Mars trilogy glossary

Glossary of terms and concepts used in the Mars trilogy.

For a list of groups, organizations and political parties see here.


Accelerando: the new renaissance at the end of the 22nd century.

Aerobraking: a manoeuvre to decelerate spacecraft when they enter a planetary body's orbit by flying the craft in close proximity of the planet's atmosphere. The resulting air friction reduces the craft's speed. "Aero-" is Greek for air.

Areoformation: term first used by John Boone to describe the process by which humans are changed by Mars after their arrival on the planet. Portmanteau of "Ares" (Greek for Mars) and "transformation". As opposed to terraformation.

Areology: the study of Mars, or Martian geology. Areological eras:

  • Noachian (planet formation and Big Hit)
  • Hesperian (warm and wet)
  • Amazonian (cold and windy)
  • Holocene (inhabited period)

First three eras named after Martian regions; holocene (meaning "entirely new" in Greek) is also the current geological period for Earth.


Ares: meaning "Mars" in Greek. The prefix "areo-" is added to many words to designate their special use on Mars, often replacing the prefix "geo-" for Earth ("areosynchronous orbit", "areology").

  • The Ares: The spaceship the First Hundred used to travel to Mars. Main article.

Amor asteroid: water/ice asteroids.

  • Asteroid Amor 2051B: the asteroid that was moved into Mars space and melt over Mars's atmosphere in M-15, during the festivity in Crater Zp (Olympus Mons).

Astroturf: artificial ground used to cover Martian terrain in the early domed cities.

Ataturkism: political ideology named after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938), the first president of Turkey after the Ottoman Empire, who introduced many dramatic reforms seeking to secularize Turkey and emphasize European culture over that of the former Ottoman Empire. John Boone's vision of a novel indigenous Martian culture created out of the Terran cultures was accused by some to be a form of Ataturkism; in particular Arabs and Zeyk Tuqan feared that their culture would be attacked while others promoted.

Azania: ex-South Africa, after 2061.


Biotique: Praxis affiliate specialized in biological engineering that grew to a separate political party. Represented at the Pavonis constitutional congress. Sax Russell worked in it as Stephen Lindholm.

Bulkheads: molecule-thick clear curtains used to fix tent fabric punctures.


Clarke: Space station. Main article.

Common Band: radio frequency used by all colonists during suited off-tent walks.


Deimos: Mars's moon. Main article.

The Demimonde

Dome: A hollow hemisphere in architecture. In Martian settlements, a clear fabric of resistant material that is used to cover large surfaces in airtight pressurized bubbles.

Domed city: see Tented city.

Dorsa Brevia Conference: Main article.

Duma: branch of the Martian government established in the Pavonis Mons Congress constitution, named after its Russian counterpart. See Martian government.


Eco-economics: alternative economy system developed by Vlad Taneev and Marina Tokareva.

Ecopoesis: areobiospheres.


Executive council: branch of the Martian government established in the Pavonis Mons Congress constitution. See Martian government.


First Hundred Band: radio frequency exclusively used and known by the First Hundred.

First Martian Revolution: Main article.


Gift economy: supplementary economic system used in the Martian underground based on a nitrogen standard.

Global Environmental Court (GEC): branch of the Martian government established in the Pavonis Mons Congress constitution. See Martian government.

The Great Flood



Issei: meaning "first generation" in Japanese. Refers to the first generation of settlers on Mars, the original colonists, including the First Hundred.


The Journal of Areological Studies: respected scientific magazine with Red views. Its editorial board was represented at the Pavonis constitutional congress.


Ka: the name the legendary Martian natives. Main article.

Korea: appearently a union of both North & South into one country.


Longevity treatment: Main article.

Luna: Common name for the Moon, Earth's natural satellite.


M-year: a Martian year, which lasts 687 Terran days. See Martian calendar.

Mangalavid TV: the Martian Television. Based in South Fossa. Portmanteau of "Mangala" ("Mars" in Hindi) and Latin "video".

Mars: Main article.

Mars Treaty

Martian calendar: Main article.

Metanationals: private giga-corporations that became the new Terran order following the third World War. Main article.

Mohole: great cylindrical excavation, artificial shaft created for mining and thermal purposes. Main article.


