It all began thirty years ago on Mars, with a greenperson. But by the time it all finished, the town of Desolation Road had experienced every conceivable abnormality; from Adam Black’s Wonderful Travelling Chautauqua and Educational ’Stravaganza (complete with its very own captive angel), to the Astounding Tatterdemalion Air Bazaar.
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Taking place in the kaleidoscopic future of Ian McDonald's Desolation Road, Ares Express is set on a terraformed Mars where fusion-powered locomotives run along the network of rails that is the planet's circulatory system and artificial intelligences reconfigure reality billions of times each second. One young woman, Sweetness Octave Glorious-Honeybun Asiim 12th, becomes the person upon whom the future—or futures—of Mars depends.