For the past three years, Hornsea Writers member, Stuart Aken, has written a novel each year for his Generation Mars series. The words ‘science fiction’ may put off some potential readers, but the series is much more about relationships and human potential; there’s even some romance in there. This year, he’s finished the trilogy with ‘Return to Dust’.
The series follows the lives, trials and triumphs of a group of selected individuals, initially called the Chosen, sent to Mars to begin a human breeding programme in the hope of preventing the specie’s extinction on Earth due to catastrophic climate change. Scientific advances, and those in the technology that follows such progress, ensure they have success in their prime purpose. But it comes at significant cost and involves many battles.
There’s social struggle here, the consequences of greed and selfishness, the injustices of gender and wealth inequality, and the rewards of truth and compassion. The first two books, Blood Red Dust and War Over Dust, are based mostly on the red planet and deal with the setting up of a colony in difficult circumstances, the expansion such opportunities inevitably provide for the wealthy and commercially acquisitive, and the conflicts that inevitably occur when the profit motive envies the idealists. This final book looks at the threat of overreliance on technology and sees the settlers returning to an Earth much changed but at least habitable. Here they face new challenges and must deal with an enemy powerful enough to threaten the existence of all life in the solar system, and maybe the entire universe; an enemy they’ve unwittingly created.
‘Return to Dust’ is due to be launched in both digital and paperback versions at the science fiction, fantasy and gaming convention, Fantasticon 2018, in Cleethorpes, on 1st and 2nd of September. Stuart Aken will be there, helping on the bookstore and signing copies of the new book. He’ll also take part in a couple of on stage discussion groups relating to writing and the creation of fictive worlds. Why not pop along and join in the fun? You can get tickets here, or just come on the day and pay on the door. As Stuart would say, ‘Enjoy!’
For more information on the series, and the author’s other work, visit his website, here.