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Mariner Valley

A gang of desperate outlaws fleeing justice. An armed posse eager for revenge. A thrilling chase across the high desert wastelands...of Mars! This is the setting of James Crawford's Mariner Valley. The space-faring nations of Earth have established settlements on the surface of Mars, some separated by hundreds of miles, where advances in science and industry are the order of the day. But technologically advanced societies still have dirty jobs to be done, and the growing ranks of bored and restless workers breeds a growing crime problem. A high profile murder draws police officer Ben O'Ryan into the adventure of a lifetime. The killers have fled the American settlement at Chryse Planitia in a stolen military vehicle bound for the Russian base at Sinai Planum where they can get a flight back to Earth and safety. Ben's mission is to catch them before they get there and bring them to justice. With a hand picked team in five similar military vehicles, he sets off into a howling perihelic dust storm to pick up their trail. Compounding the difficulties of weather, terrain, and isolation, Ben must check a swelling tide of revenge among the officers, including his new love Beth Dailey, who seek vigilante justice for the killers, and threaten to expose a dark secret from Ben's past. Full of action, danger, and "makes-you-feel-like you've-been-there" details of Mars, the story drives hard to an explosive climax on the floor of the canyon system known as Mariner Valley. Indulge yourself in exotic adventure!
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About the Author

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.

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