"Longtree played. His features relaxed into a gentle smile of happiness and his body turned a bright red orange."
There have been a number of interesting theories advanced about life on Mars, but few have equalled Charles Fritch's intriguing picture of the world of Longtree and Channeljumper in its infinite variations, tonal and thematic. The Mars of these two is an old culture, old and finite.
symphony almost completed, with just a faint tinge of red to denote that uncertain, cautious approach to the last note which had eluded him thus far.
He sat there unmoving for a while, and then he picked up his blowstring and fitted the mouthpiece between his thin lips. He blew into it softly and at the same time gently strummed the three strings stretching the length of the instrument. The note was a firm clear one which would have made any other musician proud.
But Longtree frowned, and at the disappointment his body flushed a dark green and began taking on a purple cast of anger. Hastily, he put down the blowstring and tried to think of something else. Slowly his normal color returned.
Across the nearest hill came his friend Channeljumper, striding on the long thin ungainly legs that had given him his name. His skin radiated a blissful orange.
A neatly executed story about culture clash between Earthmen and Martians. Very good characterization on the part of the Martians. Although I don't care for macabre endings, this one was appropriate to the Martian culture.
A Martian musician is stuck on his symphony--he can't get the ending right--when the space ship from Earth arrives. They can't talk to each other, but music is the universal language. . . .
A sardonic little story, with good characterization of the Martians.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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