‘Lunar Dust, Martian Sands’ explores 22nd century intrigue and conflict
Ed Ferald, pilot of the tug Cydonia Zach on the Martian-Lunar run, receives orders from his uncle and boss to secretly take an enigmatic woman as his sole passenger on the return to Mars, with no explanation why. The reason became apparent, however, midway to Mars, when an explosion destroys the passenger ship on which the woman originally booked passage. Ed races against time to rescue the survivors, but that’s only the beginning for the pilot. He soon finds himself ensnared in plots fed by Earth politics and corporations fighting to preserve their profits even if it means putting the survival of the Martian colony at risk.
Ed’s passenger is at the center of the fight, though on what side he can’t tell. He only knows he has to uncover the conspirators behind the plots to preserve his Martian home – and to keep from being the next one killed.. (More about the novel and its author, Tom Chmielewski, at the Lunar Dust, Martian Sands sales page for the paperback version.)
The eBook version is available on the Martian Sands Amazon Bookstore. .
Hear NPR station WMUK-FM’s interview with Tom Chmielewski about Shalbatana Solstice and Lunar Dust, Martian Sands on the radio station’s website.
In the audio drama Shalbatana Solstice, when a geologist is stranded at Marsport and desperately tries to find a way to get back to Shalbatana Valles, Ed, who at that time was flying a suborbital shuttle on Mars, is “persuaded” by his friend to alter his flight path so they can take the woman back to the remote science outpost.
Whatever Ed thought might happen that night, he wasn’t ready for the reality he faced, if reality is the right word. The thing is, neither were the regulars ready for the events that occurred that night during Null Time, those extra 40 minutes after midnight and before the start of the Martian day. They thought they had seen it all, but Ed, whose time he spent on Mars since he was a child made him, in the eyes of the geologist, a “true” Martian, became a catalyst for a new vision that for many who witnessed it would send them on the next flight back to Earth. For others, it was a glimpse of the Martians they might become.
You can listen to the first scene of Shalbatana Solstice and purchase the audio drama from the player below.
A Martian Drinking Song
This is actually a triple release, or maybe 2-1/2. Music plays an important role in Shalbatana Solstice, including two original songs written for the drama by Dan Bouwman.
The “Mars Rover,” based on the old Celtic tune “The Wild Rover” but with new lyrics by Dan Bouwman, is available for download as a single. “The Mars Rover” is based on the centuries old Celtic tune the “Wild Rover,” but with new lyrics fitting the next century.
There’s a lot of mystery about what happens at the Shalbatana Solstice Festival when it reaches the Martian Null Time. Before the clock strikes midnight, however, it’s pretty clear what these geologists and staff at the remote science outpost want to do: sing rowdy bar songs and dance beneath the stars.
“The Mars Rover” is one of their favorites.
Hear the complete version of the song from the player below or purchase for download for only $0.99.