I'm such an idjit! I've been going on for two weeks about my first novel, The Mars Imperative, and it just now hit me that in all that time I haven't bothered to tell anyone what the book's about. Why would anyone buy it? Sheesh. Okay, here goes.
It's the year 2174. With 30 billion people choking Planet Earth, civilization is near a breaking point. Too many cars, too many skyscrapers, too much of everything is straining Earth's ability to supply humanity with the raw materials needed to keep the machinery of civilization going.
The only way mankind can survive long term is to expand to the stars, but that's somewhere off in the future. Until then, we must find a way to mine the solar system for iron, copper, and the many other minerals needed in daily life. Thus far, Mars, Luna, and the asteroid belt are being explored and mined.
Enter James McKie, a 23-year-old recent graduate of the University of Manitoba with a degree in Areology (Martian geology), on his way to his first job in space. Starry-eyed, he looks forward to making his mark on the Red Planet. But first he has to survive the trip there. A mysterious fire aboard his ship is followed by a crisis on the giant space elevator high above Mars.
If he survives everything to get there, he still has to brave the perils of Mars itself: rock slides and planet-wide dust storms that leave the unwary traveling blind in red-out conditions, unable to find their way home before their oxygen runs out.
And then there's the terrorist....
In the end, there's an incredible discovery waiting to be made: the key to terraforming the planet for human habitation—if it doesn't kill everyone first.