The Colonisation of Mars

Rated 4.67/5 based on 3 reviews
Warning! This book is not for those younger than 55. It is about a one way trip to Mars in 2040 by 150 senior, 'expendable' scientists to finally establish a permanent Martian colony. It is a book about loss, about regret, about being the last human on Mars and serves as a cautionary tale to Mars astronaut wannabes. More
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About Larry Richardson

TCOM1 was written for the most part while the author was traveling and working in the Canadian Arctic during 2006-2011 and has been edited often since then (as recently as 2018) to keep abreast of developments in the exploration of Mars and to 'fix' some story lines (George Lucas did it!). The author's experiences as a technician, technologist, Military Officer, Project Manager and late-to-the fold Pink Floyd/Roger Waters and melodic techno music fan have greatly influenced the two TCOM books. He is still a consultant to the Defense Communications Industry and still travels frequently to the Canadian Arctic, in all seasons.

TCOM2 continues the story of Sam Aiken on Mars. It was written between 2011 and 2018 and underwent many changes in that time that made it less in the style of TCOM1 and turned it into something else. Maybe after he's read it fifty or so times the author will understand it. It does answer many of the questions left unanswered in TCOM1 (some intentionally, some not) but it is not the same in terms of pacing and the attempt to mimic classic sci-fi of the nineteen thirties, forties and fifties (although there is some of that too). Music influenced the writing of TCOM1 in some ways, mostly subtly. Music is present in TCOM2, for a different reason.

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Review by: fixitmanarizona on Feb. 9, 2019 :
Well written, thoughtful, original, and engaging novel. Unlike some stories on Smashwords, it's definitely not "fan fiction" but edited properly! This is high praise from someone who has a Journalism degree and spots every typo, grammatical error, misplaced comma, and every misused word. (And I think I just misplaced a comma...)
There are quite a few surprises in this novel, or if you'd like, plot twists. Read it for yourself if you're interested in "space opera" or "hard science fiction!" The characters (including the AI's) are well done and believable. I haven't checked the technical accuracy of the places and missions mentioned, however, this is fiction, and could well be set in another universe for all we know, so that is not important anyway. It still remains believable, either way.
(review of free book)
Review by: Richard Lung on Aug. 6, 2017 : (no rating)
The Colonisation of Mars
Larry William Richardson.

The author spent much of his working life in arctic Canada, which must be a head start for imagining the Martian tundra. Much of this SF novel is about the narrative characters roaming thereon. This makes for a lonely story, but that suited me, as I am a lonely story.

The plot hinges on actual plans for superannuated scientists to be shipped on a one-way voyage to Mars. The author is skeptical about the old-timers having much exploratory drive left. Apparently, once you’ve been out on the sands of Mars, you’ve seen it all. And the residents prefer to stay put in their Mars dome. However, the narrator is relatively young, younger than me, tho that’s not saying much. And he prefers the roving solitude of a computerised no-comforts-spared moon buggy.

The Martian geography is spiced up a bit by frequent encounters with Martian space junk, real and imaginary, in the shape of secret high-risk hapless voyages from earth. These scenarios are totally unbelievable yet they work. It is rather as if we are reading SF, over the decades, telescoped into one novel. These forlorn expeditions emphasise that the Martian desert is deserted.

Indeed, the narrative interacts increasingly, not with humans but with artificial intelligence. In an off-earth culture of unfettered innovation, they become the genies of the Arabian Nights working their magic, making the cavernous volcanoes of Mars habitable, and ultimately providing habitation to replace the human body before death, if in a somewhat limited form. As this book is the first in a series, however, it may be that better things are to come, in the realms of the authors imagination.
(review of free book)
Review by: Hannes Birnbacher on March 26, 2015 :
Epic, witty, entertaining novel. Somewhat daunting: the story is even realistic, as a view into the future.
Definitively more interesting than the naive Heinlein or Bradbury stories of a past age.
(review of free book)
Review by: Claude Jones on April 8, 2012 :
Always fasinated by anything Mars, I found TCOM to be on par with the best of efforts. I started reading on a Saturday afternoon,stopping when I could no longer prevent sleep. Continuing the next day, I finished that afternoon. Somewhere that first day my psysic became in sync with Sam. For the better part of those two days, I was on Mars, traveling, thinking and wordering. How could I be on Mars and not explore? How could I end, how could I leave? The answer was not a choice, but the next step. As the last page was read, it was right.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)

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