Author: Chris Gerrib
Page count: 272
Genre: science fiction
Price: $16 (paperback) $2.99 (ebook)
I always wanted to go to Mars. When I was a boy, one of my favorite escapes was devouring all the local library’s books on space in the small Illinois town where I lived. I can still remember the pages from a Werner Von Braun / Disney collaboration, which was full of cool pictures of cigar-shaped rockets.
I eventually went to the University of Illinois and ended up graduating with a degree in history. I had landed a scholarship via Navy ROTC and was then shipped off to the USS Jack Williams (FFG-24) in Mayport, Florida, in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell. I was there during the First Gulf War, and did my bit to ensure not one Iraqi MIG bombed Mayport!
After I got out, I earned an MBA at Southern Illinois University and I’m now a Senior Vice President of Technology at a Chicago-area bank. For the past decade, I live in Villa Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. My first book, The Mars Run, was published in 2006.
Tell us about your book:
As a kid, I read a lot, and not just about Mars. One of the books I read was a history of how airforces came to be during the First World War. This got me wondering – in most SF books, the Space Fleet has been around forever. But nobody decides to build a space fleet because they got bored one day. So, how exactly did the Space Fleet come into being? The answer came to me, like many answers do, in the shower. Pirates!
How long did it take to write the book?
Nearly two years. I wrote a draft, shipped it off to various publishers, and while it was sitting at Hadley Rille (my current publisher) I realized that it wasn’t that good. So I decided to re-write it, and asked for permission to re-submit the New, Improved, Now With More Pirates! Book. That’s what got picked up.
What inspired you to write the book?
When I started writing my Mars books, there was very little science fiction set in the solar system. What was set here was “firsts” – the story of the first landing. That’s interesting, but what about the second landing?
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I am truthfully a bit of a lazy writer, so I don’t have set routines. The biggest routine I do have is that I don’t watch sports, so I find Sunday afternoons a very productive time to crank out a book. Setting a book on Mars meant a lot of research, and the most helpful book for that was Robert Zubrin’s The Case For Mars.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I hope they’re entertained.
Where can we go to buy your book?
Any other links or info you’d like to share?
Excerpt from book:
Thursday, 30 Virgo Year 52 15:30 Martian Zulu Time (local) (March 1, 2074, 15:30 GMT)
Container Cargo Ship Charles S. Price, approaching Mars
I got a degree in Art History for this? Rachel Storey wondered, shivering in the cold and dark mid-deck of the Charles S. Price. One of the ship’s officers had cut the power, rendering the Price a death-trap.
If we don’t get power on, this ship’s gonna crater into Mars. Rachel winced at the thought. The last failed attempt at piracy had nearly cost her life.
Get a move on!” Rachel barked at one of her fellow pirates. “I’m not going down with this ship.”
“Movin’ these Mex-cans all trussed up ain’t easy,” came the reply. “And besides, I don’t work for you. You’re just the damn bus driver.”
Rachel glared at the speaker, his hair and features bleached by too much contact with Martian sand. Regarding her role in this attack, he was right. But she was damned if she was going to take crap from some sand-blonde scavenger. “Dave Eggman, if I wanted to hear your shit I’d have asked for it. Now get the lead out!”
Eggman pushed the bound and hooded prisoner, formerly a crewmember of the Price, up into the zero-gee environment of the mid-deck. He pushed too hard, of course, and the man bounced helplessly off of the far side of the corridor, smashing into a purple color-coded pipe. This elicited a stream of curses in Spanish. Rachel ignored the words and, bracing off of a stanchion, shoved the man down the tube-like corridor.
“Incoming!” she shouted, alerting the pirate at the other end of the corridor. Pirates! Hah. Bunch of incompetent, trigger-happy mouth-breathing boobs.
“Got him, boss,” the crewman shouted.
“That’s the last of them,” Eggman said.
The last one alive, he meant. The Price’s Master and Chief Engineer were dead. How had Eggman put it? “They had elected to shoot it out. They lost the election.”
Rachel smiled at that. Eggman did occasionally have a way with words.