As people struggle to survive in an increasingly hostile climate on Earth, plans are afoot for the preservation of the human race. Mars, already occupied by commercial mining interests, is the only viable option. The Chosen are sent to colonise the new world and germinate the seeds of their new Utopia. But dark forces not only want to halt the plan, they want to see the enAs people struggle to survive in an increasingly hostile climate on Earth, plans are afoot for the preservation of the human race. Mars, already occupied by commercial mining interests, is the only viable option. The Chosen are sent to colonise the new world and germinate the seeds of their new Utopia. But dark forces not only want to halt the plan, they want to see the end of all human life, everywhere. If mankind survives the divinely inspired crusade of death from dogma-driven martyrs, will The Chosen’s new Utopia be the real route to salvation?...
|Title||:||Blood Red Dust (Generation Mars #1)|
|Number of Pages||:||252 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Blood Red Dust (Generation Mars #1) Reviews
Science, Sex and Death-Cults."Brilliant hot women, talented men."Blood Red Dust is a very different and innovative kind of book. The story is told in a kind of Big Brother Diary Room style of record, only instead of seeing and hearing the video clips we read a description of who is speaking and how they sound and then their words and what happens in the clip.The year is 2074 and humanity has begun to settle the solar system with colonies on the moon, the asteroid belt and Mars. Earth is dying and the wealthy elite who caused it got together some time before and become The Guardian. They identified and bought (literally) physically perfect children, who they raised to be free from prejudice and irrationality and to be superb science polymaths. From these were selected The Chosen, 12 colonists for Mars, 8 women and 4 men. But as things get worse on Earth the colonies on the Moon are under attack from a bunch of religious fanatics. The account of what happens next is recorded in bulletins recorded by various individuals who leave video-logs to provide historical information for future generations.The main group we follow are the twelve called The Chosen. They have been carefully chosen for their physical perfection and intelligence, educated to have no prejudices or irrational beliefs - and to be totally at ease with themselves, their sexuality, each other and their role as progenitors of a new colony. They are trying to set up a utopia for the future, but the religious death cult offers an existential threat they will have to find a way to fight off if the last vestiges of humanity are going to survive."Only by learning from the past can we avoid its failures and move forward to a better life for all."One of the great strengths of the book is in the credibility of its world-building. The near-future human colonisation of the solar system is really well explained and presented in a way that makes it easy to accept. It has a lot of good science and some interesting explanations of how the colonies developed. The techniques the colonists use and adapt are explored in very believable and at times utterly fascinating ways.The writing style is excellent and the different voices of the characters we hear from are well developed, each bringing their own slant to the recoding of events and their own issues and priorities. This is no small achievement which such a large cast of characters in play.It is probably important to flag up for some readers who prefer to avoid such things, that sex dominates the video-log reports, at times even over vital news (not in any pornographic detail - the act itself always takes place off camera). Sex dominates the plot in other more sinister ways as well, things like a man psychologically programmed to force himself on women, and the evil death cult that makes women into sex slaves. The breaking of the story into the bulletins, is an interesting and novel technique. It gives a pattern and structure to the story and allows a lot of differing viewpoints to be brought in. As well as The Chosen we hear from a variety of voices on a regular basis such as: a prostitute in a mining base, a systems analyst on the Moon and the evil death cult itself. But it also made immersion in the story difficult at times for me, as you get a strong sense of being outside events all the time - an observer never a participant. It describes what was going on in the video sequences and this seems to encourage a lot of exposition. Indeed we get entire history and geography lectures which slow the story to a stand still for pages at a time. This becomes much, much better as the book progresses and there is a lot less exposition and more description of events. But even when there is action, because the people are reporting on their past rather than recording their present, it dulls slightly the sense of immediacy of events."Enough of sex."The Chosen colony was set up with a low ratio of men to women. Except, I kept thinking that by the logic given in the book for there being so few men, it would have made much more sense for The Chosen to all be women, no men, with a good supply of frozen sperm for when they were ready to breed. In fact it is almost glaringly odd that this was not the course taken bearing in mind how often the justification for so few men is paraded. But then there would have been less raunchy talk about who is doing what with whom, less competition for the men amongst the women and a whole lot of the book would vanish. For people who are supposedly raised to take sex for granted The Chosen talk about it an awful lot!For me, the biggest downside is that the whole book was a bit like a stereotype gallery in a sci-fi setting. Women and men are supposedly equals amongst The Chosen - but there are far more women than men - and their leader is, yup you guessed it, a man. The religious death cult is run by someone called Abdul-Aziz and believes in a paradise of eager virgins; the Chinese are a shown as a misogynistic and repressive; Russians are seen as almost as bad and stuck in a Putin like macho mindset (it is even described like that). I was frankly shocked that when The Chosen - raised free from all prejudice - encounter a Chinese person, they instantly use racist language. Those issues aside - and for some readers they may not feature as any kind of issue at all - I liked the novelty of the approach and I really liked the story of humanity under threat in space and the idea of balancing the principles of an utopia against its very existence. This is a book that will appeal to those who like their sci-fi hard and gritty, have no issues with sexism and enjoy books well garnished with titillating sexual references.
