James Crawford combines a background of engineering, planetary science, frontier history, and military tactics to bring this fast paced and highly accurate portrait of future settlements on Mars to life. He writes, "I grew up during the Apollo Mission heyday. Those were days of big dreams for America and the world and the possibilities of a permanent presence in space. Now 40 years later I look around and wonder what happened. We should have had a base on the Moon by now! We should have been to Mars and back at least once. The Space Shuttle Missions were a huge success, as are the ongoing missions to the International Space Station, but we've not voyaged out of Earth's orbit since the early 1970s. The unmanned missions to Mars, Venus, and the other planets and asteroids are yielding a treasure trove of knowledge, but when do we send people? All we lack is the will to do so." On the future of manned expeditions he says, "Commercial ventures will lead the way to the Moon and planets. Scientific endeavors are extremely important, but government bureaucrats and rank and file taxpayers tend to be fickle about where the money is spent. In the future scientific achievement will ride on the back of commercial venture. Profit, in one form or another, will propel our species to other worlds." "I write these stories to honor the scientists, engineers, and technicians who are working in all of the space programs. I also write to satisfy the desire of people like myself who long for our continued manned explorations to the Moon and planets. And, last but not least, I write to inspire a new generation to reach for the stars." James Crawford is also the author of Seed of Aldebaran and is currently working on a second novel about Ben O'Ryan and the Red Planet.