The announcement today from NASA (broadcasting as I do from Huntsville, Alabama, NASA’s hometown, I always feel like cheering whenever they do something cool. “Yeah! Them are OUR boys!) that liquid water has been found on Mars has got me feeling all spacey. Horror geeks like me, though—or like US, I suppose I should say, as you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t also a mark for the genre—don’t tend to think in terms of STAR TREK when we think of the vastness of space. We first think of ALIEN or THE THING. Or maybe PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. (Or is that last one just me?)
The point is, space is pretty scary. One could go mad, in the truest Lovecraftian sense, if he or she were truly capable of grasping its sheer immenseness. Our brains just can’t handle such concepts. Then if we populate space with dead stars returned to life, or planet-sized vampires, or a world meeting all the physical requirements of Hell, it gets even scarier. And today, knowing that Mars has water and water is a key building block for life, it’s grown scarier yet. (A fact we Horror geeks will celebrate.) We’ve all seen WAR OF THE WORLDS, right?