A pretty spiffy sci fi about Mars. MARS, people, MARS. I do so love books about Mars. OK, so it’s not quite as good as Weir’s The Martian, but darn good in its own right.
Following a rapid expansion of the manned space program due to the discovery of a potentially catastrophic Earth-crossing comet, Zubrin Base has been established on the Red Planet to oversee the capture of the rogue object. During final preparations for a second expedition, however, contact has been lost with the outpost. Pilot Seth Boaz finds himself re-tasked for a rescue mission.
OK, I lifted that from the basic plot blurb. Sometimes I am lazy. Other times I am even lazier.
This was a good hard sci fi tale. Realistic, if you feel that establishing a primitive settlement on Mars is realistic, lots of interesting stuff about biology, and chaos theory, and science-y stuff like that. While the crew are on their flight to the Mars base, they detect a kind of wave that seems to hit Mars. I admit to having kind of been distracted by the doorbell while reading this section, because I had it on audio text-to-speech while I was quilting, and forgot to hit pause, so it just droned on while I got the mail from the mailman and I didn’t bother to go back, because, as I said, lazy…..
When this second excusion gets to within viewing distance of Mars, they see that it has dramatically changed. The canals seem to have come alive with some kind of lights, there are clouds, there also seems to be no more red dust, the whole planet is covered in ….. something. An even closer inspection reveals a large clear area around the now silent base settlement, and the rest of the planet covered in what looks like water.
Seth and his female copilot take a four seater on special mission to investigate, and find …..
Hahaha. You thought I was going to tell you, didn’t you. Pfffft. Not a chance. Really good story, so if you are a Mars buff, or a sci fi reader, you will have to read this yourself.
Although it is a stand alone, more or less, it leaves a lot of leeway for additions to what is apparently intended as a series. The second is titled Night Work. I gotta snag me that next volume, because, let’s face it, Elon Musk is not going to get us to Mars for it to have much impact on my lifetime.
Side note: I really dislike the way we are scrunging up the language by turning nouns into verbs, especially when there are perfectly good verbs already. Like the word re-tasked. Tasked is bad enough, but to compound the sin with re-tasked just makes me want to sob.