Ian Miller

In 2075, Earth sends an expedition to colonize Mars, paid for, in return for a monopoly position on Earth, by the giant corporations that are excluded for the time being from Mars. The giant FoodBund registers Moonbeam Enterprises, a small enterprise needing protection, however when it is too late to change they find Moonbeam gets all its food from a small New Zealand enterprise. Accordingly, when David Gill arrives in Los Angeles to seal the next order, he finds himself a registered settler, and he is made an offer he cannot refuse: go to Mars and construct food production infrastructure and become wealthy, or have a contract on him. David soon becomes increasingly suspicious of the motives of Moonbeam's leader, Robbie Newall. More than once he is shot at, but perhaps his biggest problem involves a mercurial Jacqui Tennant, a Space Corps pilot who desperately wants to keep the large corporations off Mars. When on Mars, David's troubled marriage disintegrates when his wife takes up with Robbie, encounters with Jacqui become increasingly unpredictable, then David becomes aware that Robbie's objective is to create a Mars bubble through stock floats of little value on Earth. Then, when David makes a totally unexpected discovery that guarantees the settlement will be successful, he also learns that Moonbeam is floating his discovery. David must stop this fraud, but there is a problem: Newall has smuggled the only guns on Mars and men to use them. The story is full of action in unusual environments, but it also shows the anatomy of a particular type of fraud, and shows some of the signs of what to look for. An appendix outlines an alternative theory of planetary formation that explains the discovery in simple language for those interested.

Read more... Read less...
Booklisti may receive a small commission if you purchase a book.

Red Gold