Thursday, January 13, 2022

Detonation Event (Mars Wars Book 1) by John Andrew Karr (VNBtM, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT


 I have the pleasure of sharing a few answers from the author of these exciting stories...



How much does Earth care about the life that clings to it?

JAK:  Every bit as much as any other rock in the universe.

            Snark aside, only life cares about life.

            Obvious, yet worthy of a moment of reflection. Despite radioactive cores that provide a magnetosphere to prevent the escape of air and water to space, the Earth and every other planet, moon, asteroid, comet, and yes, even the stars, are not alive. None of the aforementioned are thinkers. They have zero intelligence capability. They do not feel anything. The Earth is a fantastic and sometimes terrible host of abundant life, but it lacks the capacity to acknowledge anything, and therefore has no care whether life exists or not.

            It has no care whether it exists or not.  

            Grass has more regard for its life than a planet has self-awareness. The roots will grow toward moisture, the blade toward the sun.  

            The life forms of Earth care -- at least on some fundamental level -- but not the planet itself.


            What is the only life form that could prevent a total extinction event?

JAK: Look in the mirror. 


            Probably not you specifically, or me, or anyone alive right now. But perhaps our descendants, unseen over our shoulders in generation after generation on an extended scale, reaching centuries into the future. They could have some contribution toward preserving our species, or the next iteration of it. 

            The obvious difference between humans and all of the extinct, single-planet-dwelling species that have come before us is that we can build upon current technologies to at least try and thwart the inevitable catastrophe. 

            Humans alone – unless cockroaches or some other species survive our warring nature and evolve to our current levels – have the means to bump our potential survival rate by 100% by colonizing another planet. 

            For that, the red planet is a beacon in the night sky. As with any venture into space, the mission is fraught with danger. But Mars as a cold and rocky planet is still preferable to an ice-encrusted moon of Jupiter.

            If we ever do figure out a way to kick-start the Martian cores into creating a magnetosphere, as I write of in Mars Wars, or thicken the Martian atmosphere enough to hold air and water, the potential for agriculture is there because of soil. We made need to scrape off the solar wind-pounded surface material and turn it over, but ice, with Jupiter as a backdrop, isn’t going to be kind to the roots of space tomatoes.

            Perhaps we’d even import some of the massive sandworms from Frank Herbert’s Dune to help fertilize. Everyone knows Dune is easier to reach from Mars than it is from Earth. 

            To perform more space outreach, we’ve got to go faster at a sustained clip. Warp drive would be incredibly convenient, but we’ve got a huge knowledge gap between chemical rockets and light speed. If I had to choose a single category to improve immediately, it would be propulsion. It takes us too long to reach anything, and that’s just in our own backyard.

            In Mars Wars, planetary shuttles and remote orbiters make use of nuclear fusion for propulsion. It is a cleaner, more sustainable burn that can use hydrogen as a propellant. They can reach Mars in a month, as opposed to nine. Not warp speed or hyper-drive, but a big step in the right direction.

            Think how far we’ve come in the preceding two centuries. Who knows where we’ll be two centuries from today, if we make concerted efforts.

            But what to do once there? Live forever inside enclosures, or take steps to terra form Mars so it is not immediately hostile to life?

            Some space advocates want to keep Mars as a planetary park, unchanged by human hands.

            There is no reason to keep Mars in its current state of death. Billions of years ago, Mars once held water and therefore some form of air. There are many reasons to resurrect it.

            As seen in Mars Wars, Mars has threats beyond the frigid temps and lack of air and water. What we might find in the soil could be positive or negative, for instance. See link below:          


What about caring for the Earth?

JAK: The two are not mutually exclusive.


            Of course we should care for the mother planet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t expand into space and Mars at the same time. Resource drainage from Earth can be limited, and life on Earth can improve with technological advances.

            Space expeditions must be commercially viable, or at least self-sustaining. NASA and other government agencies have done great pioneering work, but taxes alone cannot continually fund space exploration. We're already seeing private ventures from billionaire visionaries like Musk and Bezos and Branson attempting to bring the space flight industry into a more 'mainstream' focus. Bringing rare metals back to Earth could lead to more technology bursts.

