A Step Beyond

by C. K. Anderson
Release date: 2001
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction

Four years after the first manned mission to Mars ends in tragic failure, a joint U.S.-Russian mission blasts off in two ships, each crew equally determined to set foot upon the inhospitable Red Planet. The commander of the Liberty, Colonel Tom Nelson, struggles to hold his crew together as tensions rise during the long voyage... tensions made worse when an accident puts the entire mission at risk. Meanwhile, aboard the Druzhba, Commander Dmitri Komarov faces tensions of a different sort as he finds himself powerfully drawn to the beautiful technician Tatiana Pavlova, wife of the ship's pilot, Vladimir. The dangers both crews must face are many, from mechanical failures to the natural hazards of solar flares. Waiting for them on Mars, at the chosen landing sites of Valles Marineris, a chasm nine times the size of the Grand Canyon, and Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system, are dangers greater still, dangers both known and unknown. But something else is waiting as well...

(updated 2010-09-07)

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