I'm a novelist and have an interest in space science and physics. I've been a programmer for more than 30 years and I like reviewing new and up-and-coming authors.
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Colony Two Mars picks up the story a few years after the preceding story, left off. I really enjoyed the first instalment in this trilogy, but this is a much better, much stronger story. As the overarching story of the trilogy begins to emerge, Kilby's eye for a good story starts to pay dividends.
The story revolves around the second colony alluded to in the first part of the trilogy. Jann needs to find a cure for herself before she can return to Earth, and the second colony - where all the geneticists fled - might be the place to find it. The singular act of going to it is enough to trigger a series of events that nobody controls, even when they think they do.
The fluidity of the action sequences is nicely controlled, and little time is wasted introducing characters that are not important players, so the various characters are arrayed quite quickly. Knowing who is a 'good guy' and who isn't is not so straightforward though, as befits a thriller that knows how to deliver.
Edit: updated to include Aldrin Cyclers
There are multiple ways to get to Mars, and each has pros and cons. The one thing they all have in common is orbital mechanics. Some options can get to Mars in a short period of time, while others could take up to a year. Some are better suited for robotic missions, others for crewed missions. This article takes a look at the problems of getting to Mars (and getting back) and what options are available.
Colony One Mars promises to be a fast-paced sci-fi thriller, and it certainly delivers. The prologue is short and sweet, and although it doesn't offer any story information that isn't in the story proper, it does set up the atmosphere for what is to follow. The tension ramps up very quickly and most unexpectedly, and everything changes before we've had a chance to grab our breath.
The knowing-something-bad-is-happening-elsewhere is delightfully hooked up with not-knowing-what-the-bad-thing-is, ramping up tension and even anxiety. I have a feeling Mr. Kilby reads a lot of horror novels, and he's put his knowledge of the genre to good use.
Some people have expressed an interest in what software I use for this site. It's built around DokuWiki with some extensions to make it work like a blog, keep it transparent (all the articles and entries are visible in the treeview menu) and to spruce things up - such as the auto-tooltip which displays the first part of a page when the user mouses over an internal link (this also works in the top-bar menu). Some extensions make administering the site easier, such as moving articles around or renaming them.
Below is a complete list of all the plugins used here, all of which are available through the built-in extension manager, including any I had to write myself. The trick with DokuWiki is to install only the bare necessary extensions first, then once you have the site up and running and you're comfortable with it, add others over time (unless you are already fully familiar with DokuWiki).