            Harvesting resources from asteroids would be easier from Mars, since it’s closer to the Asteroid Belt, the farmer’s market of asteroids. A dwarf planet in the belt is blasting water vapor into space for some reason, and it may hold more water than Earth. Amazing. And available for harvesting. Asteroids can be encased in water ice. Others have ammonia ice that could be beneficial in thickening the Martian atmosphere.

            It’s a process, but water can be harvested from minerals on asteroids. Comets would take less processing time, but they’re free spirits and not clustered nicely in a band like their rocky counter parts. Formed outside our solar system, comets that can provide immediate water ice are not subject to the same relative orbiting plane as the planets and Asteroid Belt. These may be more attainable from Mars due to readiness more than location.


A couple relevant links:




            Mars itself may have tons of water trapped in its crust, as was recently postulated in a finding on Earth.

            This has touched on a few hints about transforming Mars – terra forming it – into a habitable planet. It could take centuries, or less, or never work at all and we end up creating subterranean cities or honeycomb surface ones encapsulated in redundant plexiglass bubbles threaded with titanium strands.

            (That last part is a glimpse of the Lunar One base on the moon in Mars Wars.)  

            Mars needs heat, water and air and we’ll move in.

            It’s not been tried by humans, but the powers of the solar system have done it. It may be possible to crash asteroids into Mars, set off a bunch of thermonuclear bombs, create vast mirror farms to reflect more sunlight, or use other methods to greenhouse the atmosphere so it can hold air and water and heat.

            There may be enough nitrates on the red planet to use for breathable air, since oxygen is the lesser component. Or maybe there’s some ripe asteroids to mine for it.

            A lot to cover there, for another time.

            If Mars does become viable as a self-sustaining colony, and then network of colonies, and then perhaps the entire planet, wouldn’t it also provide relief to over-population on Earth?

            For those who want to focus solely on Earth until the extinction event(s) strike, don’t we have a duty to future generations to begin the process of increasing survival odds?

            The universe is mind-blowingly vast. Where is the spirit to attain knowledge? To push the boundaries of what viable life can be had beyond Earth. Exploring has dangers, but it can also lead to the betterment of Homo sapiens.



Detonation Event

Mars Wars Series: Book 1


John Andrew Karr




GENRE: Science Fiction






For decades the Space Consortium of America has searched for new ways to harvest resources beyond an increasingly depleted Earth. The ultimate plan is about to be ignited. So is the ultimate threat to humankind . . .




Battle-hardened Captain Ry Devans and his crew of the Mars Orbiter Station One (MOS-1) are part of a bold plan: resurrect the active molten cores of the Red Planet with synchronized thermonuclear explosions, and terraform the hell out of that iron-oxide rock for future generations. It’ll change history. So will the strands of carbon-based Martian cells that have hitched a ride on the ship.


Dr. Karen Wagner knows the microbes’ resistance to virus is incredible. It’s the unknowable that’s dicey. Her orders: blow them into space. But orders can be undermined. Two vials have been stolen and sent hurtling toward the biosphere. For Devans and Wagner, ferreting out the saboteurs on board is only the beginning. Because there are more of them back on Earth—an army of radical eco-terrorists anxious to create a New World Order with a catastrophic gift from Mars.


Now, one-hundred-and-forty-million miles away from home, Devans is feeling expendable, betrayed, a little adrift, and a lot wild-eyed. But space madness could be his salvation—and Earth’s. He has a plan. And he’ll have to be crazy to make it work.






Rogue Planet,

Mars Wars, Book 2



A new video feed began, this time sent by PS-13. Someone on MOS-1 declared the drone had been destroyed and the landing team was prepping for the return trip home.


Cheers and applause in the break room. Then comments of concern when looped footage showed the landing party returning to PS-13 after destroying the hijacked drone. Karen bit her lip at Ry’s inability to fly without assistance.


Audio from Shannon Burroughs and co-pilot Gwen Wagner gave their status as they lifted off the surface of Mars for the return trip to MOS-1.


Karen closed her eyes and took a breath. She mindtexted her children and Devans. How were they, and how was Ry?


No replies.


Ry’s impulsive streak seems to be widening, she thought. Circumstances are hardly normal, though.


Still no replies.


Rarely did any of them let a mindtext go unattended from a member of the circle of trust. Almost to a fault Ry would blink a rapid reply and send along the chain of space routers.