Nisei: "second generation" in Japanese. Refers to the original colonists' children, the first generation of native Martians.

Novy Mir: Second Russian Space Station after Mir, in the beginning of the 21st century. Meaning "new world", or "new truth".

Novy Pravda: Russian media group, following the Soviet Pravda. Meaning "new truth".


Omegendorph: drug designed in Acheron by Vlad Taneev's medical group in the 2030-2040s. A synthetic mix of all the endorphins and opiates found in the brain's natural chemistry processed into capsules. Provide an analgesic effect and a sensation of well-being, the best feel-good drug imaginable. John Boone was a great consumer of omegendorphs to the point of addiction.

Ouroboros: Praxis affiliate specialized in resource recovery. Operated two large robots, the "Beasts", that reprocessed the material of the fallen cable of the first space elevator. Art Randolph used it as an entry to Mars from which he was contacted by the underground. Means "a being that eats its own tail" in Greek, a mythological snake.



Pavonis Mons Congress: Main article.

Phobos: Mars's moon. Main article.

Pulsed fusion: type of spaceship propulsion streamlined in the second half of the 22nd century. Spheres of deuterium and helium-3 of 1 cm of radius are struck by laser, implode, and are directed by electromagnetic field and mirrors outside of the reactor. The entire solar system became as big as 19th century Europe with the steam train in terms of travel times. This revolutionized space travel and allowed the Accelerando and travel outside the solar system.


Qahiran Mahjaris: Arab for "Martian Arabs". Represented at the Pavonis constitutional congress.


Rickover: type of a compact nuclear fission reactor developed by the United States Navy for use by the First Hundred on Mars, and later widely used in Martian settlements. It was presumably named after Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, who is commonly known as the father of the Nuclear Navy for his efforts to establish nuclear marine propulsion in Navy ships. Arkady Bogdanov was the most vocal against using the reactors, but the need for a greater energy supply and lack of another readily available source overrode any concerns of safety and aesthetics. The hidden colony at Zygote was eventually able to build their own Rickover, presumably with spare and stolen parts from the surface colonies.

Russell cocktail: cocktail of greenhouse gases that was instrumental in terraforming. First created by Sax Russell. Mainly based on fluoride derivates.


Sansei: "third generation" in Japanese. Refers to the original colonists' grand-children, the second generation of native Martians.

Second Martian Revolution: Main article.

Semantic rectangle: structuralist schema on which Michel Duval based a categorization of characters.

Senate: branch of the Martian government established in the Pavonis Mons Congress constitution. See Martian government.

Shikata ga nai: Japanese expression for "there is no other choice", phrase used by Hiroko Ai later often used among the First Hundred.

Solar Lens: floating lens concentrating sunlight on the Martian surface. See Soletta.

Solar system: Main article.

Soletta: large mirror focusing sunlight on Mars. Main article.

Space elevator: Main article.

Spasspolizei: In Mercury, Terminator's local law enforcement.


Tented city: form of city that was common in the 21st century.

Terra: common name for Earth. Main article.

Terraforming: the process of making a planet Earth-like. Main article.

Third Martian Revolution: Main article.

Timeslip: the time period between 12:00 am and 12:01 am Martian time, lasting some 39 min 40 sec. This is a convention so that a Martian day, which lasts that much longer than a Terran day, can be timed with the 24-hour Terran system. Named after Philip K. Dick's novel "The Martian Time-Slip" (1964). See Martian calendar.

Transnationals: giant private corporations that ruled the Earth economy during most of the 21st century (often shortened to 'transnats'). Main article.



Vega: presumably an asteroid brought in Martian orbit to serve as a communications satellite prior to 2061.

Viriditas: meaning "greening force" in Latin. Basic concept of Areophany.


Werteswandel: meaning "mutation of values" in German. Term used by the Martians after the Second Martian Revolution.

World Court: Organization resembling the UNO, essentially initiated by Praxis after the Great Flood of 2126. Aims at solving problems between metanationals. Faintly respected or recognized as legitimate by the other metanationals.

World War Three



Yonsei: "fourth generation" in Japanese. Refers to the original colonists' great-grand-children, the third generation of native Martians.