Copyright 2000 by
I first read this on the 8th December 2001.
Commander John Radkowski, his crew Ryan Martin, Tana Jackson, Estela
Conselheiro, Chamlong Limpigomolchai and lottery-winner Trevor Whitman
have finally arrived on Mars. Theirs is the third manned landing,
and they sincerely hope, the first successful return. The crews of
the earlier two vessels perished and failed to return to Earth.
But things go wrong right from the touch-down, and in the end, our
heroes have to trek across most of Mars in a desperate attempt
to reach a place of safety. The distances are immense, the dangers are
largely unknown and their equipment is failing and cannot be repaired.
This first novel by NASA scientist Geoffrey A. Landis is rather good.
I picked it up from trusty old Jena Books and had a thoroughly
enjoyable Friday reading it.
As their tortuous trek progresses across the Red Planet, their
personalities unfold through their interplay with their fellow
astronauts, and their histories are revealed through flashbacks to their
lives on Earth. The technique's a little formal, but you do begin to
think of these brave souls as real characters.
It's an engrossing read but all that walking almost made me reconsider
my (unlikely to be realised) ambition to be an astronaut.
Loaded on the 10th December 2001.