One night as they were falling asleep Nadia said curiously, “Why me?”
“Huhn?” He had been almost asleep.
“I said, why me? I mean, Arkady Nikelyovich, you could have loved any of the women here, and they would have loved you back. You could have had Maya if you wanted.”
He snorted. “I could have had Maya! Oh my! I could have had the joy of Maya Katarina! Just like Frank and John!” He snorted, and they both laughed out loud. “How could I have passed on such joy! Silly me!” He giggled until she punched him.
“All right, all right. One of the others then, the beautiful ones, Janet or Ursula or Samantha.”
“Come on,” he said. He propped himself up on an elbow to look at her. “You really don’t know what beauty is, do you?”
“I certainly do,” Nadia said mulishly.
Arkady ignored her and said, “Beauty is power and elegance, right action, form fitting function, intelligence, and reasonability. And very often,” he grinned and pushed at her belly, “expressed in curves.”
“Curves I’ve got,” Nadia said, pushing his hand away.
He leaned forward and tried to bite her breast, but she dodged him.
“Beauty is what you are, Nadezhda Francine. By these criteria you are queen of Mars.”
“Princess of Mars,” she corrected absently, thinking it over.
“Yes that’s right. Nadezhda Francine Cherneshevsky, the nine-fingered Princess of Mars.”
“You’re not a conventional man.”
“No!” He hooted. “I never claimed to be! Except before certain selection committees of course. A conventional man! Ah, ha ha ha ha ha!—the conventional men get Maya. That is their reward.” And he laughed like a wild man.
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, Pg 168
I’m nowhere near finishing this book yet and there has already been many Epic Quotes, but I thought this one was most fitting for both its reference to Edgar Rice Burrows’ A Princess of Mars and because it shows a warmer side of Science Fiction which Stumbling has apparently not seen enough of.
Red Mars has been really dense and really good. It’s too bad I won’t be writing a review for it because it really deserves it. It is the story of the colonization of Mars. It has all the good, the bad, the technical, the harrowing and the heart-warming aspects of the task. Check this one out!