Move over Isaac Asimov.Stand aside Arthur C. Clarke.Tip your hat Frank Herbert.There’s a new voice and a quite robust imagination lighting up the sci-fi literary cosmos; and one that speaks with a mythically crisp British accent.Throughout much of 2016, novelist Stuart Aken has documented the word-count progress on what would become BLOOD RED DUST to his 17 000 plus website followers. This utterly absorbing magnum opus from the English author delivers a master class in world building; a complex, fully-realised universe populated with an intergalactic sandbox of droids, bots, powerful lasers, space elevators, Hololinks, pulse guns, surveillance satellites and of course conflict. Lots of conflict. And not between people but amongst ‘abliforms’ (the futuristic, gender-neutral term for homosapiens).The book reads much like a captains log, divided as it is into ninety diary entries, all recalling, from various viewpoints, the early days of Earth’s attempt to colonize Mars. These journal accounts (digital artefacts) come courtesy of fourteen different stakeholders in the historical narrative. (Historical because cleverly, the personal play-by-plays are offered to the reader as the research findings of a PhD University student, residing on Mars, whose grandparents both played pivotal roles in the infancy of establishing the first colony on the Red Planet).From information sourced via thousands of pages of backed up documents stored on computer servers, our thesis-writing young academic learns of a time when Earth has descended into climate chaos and the decision is made by a group of forward-thinking trillionaires calling themselves The Guardian (how very British of them!) to dispatch a genetically-modified group of humans to Mars for the purpose of terraforming and establishing the beginnings of a new world.The ‘gene-edited’ four men and four women –Zaphod – British physicianGeorgiy – Russian pilotTu - Chinese engineerHoshiko – Japanese neuroscientistMadonna – Australian engineerAmber – U.S 2nd pilotAnnika – Sweedish food scientistare collectively known as ‘The Chosen’. Their prime purpose on Mars is to breed a new, supposedly perfect race of humans. Following years of living and training together (‘mostly naked’) on Earth, they are sent – after the first A.I. wave of terraformers have completed the task of making ready the atmosphere for their arrival – to their new home to begin the job of getting along with each other and committing to the ‘rigors’ of the breeding program.Meanwhile amid the dysfunction back on Earth, agnosticism has become the favoured ideology with state-sanctioned killing introduced by the NUN (New United Nations) against any person or organisation “who instructs, preaches or otherwise oversees any religious institution.” This might well be considered a non-believer’s paradise: an Earth ruled by science and reason where fictitious, supernatural deities are no longer indulged or even tolerated.In amongst this landscape there naturally exists a counterforce, and in BLOOD RED DUST the agents of chaos come in the form of space terrorists – a misogynistic death cult, led by the quintessentially Arab-sounding Abdul Aziz, that bares more than a passing resemblance to the present day Isis.Their fanatical belief in an afterlife (and the accompanying mindset that the only meaningful purpose of one’s present endeavour is to prepare a path for a promised eternal paradise) as well as a pledged allegiance to conquering and destroying all non-converted human life, guarantees The Chosen have plenty of competing thoughts to occupy them besides the frequently strenuous duties of the ever vital breeding program. With food supplies from Earth cut off due to attacks from The (Death) Cult on the space elevators, events build to an action-engorged climactic finale.This is expertly crafted science fiction that not only makes you lean in but ensures you need to hold on tight for the whole glorious shebang. If you like your sci-fi sauced with lashings of gravity-adjusted sex and between-the-smart- fabric-sheets pillow talk, you’ll be in your element here. The journal entries of moon-based female sex worker Jannine, an ‘embedded’ employee with a mining company’s processing plant, are entertainingly written and hotter than a Bangkok rollex.If there’s a criticism, it’s that the unrelenting wave upon wave of journal entries begin to feel, at least for a time, like they’re not really building towards anything; much like perpetually spinning centrifugal test tubes unable to coalesce into anything more substantial than episodes in some relationship-heavy, rambling space soap opera. But in saying this, it should be noted I’ve rarely, if ever, come upon a book that didn’t at some level and in some quantity suffer from the ubiquitous and much discussed ‘saggy middle syndrome’. Such an ailment, if one reflects deeper, may be viewed to be as much a part of or due to a reader’s in-built, predisposed psychology as a writer’s perceived missteps in dragging the narrative chain.The recognised classic in the ‘colonise Mars’ sub-genre must surely be Kim Stanley Robinson’s RED MARS, written now close to twenty-five years ago and which I devoured only last year. While BLOOD RED DUST doesn’t quite suck the marrow from your bones in the ‘wow stakes’ to the same degree as this high water mark, it does at least deserve to be mentioned in the same breath. And that’s really saying something. Stuart Aken’s novel can also favourably be compared to Stephen King’s 2009 foray into science fiction UNDER THE DOME.Swollen as it is with intricately described minutiae and fleshed with a fascinating and most definitely flawed collection of ‘abliforms’, Aken’s writing is smart and surprising. The psychological insight into his cast of characters is pin-sharp, vivid and convincing. BLOOD RED DUST comes with sizeable heft and for entertainment value has the gravitational pull and attraction of not a small planet like Mars, but a far more sizeable one, like Jupiter… by Jupiter!