Were his impulse responses something natural given the stresses, or something else?


Ry had cause for anger after the EFF revolution and loss of friends. He mostly hid it, but was torn by the fact that his son had gone full EFF, to the point of assisting the political leadership win ‘elections.’


But everyone aboard the orbiter was experiencing loss, separation, and anger. Hundreds of thousands had been murdered or imprisoned or reeducated on Earth, she thought.


The three lab workers watched the planetary shuttle from several satellite views as it raced through the weak Martian atmosphere. Sometimes the V-shaped body vanished in clouds of ash and dust, leaving only the faint glow of hull lights and a streak of yellow-white propellant. The atmospheric material thinned to glittering particulate. The shuttle lights and hull came into view and the light from the fusion engine grew brighter as they left the Martian atmosphere and entered space.


“He’ll be okay,” Kiley said, patting Karen’s hand.


Karen smiled. “Ry says he’s too crusty to stay hurt, much less die.”


Terrill laughed. “That drone took a liking to our space guy. Shakuri’s team’ll figure out who did it.”


Karen mindtexted Trent that she would meet them at Columbus Bay infirmary. She wasn’t an emergency room physician per se but could act in that capacity. Fortunately MOS-1  had several, doubtless already in communication with PS-13.


She had about a half hour before they arrived, so she went back to her station and ran more analysis jobs on the third sample.


“We’re going back in to tend the mice, Karen,” Terrill said.


“We took more blood samples just before the break. Want us to introduce them into the pull population?” Kiley added.


“Yes, thanks,” Karen said.


Kiley and Terrill donned hazmat suits and went through the sterilization procedure.


Warnings went up again on Karen’s monitor in response to her latest analysis of the third batch sample.


Not an outlier or glitch then, she thought.


Karen clicked into the mice cage array and peered into cage H-8 via the live video feed. She watched the rodents start and stop on the floor of composite chips. They navigated the bridges and tunnels, scaled ladders, drank water from upright tubes, went to the bathroom and napped. One pair initiated a liaison.


All normal stuff—for healthy mice.


These rodents should be dying.


They had been injected with aggressive cancer cells.


Yet they were normal.


And the microbe ratios were setting off red alerts in her analysis runs.


Karen’s stomach lurched.


Not again, she thought.


Karen activated the lab microphone. “Kiley and Terrill, cage H-8. Quick.”


They turned and glanced at one another, then to Karen, then hurried past three long work stations stacked with animal cages and equipment. They used the end of a long counter to sling-shot themselves forward. After several strides they halted.


“We’re at H-8 ... twelve mice, mixed microbes,” Terrill said, a little breathlessly, up at the communications monitor.


Kiley put on the sensory gloves linked to the robot arms and hands inside the cage. She began trapping and lifting the mice for visual examination.


Karen nodded, her lips pressed tightly shut. “Anything strange that I didn’t catch? Injury? Nutrition and water okay?”


A mother with several young snuggled into the corner attacked the gloved intruder. But Kiley, making movements with the gloves that the robot arms emulated, picked the mouse up and put her in an isolation compartment. The mother ran back and forth, trying to escape.


“They’re all okay, Karen,” Kiley said. She read the computerized chart on the monitor next to the cage. Her face went slack. “But they shouldn’t be.”


Terrill leaned over her shoulder to read. “We injected them with two rounds of cancer. Microvessel density of medium to high scale.”


“Yes,” Karen replied, her tone distant and unsure.


“Could just be chance, KW. Should we hit them with another dose, something even more lethal? Maybe the Henta Plague?”


“Wait, hold up,” Kiley said. “The baby mice are all running hot.”


“How hot?”


“One degree. 99.42 Fahrenheit.”


Karen blinked out of her rising panic and headed for the exit. “I’m out to Columbus Bay and the Meridian One Infirmary, then back here. Run the same trials on a new cage and keep an eye on H-8. Maybe the lethality is just delayed in the adults.”


She took a breath as the exit door slid away.


“Let’s hope they start dying.”


Detonation Event  Amazon link

Rogue Planet  Amazon link



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  1. I enjoyed the interview and the series sounds like an exciting books that my nephew will enjoy! Thanks for sharing them with me and have a wonderful day!