’m nurturing
  4. I’m hot, sophisticated and charming AF
  5. Manipulating people

Mostly As: You’re healthy, physically fit, down to earth, practical, and definitely not the squeamish type. You’re perfect for a COHO, a concentrated organ-harvesting operation, which sounds a lot scarier than it is. You’ll be growing extra organs for transplant alongside your own, which can be harvested without (much) risk. But don’t think growing an extra liver means you can drink double the amount of alcohol. Because of the lower oxygen levels on Mars, you get drunk a lot quicker – and there’s the medical compact where you agree not to take any intoxicants during the growth period. You may be asked to trial new vaccines and medicines, though, which will put you on the cutting edge of scientific developments and saving rich people’s lives!

Mostly Bs: It turns out AI can make killer pop hits and write accessible thrillers, but it can’t (yet) create art that is surprising and profound on a human level. If you’ve got a special talent and a truly unique voice, you can apply to one of the Red Residencies which fly out performers, musicians, dancers, artists, sculptors, slam poets, and the occasional novelist to be inspired by life on Mars for anywhere from six months to two years. The truly exceptional may be granted permanent residency under the De Medici patronage programme, but you better be able to keep it fresh and stay ahead of artificial intelligence.

Mostly Cs: You’re warm and nurturing, healthy and of sound mind, and you don’t mind being pampered or told what to do. Hopefully you’re also still in your 20s and with a functional and healthy womb. Pregnancy surrogates are in hot demand on Mars, especially for older couples or women who don’t want to go through the rigours of incubating a human on a hostile planet and the toll it takes on your body, which can be severe. Most surrogates only last one pregnancy or possibly two before they’re shipped back to Earth, but there have been some special cases where the couple in question kept the surrogate on to be a live-in nanny.

Mostly Ds: You have a taste for the high life and your sights set on the stars. It helps that you’re young, beautiful, urbane and incredibly charismatic. You’re the ideal trophy spouse for a billionaire – if you can snag their eye. After all, there’s a lot of competition.

Mostly Es: You’re a hustler and a charmer and a schemer, able to outwit, outlast and outplay. Maybe you already made it to the final four on one of the Earth-bound seasons of Survivor, but this time you’re playing for real, for lifetime rights to a coveted spot in a Mars paradise zone.