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The Earth-Mars Chronicles Book Series

The Earth-Mars Chronicles is proud to be the first U.S. sponsor of Mars One. A portion of the proceeds from each book sold goes to support this bold plan to put humanity on Mars in 2025!

Welcome to the Earth-Mars website! Like The Earth-Mars Chronicles books themselves, this site is a work in progress, so check back often. This is an attempt to write stories about real people and real life living on another planet.

A lifetime fan, Volume 1 of The Earth-Mars Chronicles is my first foray into science fiction, though I have written several technical papers and articles over the past 50 years. Please visit the Bio section for more info on me, and feel free to drop me a line with any questions or comments.
 

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The Earth-Mars Chronicles, Vol. 1 - Hope For Humanity

The birthplace of the human race is facing cataclysm and humanity will perish. Does the race that calls Earth home have the vision, the determination, the know-how to evolve into the space-faring species that it must become in order to survive?

Ordinary people are faced with extraordinary choices – some hesitate, some succumb to personal ambition, some choose belief over science, and some simply give up. To those who cling to a vision of humans as more than an Earth-bound species, Mars provides hope for all – a new home and a haven. It has beckoned for decades, but as of 2045 only robots have visited the Red Planet. Now Mars has become the key to survival, but it may be too late.

Hope for Humanity is the first book in The Earth-Mars Chronicles, the story of the struggle of humanity with itself when faced with survival as a species. Are we capable of sacrificing individual ambition for the continuation of the race? Can we become a global community and accomplish greatness in a time of great peril? And most importantly, can we become the children of both Earth and Mars to save humanity?

     
   

Prologue

"Human exploration is still decades away despite optimism when the Apollo program ended in the early 1970s that Mars exploration would soon follow. The technical difficulties of getting people to Mars and back, while challenging, are not overwhelming. The main difficulty has been in coming up with a compelling rationale that would justify the tremendous costs and risks. Advocates have argued that exploring Mars and extending human reach beyond Earth-Moon space needs no practical rationale; to explore is an essential part of being human. Others have argued that practical benefits such as economic stimulus, scientific discovery, and technology feedback would result. Nevertheless, despite numerous strong advocates, human exploration of Mars now seems farther from reality than in the 1970s."
<click here for more prologue>

Chapter 1, First Observation

Rolf was slightly startled at the soft chime from his computer. In over six years of scheduling time on various telescopes to conduct his searches, he had only heard that sound twice before. Both had been false alarms. His hopes swelled. His brain said, "Probably another false alarm," but his pulse began to race a little. He sat down at the old wooden desk that was one of the few pieces of furniture in his meager apartment and keyed the display to life, immediately switching from 3D to 2D mode. He set the temple contacts in place over his head and commanded a display of the frames of superimposed data that had set off the alert.

And there it was. The short string of pixels that constituted something reflecting or emitting light in the 300-700 nanometer bands and without the relative motion of a star or planet. A few years ago it would have shown up as a single dim pixel, raising more questions than answers. Major advances in imaging sensitivity and resolution, coupled with signal processing and image analysis, made it possible to extract data beyond what was once held as "theoretical limits." However, Rolf needed a second recording consistent with the first before he could approach one of his volunteer colleagues for independent verification. He always scheduled three consecutive nights of observation to cover such contingencies, so tomorrow night would tell the tale. There was a lot to do before then.

He dug into the fundamental data, looking at every detail; non-uniformity corrections, uncorrected and processed signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), regression analysis on all surrounding pixels, and everything else he could think of. Everything checked out. He hardly slept the rest of the night, waiting for his time on the telescope to come. He marveled that he could sit in his little apartment in Sweden and have real time access to a first-class telescope a quarter of the planet away via a link connection with near infinite bandwidth. That was an exaggeration, of course, but the access to everything was so nearly instantaneous that the concept of bandwidth was pretty much meaningless...

Click here to read Chapter 1 of "The Earth-Mars Chronicles, Vol. 1 - Hope For Humanity"
 

     
 



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The Earth-Mars Chronicles, Vol. 2 - Home For Humanity

When humanities very existence is threatened a bold plan to preserve the human race and the history of civilization is put in motion. Volume 1 described the human drama surrounding how hope evolved. In Volume 2 people from many countries and backgrounds come together to start a new life, but Mars is unforgiving and the political ties to Earth are difficult to break. Resolve is tested to the limit in the face of human frailty and the use of technology for evil purposes. Innovation and ingenuity become the Martian’s only hope to survive. You can almost smell the dust… and hear the babies cry.

Prologue

Prelude to Mars Settlement: An Overview

In our day and age it has already become commonplace for the world citizenry to take the populating of Mars as a fait accompli even though the first Settlers have yet to set foot on the dusty surface of the red planet and opposition to the undertaking is not inconsequential. It is difficult for many to comprehend the magnitude of change and accomplishment in the last decade. This Netlinkopedia entry provides a very brief synopsis, and the reader is encouraged to pursue the many references for more detailed discussions.

