Joe Haldeman, a Vietnam veteran, has been writing sf for decades. Finally I came across this author and can say, that he invents fascinating, amiable and positive stories of a future that might be.
Here 18-year-old Carmen tells in first person about her travel to the human colony on Mars together with her scientist parents and her younger brother. She gets to know their pilot Paul and conveniently they fall in love, which makes the transition from earth to Mars a lot easier for her. And it is very refreshing to hear a sf- story reported by a young girl. She is bright, funny and totally respectless for her superiors and consequently gets into trouble most of the time.
When she ventures out of the station in the middle of the Martian night to explore on her own she falls into a cave, hurts her ankle and is prepared to die in the cold. But Martians come to her rescue and befriend her and the human colony. Red, the Martian leader and elder, is described in loving detail.
Members of both Martian colonies work together in a space station, specially designed to find out more about the other side.
Disaster is bound to happen, when the “Others”, the creators of the Martians, feel betrayed, planet earth is in danger of extinction.
A good, pleasantly optimistic read.