Reading a story is a very situated act: Who you are and what you bring to the story will affect not only how you read the story but also the story itself. “You and Me and Mars” is a story told by an “I” to a “you”, and neither the “you” nor the “I” are given any gender in the opening lines. Yet when I read the line:
Or maybe you could have consulted me when you started to design the drones, considering that was my idea.
I, being a woman working in academia (and, further, a science-oriented part of it), immediately read the “I” as being female and the “you” as being male. It is strange how the set-up of the story makes me identify with the narrator instead of the narrator’s “you”. I am not sure why it is, but it provides an interesting experience reading the story. The narrator’s lack of understanding of what is happening bleeds over into my own lack of understanding. I am not quite sure where we are going, or why, or why I have been chosen for the journey.
The feeling persists throughout reading the story, the wonder of why the narrator is where she is and why her story is a story to tell. I reach the end, and I am still uncertain whether this story is supposed to be optimistic or not.