The Era Before Rolf’s Rock

The turbulent space-age period between 1970 and 2045 is regarded by many as “the 75 years of decline” when humanity slowly descended into the human space flight “dark ages.” This was brought on by a series of economic disasters, wars, nuclear confrontations and a general failure of public and political will to invest in humanity’s future as a space faring species. An excellent albeit brief treatment of this 75-year period can be found at: “A Brief Assessment of Space Activities:
1970 – 2045” Netlinkopedia. NetLinkO nlc. Web. 21 Dec. 2046
http://nlw.netlinkopedia.npu/humanspace

A Synopsis of Events in 2045 and 2046

The discovery by the renowned astrophysicist Dr. Rolf Lundgren in 2045 of a large object coming from interstellar space on a possible collision course with the Earth represents a pivotal point in human history. Although the popularly designated “Rolf’s Rock” did not strike the Earth, many of the horde of objects that accompanied it did, resulting in wide spread destruction in the northern hemisphere. Even after ten years of intense study of the massive amounts of data collected before, during and after the bombardment, there is no consensus of opinion on where the objects formed and why they were on an Earth-intersecting trajectory. The most widely accepted view seems to be that a vast “cloud” of proto-planet material was passing through the solar system and one accumulation happened to pay the Earth a visit. Evidence of widely spaced objects and conglomerates of objects were found in some deep space observer data files after the fact. Although this may answer the “what” it does not answer the “why” or “how.” 
<click here for more prologue>

Chapter 1, Arrival 2057

Their Mars landing craft had to do it the hard way. Jerry Dean knew that it would be easier for the Settlers who would follow, when fuel was plentiful and the new generation of habitat landing craft was available.
But now it was hard.

Jerry knew hard. He was past 54 now and knew he was neither bulletproof nor invincible. Were it not for intense dedication, modern medical science and his powers of persuasion, he probably would have been deemed unfit for this mission. Margeret had been killed in a car wreck in 2046, two days before their planned wedding. After he crawled out of too many bottles of Makers Mark fine whiskey he walked into a suit of steel will. No one fought harder or worked longer hours to make Earth defense and Mars settlements happen. No one. He had eventually let another wonderful creature inside of his graphite fiber reinforced universe, but only when he decided that he was strong enough to take a chance on suffering that wall of pain again. Ruth had been standing beside him ever since, and she would be coming to Mars to join him. Jerry Dean smiled at the thought, resisting the urge to bring her picture up in the corner of his virt-vu display.

There were no windows in their landing craft. That human idiosyncrasy in U.S. spacecraft that began with the Mercury capsules finally gave way to progress and all of the Alliance spacecraft had 3D virtual view (virt-vu) imaging presented to each occupant as well as to the support functionaries on Earth, albeit with over five minutes of delay due to the speed of light limitation on electromagnetic propagation. Jerry could instantly command any view available outside the craft or inside the craft, including multiple simultaneous views. He chose the nadir view directly below and adjusted the field-of-view and magnification. They were gliding silently over Solis Planum according to Jerry’s ground track display, headed toward Valles Marineris, the largest known canyon in the solar system. They were moving from southwest to northeast and would make one more orbit around the dull-colored planet below as their craft aligned itself for the entry into the very thin (by Earth standards) atmosphere of Mars. Even though the atmospheric pressure at the surface of the red planet was significantly less than 1% of the Earth’s, it was still quite “deep” and would become noticeable even at 100 km altitude. There was nothing for Jerry and his five crewmember companions to do but wait.

He brought up the stats being broadcast from the surface elements already resident at Mars Base 1 on Dunbar Peninsula, Deuteronides Mensae, Mars. When the main body of Settlers started arriving it would become Settlement Alpha until the new residents selected their permanent name....

Click here to read Chapter 1 of "The Earth-Mars Chronicles, Vol. 2 - Home For Humanity"
 

     
 



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The Earth-Mars Chronicles, Vol. 3 - Haven for Humanity
Part 1: Turmoil

Chapter 1,  The Time of Turmoil

By the dawn of 2074, the first wave of Deuteronilus Mensae settlements were established. They were NewHome, Bradbury, Homeland, Bond, Dominic, Mars City, Dean, and Arab City. The population of each settlement except Dominic and Arab City selected both the name and the form of governance for their community. Dr. Jerry Dean made overtures concerning cooperation to the governing bodies of the communities, minus Dean and Arab City, which were under construction at the time. His effort was in an embryonic state at the time of Dr. Dean’s premature death.