The trick to writing a good science fiction novel set in the future is to avoid getting so lost in describing how civilization arrived at the present point in your world's history that the actual story and character development take a secondary role to countless pages of backwriting and detailing future gadgetry and technology. Happily, that is not the case here. In Blood Red Dust, Stuart Aken skillfully creates a sobering view of Earth's last days, as reported by the first colonists of Mars. His Orwellian description of an environmentally uninhabitable Earth sounds chillingly prophetic and Aken puts the blame precisely where it belongs, on the greed and short-term sight of industry and big business. Humanity's hope of restarting civilization is threatened by religious zealotry and terrorism, and a bold, young group of "chosen" face life in an alien environment unhampered by racism, theology, inequality, or sexual inhibition. But personal relationships, even in space, are not always easy, and human behavior is still reasonably predictable. Simply put, I enjoyed the hell out of this book.
My own book, so I don't feel able to comment on how brilliant it is!
It is the year 2074 and humanity on earth is all but over. Life now rests on the shoulders of 12 of the Chosen, 8 woman & 4 men who are the elite of the elite. Selected for their high intelligence, physical prowess, & of course, their impressive libido. They are in the midst of establishing a new colony on the desolate planet of Mars, preparing to rebuild humanity from the ground up in this dangerous foreign environment. The narrative of the book is told from each individual’s video diary entries, similar to that of Avatar or The Martian. While I found this to be a bit choppy at first, due to the rapid changing of person, once I got to know the characters better I found this style of writing to be quite refreshing. It was nice to learn about each character, their personalities, relationships, and strengths, rather than just focusing on the one individual. It was a great way to tell the story. The story itself is rather fast-paced as space novels go. It doesn’t get bogged down in overly complex scientific principles or language. In fact it rarely touches on these in any degree of difficulty and it makes the book very accessible and easy to read which was nice. However if you are the type of person who wants to read and learn about the complexities of space & science then this might not be your type of book. One downside to its fast paced nature is the lack of danger within the story. The book moves so quickly from one scenario to another that during the events with the Cult, the books main antagonist, I didn’t feel like the characters were in any real danger or harm which was a shame. The main fight scene was over as quickly as it started. My main issue with the book is the believability of the characters. So much of the story just focuses on the sexual activities of the characters with one another, and they come across as horny teenagers rather than the smartest minds in existence. While I understand there would be large focus on the sexual activity of a group responsible for colonising a planet, I find it hard to believe that the majority of their day-to-day lives would just be about sex. This is part of the reason that the book loses a bit of its sense of danger when the characters are either talking about or having sex. It’s also a bit strange to be telling your future kids how much you liked to be fondled by several women, including your mother. Overall I found Blood Red Dust to be a refreshing story. It’s an interesting read with a fresh take on the space/sci-fi genre, telling a different kind of story in a different kind of way. Its flaws aside, the book is fast paced and enjoyable and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a light/fun read.
