Many thanks to Doug Bell, Kerry Gans, Kayla Haloupek, Nicole Haloupek, Nancy Robinson Masters, Chuck Quintero and Judee Reel, for reading the book at various stages of development, and making numerous corrections and suggestions for improvement. Any mistakes that remain are, of course, my bads!
To the reader: This book represents hundreds of hours of work, and it’s offered at a pretty low price, so please don’t email free copies to your friends. Instead, I ask you to send them the link, so they can pay the small fee and download it themselves. It’s not just the money. I would really like to see the number of copies sold go up. Thank you.
Another note to the reader: the long surnames may look imposing, but don’t worry. There are no two characters with the same first name, so you don’t have to remember the surnames. They are just decoration!
The main character is named after my great-great-grandfather, Matej Chaloupek (1808-1888), who lived in Bohemia. The e in Matej is supposed to have an accent mark over it. I took that out because it is messed up in some of the ebook formats. Matej rhymes approximately with hot-yay, but the t is a little different.
Our hero is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Mars, in the 35th Century. He witnesses a terrorist act, and gets caught up in a mission to save half a billion people, taking him and his friends all over the solar system. Along the way, he visits a variety of spaceships and stations, and learns about robotics, genealogy, mining, epidemiology, cryptography and bomb making.
In the 35th Century, warfare, disease and famine are still with us. Humanity is exploding toward the stars, in all directions. Each colony is a grand social and biological experiment, with the highest of stakes.
The characters are complex and interesting! They express their opinions on education, politics, science, history and morality. The heroes risk their lives for a great cause, and not all survive.