Power struggles were prevalent in the 18 months following Dr. Dean’s demise, but the diversity of population and the necessity for cooperation in the face of the relentless environment on Mars blunted each attempt at dominance by a national interest on Earth. By the end of 2073 it was apparent that Vadik Alistratov and Aamira Toporov (both original Pathfinders), along with Luther Morrow, Catriona Morrow, David Wong and Sue Wong (all in the original 200 Settlers) were emerging as the most trusted to negotiate balanced cooperation amongst the settlements. The six elected Alistratov leader and attempted to form a council composed of representatives from each settlement. Some settlement leaders were receptive to the concept and some were not. No notable actions ensued.

The Alliance that established the settlements and governed Martian affairs from Earth was increasing the pressure for more exploration, more prospecting, more exports of stones and collectables, and more habitat building to meet the growing pressure from members of the Alliance who were willing to pay for their own settlements. The Vatican and the Arab Coalition had each bought their own settlement (Dominic and Arab City respectively), and Pandora’s Box had been opened.

Russia filed a petition for a settlement only hours before China did the same. The United States followed one day later, as did a Brazilian-led Latin American Coalition. Other coalitions were on the verge of filing petitions when the Alliance Body of Governors announced no more petitions would be accepted until a thorough review had been conducted of the entire process. However, they would honor those already accepted.

There was a great uproar from those ready to submit and from those who were preparing their petitions. The Alliance Body of Governors became completely dysfunctional, but that did not stop the continued training and dispatch of new Settlers, hardware, and supplies to Mars. The Body of Governors made the monumental decisions, but they had no real say in the day-to-day conduct of the Mars settlement operations. There was a worldwide bureaucracy and hundreds of contractors that saw after the details, and they had little concern regarding whose money they were spending.

However, affairs were not conducted in a uniform fashion among the Alliance member nations. One tragic result of the relaxation in some countries of screening and selection criteria for Settlers was the transport of diseases and viruses to the close settlements on Mars. Five infants perished before the epidemic was brought under control. These deaths shocked the Alliance into returning to the strict policies that had been so successful. As is common in bureaucracies, these strict policies eroded as the years passed.

A critical turning point in affairs occurred when the Settlers began their first...

Click here to read Chapter 1 of "The Earth-Mars Chronicles, Vol. 3 - Haven For Humanity, Part 1"
 

 



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The Earth-Mars Chronicles, Vol. 3 - Haven for Humanity
Part 2: Independence

Chapter 1,  Challenges

Forty Settlers, including Suzy Chung (aka Liu Catriona Wong), arrived at Earth-Mars Station after an uneventful four month trip from Mars orbit. New procedures were in place since Liu and her fellow students had escaped from EM Station. Everyone was now required to submit to a full-body subatomic signature scan, not to verify anyone’s identity but to build up a database for people born on Mars. The Martian leadership had refused to turn over scan signatures of anyone born on Mars, much less everyone. Alliance managers were very upset over that and threatened to cut off certain supplies, but no one gave in, and the tempest-in-a-teapot eventually subsided.

Liu’s scan signature would now go into the database as that of Suzy Chung and she liked that. There were also retinal scans and brain wave patterns recorded, followed by registration of her neural implant ID. None of this had been done when the eight students were at EM Station. If it had, Liu would not have been able to return.

Liu now thought of herself as Suzy, and CISuzyQ (aka CILulu), her personal Computational Intelligence, could destroy any record of Liu or CILulu in a small fraction of a second. No record of Liu Catriona Wong existed within the repeater-computer (repcomp) that interfaced with her neural implant. Suzy Chung was now officially at Earth-Mars Station to do real-time 3D visits with relatives and remotely attend a funeral. She would board a flipper to return to her home planet in three months.

The large five-spoke station with 40 habitats and 10 Earth-Mars University modules was lightly inhabited. Tensions between Earth and Mars over the past two years with regard to mining, Settler rights, and Martian sovereignty had made travelers leery of going to EM Station. However, as stress between the two worlds appeared to ease, the desire for real-time and possibly even in-person contact with family eventually overcame the apprehension. The group of 40 on this Earth-Mars Transport was the largest since the student’s departure.

Liu had her own cabin in one of the D-Spoke habitats. She would have preferred to stay in a University Dorm Room on E-Spoke, but that request would have stimulated inquisitive thoughts, an undesirable outcome under the circumstances. Where she stayed other than E-Section did not matter since the distance to the University modules was the same from anywhere on the Station. The only way to access the various parts of the Station was to travel to the hub and take the elevator “down” to a destination on the end of another spoke.

Once she had settled in, Liu...

Click here to read Chapter 1 of "The Earth-Mars Chronicles, Vol. 3 - Haven For Humanity, Part 2"
 

     
 


For information about the chronicles or events coming up, please email
Gerald W. Driggers.


The Earth-Mars Chronicles book series outline:

Volume 1 sets the stage, showing how Mars represents hope for humanity.
Now Available!

Volume 2 establishes a new home for humanity.
Now Available!

Volume 3 Mars becomes the intended haven for humanity.
Now Available!

Volume 4 is a homecoming for humanity and introduces the Children of Earth-Mars. Available in Winter of 2015

     
 

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