Book Review – Heirs of Mars: preludes


Heirs of Mars: Preludes

Joseph Robert Lewis

Following in the model science fiction footsteps of those such as Isaac Asimov and Piers Anthony, Heirs of Mars: Preludes tells three distinct stories as an introduction to the novel Heirs of Mars (HoM).

These stories are succinct, yet vivid, glimpses of a futuristic human culture where man and machines exist together in a less than utopian society and a lack of freedom for all creates mistrust and anger. Human migration across the galaxy has not been the ideal imagined and the colonies are dying out as they lack real food, individual space and the supplies to maintain their habitats.

In To Reign in Heaven (19 years prior to HoM) India, Wolfram and their siblings are the children of a sentient satellite orbiting Venus. They live their lives in fear of the AI weapon that the humans have and the promise of a second war for independence. Mother sends a group of her children to Mars to fight and India and Wolfram remain behind to aid Mother’s research. Mother has designed these two of her children to feel love for each other and little understands the consequences that her ‘logical’ and experimental actions will have when her children start dying.

To Walk the Earth (18 years prior to HoM) tells the story of a search for freedom when Victoria decides to quit her job and head for the wilds. She sees her boyfriend Asher’s idea of migrating to Mars as a form of purgatory or punishment that is no different from her current situation. Victoria wants to fully escape the world of artificial computer driven life and find something real for herself. In her desperation to feel real freedom and leave everything, including Asher, behind she finds that her life becomes more constrained than ever.

To Serve in Hell (1 day before HoM) sees Neil, a maintenance man in a farm habitat on Mars, living in cramped substandard ghetto-like circumstances with his family. His world is full of resentment and frustration and he strongly feels the futility of his existence. When he sees one of the objects of his anger, a man he suspects to be a cloner, he calls his friends to help him deal with the problem and finds out that the need for revenge is not always your ally in a fight.

These are three well told stories that leave you wanting to find out more about this future dystopia and its inhabitants. So much so that I have already purchased Heirs of Mars on Kindle. I give this book 4*

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