Part two of my novella "Martian Chronicles" on Escape Pod: who cleans the toilets in libertopia?

Originally published at:



There’s no explanation of how a tiny pseudo-society, comprised of a thousand people or less, could have conjured up the complex manufacturing and supply chains necessary to create all these goods. This problem is made even worse by the fact that there seems to be no competition in the Gulch and only one person doing each job. This inevitably means that they’d suffer from a severe shortage of labor to power their manufacturing and agriculture, both of which are labor-intensive industries.

This, then, is Ayn Rand’s vision: the wealthy capitalists are served by robots that do their labor for them. This further drives home the point that Galt’s Gulch isn’t, and couldn’t be, a real society. It has a perfect climate, suitable for growing any crop, with no danger of bad weather or natural disasters. It has a limitless supply of energy, so its inhabitants never face any resource constraints. And it has robot laborers, so they can all live like lords and not have to do any of the tedious, backbreaking drudgery that a real economy requires. It’s a post-scarcity society like any other from science fiction

And if automation ever advances to the point where not everyone needs to work to fulfill everyone’s needs – as it seems it has in the Gulch – then we’d practically have to come up with something to replace capitalism, or else accept that millions of people would be surplus to requirements and would starve to death.


Reading the original book I remember my reaction (A lot of “Pull the other ones”) to Gaults Gulch requiring free energy from the get go.

Also the idea that … let me get this straight … Gault was digging up and smelting his own metals to build this place? This guy was living in minecraft.


I’m cleaning my toilet right now!

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Think of all those poor outside contractors and Imperial maintenance service workers who were killed when the Death Star was destroyed in “A New Hope”!!!

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Thanks, Cory. I went back and read Part 1. SO GOOD. Reading Part 2 tonight…(edit) Good stuff! Left me wanting more.

I’ll DEFINITELY look into this!

(I take it you’ve read Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy? Its social structures and politics are fascinating.)

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That series is new to me, but two Hugos, two Nebulas, and a Locus, oh my. I’ve put the first book on hold.

Believable terraforming science. Complicated heroes and villains. Martian/Terran politics. ENJOY!

(A mini-series (James Cameron early on) has been of off and on I think since 2008. I wouldn’t hold my breath for that, and I doubt one could capture the exquisite details.)

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