excerpts from

Red Mars

by Kim Stanley Robinson


edited by Thomas Gangale

from "Festival Night":

And then it was ringing midnight, and they were in the Martian time slip, the thirty-nine-and-a-half-minute gap between 12:00:00 and 12:00:01, when all the clocks went blank or stopped moving. This was how the first hundred had decided to reconcile Mars' slightly longer day with the twenty -four-hour clock, and the solution had proved oddly satisfactory. Every night to step for a while out of the flicking numbers, out of the remorseless sweep of the second hand ...

And tonight as the bells rang midnight, the whole city went mad. Almost forty minutes outside of time; it was bound to be the peak of the celebration, everyone knew that instinctively. Fireworks were going off, people were cheering; sirens tore through the sound, and the cheering redoubled.

from "The Crucible":