an old man. He and his wife Anna have moved to Mars to retire. They miss their son Tom, who died of pneumonia as a boy. When the Martian Tom arrives, quickly guesses the truth, but he doesn't want to tell his wife, as it would hurt her deeply.
skeptical about the return of Earthian colonizers to their home planet. Friend and customer of the luggage store proprietor.
prepare to depart on a rocket to Mars, to find husbands or lovers waiting for them there. Janice muses on the terrors of space, drinks in last memories of the Earth she will soon be leaving, and compares her situation to that of the pioneer women of the 19th century American frontier
member of the fourth expedition, is the opposite of Spender. He is eager to conquer the Martian landscape;enjoys shooting out the windows of Martian ruins, for which Captain Wilder knocks out his teeth. After settlement begins in earnest, he leaves the military and opens a hot dog stand just in time for Mars to be evacuated. He is a violent, careless man.
A very rich man; lover of fantasy authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, H. P. Lovecraft, and Lewis Carroll. These authors are banned on Earth, and his library is destroyed. He is bitter.
the leader of the third expedition. When his rocket lands in a quaint American town, he is very suspicious, but his men convince him to explore. He is charmed to see his family, but guesses that it is a trick, although he is too late.
a simple man; comes to Mars to be a laborer, but almost has to return because the oxygen is too thin for him. As a result, he decides to plant trees all over Mars to create oxygen.
a good leader, the captain of the fourth expedition; wants to let his men relax and have a party, yet he understands why Spender wishes they would be more dignified; half-agrees with Spender, and after his death tries to help preserve Mars. For this reason, Parkhill thinks, Wilder is sent off to explore Jupiter and Pluto; returns to a desolated Mars, where he finds Hathaway living with a family of robots
physician and geologist for the fourth expedition. He and his family do not leave Mars when the war starts on Earth. When the rest of his family dies and he is completely alone, he builds robot replicas of his dead family members.
lives in the mountains and does not realize that Mars has been evacuated because of the war on Earth. He is a simple, polite man. He desperately wants a female companion.
a clever man, the leader of the second expedition; quickly realizes that he and his three men have been placed in an insane asylum
archaeologist for the fourth expedition; reveres Mars and quickly leaves the crew to explore the planet by himself; learns to read Martian. Finally; decides that he should kill off the crew in an effort to preserve Mars; kills several, including Cheroke, but doesn't have the heart to finish; speaks for a long time to Wilder of how impossible it will be to protect Mars from government and corporate interests.
Dad's eldest son; seems to be around thirteen years old takes responsibility as example-setter to his younger brothers very seriously; understands that there is something "strange" about this picnic on Mars, and is automatically willing to help his father make it easier for his brothers
early settler; is poetic when he thinks to himself, and has a winning smile that he uses to greet Muhe Ca