I am writing a story promised to a theme anthology: teens on Mars. The restrictions are few, just that the story be SF, not fantasy, and that Earth has already established colonies on Mars. The time is from 100 to 1000 years from now. And I'm having difficulties.
Here is how I see it, and it would be great if someone out there can tell me where I'm going wrong: There are two alternatives. Either the story is basically character relationships, in which case it could probably just as well happen on a future Earth society. Or it concerns some specific aspect of the Martian environment, in which case I can't see how teenagers who grew up there are going to find it unusual or even interact with it significantly. Terraforming such as Kim Stanley Robinson did so magnificently in his Mars trilogy seems to me to take more space than I have in a short story. Teenagers do not make significant scientific discoveries, policy decisions, or explorations -- at least not in realistic stories. The adults in charge are not going to let sixteen-year-olds wander freely in such a hostile-to-humans environment.
I have finally come up with an idea for this story, but I'm uncertain about it. Earth is easier for me. Even space is easier. The Red Planet is hard.