If I was ever going to Mars, we better be way past "rockets" technologically as the means to get there... Once we've figured out how to make wormholes I'll consider a vacation there to hit up all the major tourist draws, until then there are plenty of weird enough places right here on Earth I can visit and do the same thing.
Just another Perl hooker - My clients appreciate that I keep my code clean but my comments dirty.
The book opens with a short section providing backstory. As part of the first mission to Mars, a team of astronauts exits their spacecraft for the first time, only to see another man standing there, connected to an air hose that leads through a wormhole to a laboratory in California. The wormhole generator's inventors, Nigel Sheldon and Ozzie Isaacs, chose to test it by beating the crew, by moments, to become the first humans to reach Mars. The saga then moves into the Commonwealth era in 2380, when humanity has used the wormhole technology to colonise several hundred planets across hundreds of light years.
Oh, and by the way, you travel from planet to planet through the wormholes by train, as does freight.
Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)
During the journey between Thulcandra (Earth, the “Silent Planet”) and Malacandra (Mars):
But Ransom, as time wore on, became aware of another and more spiritual cause for his progressive lightening and exultation of heart. A nightmare, long engendered in the modern mind by the mythology that follows in the wake of science, was falling off him. He had read of ‘Space’: at the back of his thinking for years had lurked the dismal fancy of the black, cold vacuity, the utter deadness, which was supposed to separate the worlds. He had not known how much it affected him till now—now that the very name ‘Space’ seemed a blasphemous libel for this empyrean ocean of radiance in which they swam. He could not call it ‘dead’; he felt life pouring into him from it every moment. How indeed should it be otherwise, since out of this ocean all the worlds and all their life had come? He had thought it barren: he now saw that it was the womb of worlds, whose blazing and innumerable offspring looked down nightly even upon the earth with so many eyes—and here, with how many more! No: Space was the wrong name.
The rockets set the bony meadows afire, turned rock to lava, turned wood to charcoal, transmitted water to steam, made sand and silica into green glass which lay like shattered mirrors reflecting the invasion, all about. The rockets came like drums, beating in the night. The rockets came like locusts, swarming and settling in blooms of rosy smoke. And from the rockets ran men with hammers in their hands to beat the strange world into a shape that was familiar to the eye, to bludgeon away all the strangeness, their mouths fringed with nails so they resembled steel-toothed carnivores, spitting them into their swift hands as they hammered up frame cottages and scuttled over roofs with shingles to blot out the eerie stars, and fit green shades to pull against the night...