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The Complete Canal Priests Of Mars is now available!

The original publication of Canal Priests Of Mars cut slightly over a third of author Marcus L. Rowland's manuscript to fit GDW's adventure format. The Complete Canal Priests Of Mars restores the cut material, features all new artwork by Paul Daly, and adds many useful player handouts. Enjoy the "author's cut" of a classic Space 1889 adventure, or experience it for the first time!

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English Architecture on Mars


Why do I feel like I'm in Kenya?

by W.A. Edwards

as reported by Steve Whitmore

I came to Mars looking for romance and adventure as I am sure many of you did. What I did not expect to find was a collection of stone and mud buildings. They more closely resemble the mud huts of central Africa than the towering spires the great journalists had portrayed to me in their dispatches from their explorations. In reality, there are relatively few Martian "skyscrapers", and although the great spires that remain are magnificent to look at from a distance, up close all one sees is decay.

It is understandable that the Martians would live on the lower floors of their decaying buildings, as they are part of a dying civilization. Even their new buildings, what there are of them, are only two or three stories tall. But why do we English, the most advanced race in the universe, imitate this Martian practice of only building to two or three stories? It turns out the reason is eminently practical. As Sir Harrison March, a director of the Bank of England on Mars, told me, "In this heat there is no purpose served by making one walk up too many flights of stairs." After two years on Mars I find much validity to this argument, given the intense heat and the odd food that are part of everyday life. One might ask why do we not install lifts in buildings, thus allowing them to be constructed with additional stories? There is a very good reason for not following this course. A lift with all of its associated iron parts would be extremely expensive on Mars. Moreover, any lift would have to be guarded around the clock to prevent the pilfering of its iron parts.

There are two distinct types of English buildings on Mars. The first is the converted Martian building. It will have the thick stone walls that typify Martian construction. Typically, enterprising Englishmen have converted Martian spires for their use by removing the upper floors. The impressive Savoy Hotel started as a decaying spire only to be converted to its present grandeur. The second type are those that were designed by Englishmen. Mostly these are private homes and very small commercial buildings. They most closely resemble those one would find in Nairobi. Typical of this style is the home of Thomas Throckmorton. The Throckmorton home, where this author has dined often, is a spacious two story stone affair with a veranda that surrounds the entire building. Providing shade and air, the verandas furnish a cool place to gather with friends in the evening. This brings the parlor outdoors making for a distinct lack of privacy, unless the owner has a walled enclosure, a rarity on Mars as it would block out any cooling breezes. Though utilitarian, this style of building does have a certain colonial charm.

Unfortunately, Government and commercial buildings lack even the rustic charm of the common private home. English architects have designed the most atrocious collection of buildings. The worst offender is Bedford Gardens, the Colonial Office buildings. It is claimed that the architects wanted to build an intimidating group of buildings. Instead they created structures more suited to a prison than the majesty of the Englishman. In this author's opinion there is only one section of Syrtis Major that is worthy of being called English. If you walk down Baker Street in the Legation Compound you will find a small piece of London. The atmosphere is made complete by the up-to-date town homes and English shops. The only other style that seems to have any merit are those houses built like those found in Kingston. They are stucco affairs with many terraces and a central courtyard or atrium. These houses allow for outdoor living with privacy in the inner city, but tend to be very hot in the summer.

There is as yet no distinctly Anglo-Martian blend of architecture as there is an Anglo-Indian style. One can only hope that in the future there will arise some genius to improve upon the plebeian structures one sees in the Martian Crown Colony today.

Samples of European Housing In East Africa

Europeans in Uganda live in low houses of the bungalow type, built of plastered mud or native brick. Usually there are spaces between walls and roof for better ventilation.

This hospital in Dar-es-Salaam is one of the finest and most completely equiped in German East Africa. Note the high raised roof and generous windows on the wing on the left hand side. Both are features to aid in cooling.

Colonial Offices in in Dar-es-Salaam in German East Africa. The large slots below the eaves allow warm air to escape and result in better cooling. These slots are a feature also commonly found on Mars.

Posted Monday, 04-May-2009 19:49:07 EDT

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