by Annie Stein
Welcome to Solaris, traveller! Let me get you up to speed.
Solaris is a soft science fiction webcomic set in our own universe, kind of. Learn more by continuing to read, or click here to be taken to the comic.
Q:Where am I?   You're still in the system known as Sol. Except this time each planet is habitable and developed its own life. The people are humanoid, mostly.
Q:I heard something about a comic?   Oh yes! The main comic is still in development, but you can read the first few pages of Little Blue if you click here.  
Q:What's going on?   Sol is invading. The resentful sun sends its angelic armies: the Scourge. For now, they're being held back at Mercury by Penumbra.
by Annie Stein
Mars is a planet of great contrast, from the colourful padi fields to the monochrome cities that stretch up towards the skies. Its two oft-forgotten moons, Phobos and Deimos, are easy to miss among the sea of glittering space stations and massive arcologies occupying low Martian orbit. Previously the rural backwater of the Sol System, its inhabitants believe they have forged today's technologically advanced Mars through the power of rationalism and meritocracy.  

It starts in the Fields

  In the early age of spacefaring Mars was seen as the rural backwaters of the Inner World. Mars was a pastoral wonder with the shelves of bright cyan padi fields carved into the red-rock hillside. Today it exists mostly in old imagery, and any old-school farms are supported by tourism rather than the sales of their product. The real agriculture of Mars comes from vast fields of monocrops. Automation handles every step of the growth, from sowing, harvesting and packaging. The agricultural revolution not only freed up the workforce of Mars, but was the first step towards Mars' future technological leaps.
Padi Fields of Mars by Annie Stein

To the Skies and Beyond

  Today Mars is synonymous with it's hypermodern cities. Architectural triumphs dot the red deserts. In their shadows are vast stretches of suburbia, red clay houses and cheap prefabs.   For the hyperrich who don't even want to look out over the plebian masses they built their wealth off, Arcologies become the perfect escape. These satellite cities orbit the small red planet, leashed by the tethers of their Gateway Portals.
"Nature" walk in a Martian Arcology by Annie Stein

Wetware and Dryware

  The Martian decision to recognize synthetic sentience, extending the full rights of legal personhood to robots and AI who passed the turing tests, was controversial at the time. At the time there was outcry about how it was little more than political maneuvering, an attempt to destablize nations and planets reliant on cheap robotic labour, or a ploy to subvert labour laws restricting certain jobs to people. Fear mongering continues, pitting wetware and dryware against eachother. As more and more of the robotic population are granted full rights, the flesh and blood humanoids of Mars are now beginning to find themselves outnumbered. Many welcome their synthetic fellow men, but some are less than pleased.
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This article is a stub . It will be expanded upon later.


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Eternal Sage MandoMc
Amanda McRoberts
14 Dec, 2022 21:43

On the crops, did you mean to mention Mercury? "The real agriculture of Mercury"   Love that there are tests to determine if an AI is sentient or not

Grandmaster nnie
Annie Stein
14 Dec, 2022 21:48

Whoops! Yeah, no, that was definitely meant to be Mars, thanks for letting me know! And yes, I imagine their tests are a bit different to our own. Access is still a big issue with them though, a lot of robots and AI who might pass are never given the opportunity to get tested.

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Master PrincessESH
Aster Blackwell
15 Dec, 2022 03:20

Mars seems like a very guilded place. Gorgeous on the surface, but... something is lurking beneath.

Grandmaster nnie
Annie Stein
15 Dec, 2022 09:29

Thank you! I'd say that's a fairly astute observation, yes.

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
20 Dec, 2022 21:39

Lovely article! The artwork is amazing as usual! It's sad to hear that most of the padi fields are gone, and that they are only used for tourism now D:

I hope you have a great day!   My most recent article!
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Grandmaster nnie
Annie Stein
20 Dec, 2022 21:50

Thank you! Yeah, they can make it a lot more efficiently with modern tech. At least a few fields do remain, and someone is keeping the traditional methods alive.

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
1 Jan, 2023 16:17

We stan the robot rights planet

welcome to my signature! check out istralar!
Grandmaster nnie
Annie Stein
1 Jan, 2023 17:34

We should give robots rights here too! and stickers!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!