Hereafter is a piece written by long-time marble maker Josh Simpson. It was published in the Southern California Marble Collectors Society Bulletin #4, dated February 24, 1986.
Holding one of my planets in your hand, you must imagine what it was like for Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise to break after light years of travel into orbit around a warm, lush world teeming with life. There are limitless possibilities on each planet, some have spectacular landscapes and incredibly colored terrain and atmosphere. Most "M" type worlds (those with warm climates and oxygen rich air) do have rudimentary forms of life, but it is diffficult in most cases to be able to ascertain whether or not there is intelligent life.
Looking down at the world in your hand you can usually see swirling clouds and whole global weather systems. Often there are mountain ranges and huge oceans visible. Intergalactic geological specialists can sometimes determine what minerals of exploitable quantity exist just by the surface color of the planet!
Every once in a great while you may come upon a world that clearly bears evidence that it is inhabited by a sentient species...a sure sign is something in orbit, or a construction on the surface that is too regular to have occured naturally. There is no way to ever know with certainty with what purpose these sometimes enormous configurations have been built. Many believe that tall structures on the surface are huge walled cities with millions of inhabitants. Geo-syncronous communications satellites and even intergalactic spaceships can sometimes be observed circling a world.
Note: Josh is a gifted artist. To see what I mean, visit his website by CLICKING HERE.