So, with three eye-rolling daughters, and a couple of waifs and strays living with her, she opens a bar, where she serves the worst sludge you ever tasted, but it’s the closest you are going to come to beer on the red planet. She has an allotment given to her by the BAC (that’s the British imperialists in charge), which is nothing but dust and rubble and will barely grow the barley (see what I did there?) needed to brew the …. and I use the term loosely ….. beer.
Things are going from worst to worster when she digs up some clay from her allotment thinking maybe they can fashion something to sell to the tourists, and find in the bottom of the can, a HUGE diamond. Huge.
Do her fortunes turn? Yes and no. Is the ending the best since the opening of The Wizard of Oz? Absolutely.
The Empress of Mars is the name of the bar. As we are told:
There were three Empresses of Mars.
The first one was a bar at the Settlement. The second was the lady who ran the bar; though her title was sticktly informal, having been estowed on her by the regular customers, and her domain extended no further than the pleasantly gloomy walls of the only place you could get beer on the Tharsis Bulge.
The third one was the Queen of England.
A fun, perky novella sure to suit Mars-o-philes like me, and anyone who likes a chuckle now and then while swilling a pint of their favorite artesanal brew.