Conquering Red Rock, by Linda Burnett

Critical Commentary: My science fiction influences owe much to popular television and film – more ‘Third Rock from the Sun (1996-2001) and ‘Lost in Space’ (1965-68) than Isaac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke – and my fascination with recent moves to explore the limits of space travel, particularly by vastly rich private citizens, whose motives and progress I follow with some scepticism.  I read with interest that ‘Mars is one of Earth’s closest habitable neighbors’ (Mars and Beyond: The Road to Making Humanity Multiplanetary,  

While not detracting from the thrilling vision of this ambitious project and the courage of those willing to participate in its execution, the tone and shape of this poem may suggest some of my concerns for the motivation of those driving this exploration.

Yorkshire-born former teacher, Linda Burnett lives in Nottinghamshire and has just completed an MA in Creative Writing at York St John University. She has had several poems published online and in anthologies and recently won the Walter Swan Poetry Prize 2021 at the Ilkley Literature Festival.