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This book is completely different from the first book of the saga, "As It Is On Mars". That first book tells how a few determined survivors of failed Mars missions unintentionally ended up founding the first human settlement on Mars, after a monumental struggle with the planet. This second book continues the saga, but with the settlers now in an entirely different struggle, this time against other human beings trying to get control of their lands and resources.

Readers who have not read the first book can easily continue with the tale. The essentials of the earlier story, most of which took place ten years before this latest story, are related in the beginning chapters of this second book.

The story begins with reaction in high places to NASA's stunning discovery, in August 2044, that survivors of Earth's first manned missions to Mars are still alive. The survivors, thought to have died of starvation six years earlier, are even prospering, and have built an impressive settlement in a unique sanctuary in western Kasei Valley.

Then comes the realization that the settlers are sitting on an enormously valuable resource, worth trillions of dollars. Envious eyes are soon monitoring the settlement, as the U.S. and E.U. draw up rival plans for low-cost missions to Mars to rescue the settlers, and win control of their lands.

A NASA mission gets to Mars first, at the next opposition, in 2046, but a nuclear accident prevents it from landing. This bad luck for NASA gives the E.U. its chance, and the European Space Agency, ESA, quickly wins approval for a rescue mission for the next opposition, in 2048.

An alarmed U.S. President responds by authorizing an armed Air Force mission to Mars, to get there a month before the Europeans. This secret military mission is delayed, unfortunately, and the ESA mission gets to Mars first, after all, in July of 2048. The Air Force mission is in hot pursuit though, just one month behind.

The tale on Mars opens, in Chapter Two, with the arrival of the ESA mission. Five of the crew of twelve are military personnel, armed with nanoguns. The others are harmless engineers and scientists. There are five women among the twelve.

One of the military people is the mission's leader, Captain Richard Derk, a ruthless aristocrat and strategy mastermind, charged with getting the settlers off the planet. Derk's personal ambition is to become governor of Europe's first Mars colony, and the man in charge of exploiting the trillion-dollar resource on an enormous scale.

Derk's arrival triggers an escalating confrontation with the settlers, starting with a restless cold war. But neither side is prepared for the bizarre way the conflict eventually unfolds, as the planet also takes part, in its own special way. Nor are the settlers prepared for the devilry Derk is capable of.

The scenes are set in the spectacular terrain of the huge Kasei Valley complex, some of them familiar places from the earlier novel. Others are forbidding and treacherous, like the great labyrinth of chaotic terrain in western Kasei Valley.

Outnumbered, outgunned, and outmaneuvered by Derk, the settlers' resistance would seem to be hopeless, as the initial cold war degenerates into a hot war, and it becomes obvious that the settlers desperately need help. But where can they get it? The U.S. military mission, rapidly nearing Mars, is out to seize their lands too!


Used availability for Thomas William Cronin's Give Us This Mars

Hardback Editions

March 2003 : Canada Hardback

Title: Give Us This Mars
Author(s): Thomas William Cronin
ISBN: 0-9687502-1-4 / 978-0-9687502-1-6 (Canada edition)
Publisher: Tharsis Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA