Fire in the Sky

Mars fascinates me. A long time ago I came across a book on Mars as we understood it in about 1950. There was a great deal of uncertainty, although Schiaparelli’s canals were known to be an artifact of imagination and his limited ability to see Mars from Earth.

In 1964 Mariner VII flew by Mars and gave us some real, high resolution (for the time) imagery of the red planet. The huge canyon on the equator of Mars is named Valles Marineris – Mariner Valley in honor of the mission.

I am writing a series of novels and short stories set in a Martian future that is only one of many possibilities. In my future the United Nations of Sol, successor organization of the United Nations, manages all activity in extraTerrene space. (Life on Mars)

The red planet is being terraformed under UNS auspices by a colony of immigrants from Earth. The immigrants go for all the usual reasons – opportunities they can’t or don’t find in Earth. The official rationale of the UNS is that terraforming Mars is a project funded by and uniting all humanity. With rising living standards on Earth from space-based mining and manufacturing, the population of Earth supports the effort. But within every broad story there are thousands of individual stories, and the human heart is a complicated organ. Drugs, bribery, black-market weapons, murder, rebellion, all are part of the human future.

Fire in the Sky is the first novel in the series, although Asteroid Gambit, the second novel in time sequence, is finished and Fire in the Sky is a WiP. Fire in the Sky tells of Wilcox Lafontaine, the entrepreneur who pioneered the use of nuclear warheads to move asteroids from the Belt to Earth. His new idea threatens the monopoly on Earth-crossing asteroids that is the core value of Orbital Resources, owned by Laurence Marsh. Marsh wants Lafontaine stopped – at any cost.

Fire in the Sky also introduces the Solar Express, an asteroid that follows the Aldrin Cycler orbit between Earth and Mars. It provides radiation protection and artificial gravity for travel between Earth and Mars. Estimated completion for Fire in the Sky is NaNoWriMo 2019.