TLDR: 4/5— if you’re a fan of science fiction or like playing games where you discover the story through reading lore and finding pages you’ll like it. If not, then you will still probably like it, but the formatting may take some getting used to.Review:Blood Red Dust (Generations Mars) Volume 1 is a science fiction novel written as though it were a documentary or really like a reality television show in which different cameras are used to document different characters (known collectively as The Chosen) and the events they go through. And like a reality television show, this book has sexual tension for days. This makes sense of course. The Chosen are there to breed and create the perfect human being.As stated in one of my prior reviews, I love science fiction. I like to be taken to places not yet known to us and see different people’s take on what humanity’s future could be which leads me to my two main gripes. The first is that, as refreshing as the presentation and voices are, the setting is a bit cliché just not for the science fiction world. This is another book set in a dystopian future world, and again humanity has regressed. (Why can’t we have nice things?!) The second is that because there are so many different points of view going on, remembering who everyone is and their role can be a bit tedious. But setting and points of view cataloging aside, the story is a quick read that isn’t overly technical, making it a great potential first read for those who don’t normally like the science fiction novels, especially of the epic kinds.So with my last point, I’d like to say that if you like science fiction for the action sequences, simmer that down for this, and give it a fair chance. There is a Death Cult, and it does its name justice by being the main antagonist. But confrontation with them is not the focus of the story the entire time. This books is an easy read for everyone, so hard core science fiction readers might feel a bit underwhelmed at first, but there is a lot to like here.Final Thoughts: A fun read and nice addition to the science fiction genre. It does a book’s job and keeps you entertained to the last page.
Blood Red Dust by Stuart Aken is a SF story about twelfe chosen-ones to create a new community on Mars.SF is not my favorite genre hereby I was happily surprised that there was no written extensively about technical details, because I definitely would have lost my attention. The most eye-catching of this book is the chosen narrative style. The story is told by means of reports/diaries of the characters involved in the story. Characters in the first person written, telling the complications from their own point of view, makes their story more understandable to the reader and involves him closely into it.By writing the same time in a diary style, tension increases dramatically. Unfortunately, the built up tension disappears at some point.Nevertheless, I do appreciate the narrative so much that I like to give four stars.I can recommend this book.
The first of Stuart Aken’s ‘Generation Mars’ books takes three major contemporary social drivers – capitalism, religious fundamentalism and liberalism – and transplants them to Mars following economic and environmental collapse on Earth. The story takes the innovative form of a study based on recordings made by representatives of all three drivers with the most positive spin given to utopian liberals The Chosen.The Chosen make a good case for social and sexual advantages gained by removing the other two, particularly religion. However, these hot-housed super-humans aren’t always the paragons they like to think. They’re not above the odd bit of racism, despite being deliberately diverse. They are also fixated on their beauty and that of their contemporaries, which can get a bit ‘Love Island’. The name ‘The Chosen’ sets off other alarms; their existence is an innate rejection of others. They are to create a whole new race on Mars, with the recordings meant to be a history lesson cum guide for future generations. However, The Chosen have no intention of sullying their precious gene pool with either the mining colony or the asteroid belt workers, some of whom are – shock – actual criminals! These flaws feel deliberate; perfection is boring and there are tensions in the group despite their constant insistence that there aren’t.Meanwhile, the spirit of free enterprise is represented by Janine, a working-class sex professional based in the Martian mining colony. She’s doing all this to buy a car she’ll never actually get to drive, but despite her apparent vacuity Janine is a born survivor. She needs to be, because en route to Mars is a group of terrorists determined to end all human life in return for the usual snivelling visa to paradise.Religions tend to be a hotch-potch of different cultural and historical influences; so too is this nightmare mashup. The main source feels like the sort of extreme wahabbism that has so distorted Islam, although the perpetrators are a mixed bunch. They include the son of a wealthy Western industrialist along with the sort of cretin who struggles with words and sounds like the tweets of Donald Trump.The terrorists are a source of particularly dark humour. Anyone who disobeys their arbitrary rules is placed out in the Martian atmosphere and in one of my favourite lines, the fascistic leader then says ‘None could summon up the faith to continue their existence’.This humour is just as well; the matter-of-fact horror of constant rape and murder perpetrated by the terrorists would make the book a tough read otherwise. These villains are proper monsters and I admit they gave me pause. Most of the contemporary terrorism their philosophy is based on is about gaining power, with the ISIS caliphate only the most recent example. However, given that the Earth is needlessly destroyed by stupidity as much as anything else, the author seems to be saying there is little difference between those unable or unwilling to stop the slide into avoidable catastrophe and the terrorists they despise.The star of the novel is Mars itself. ‘Blood Red Dust’ is one of those really good science fiction stories in which eagerness to find out what happens next ensures the reader hoovers up loads of information about the red planet that might otherwise have been lost in the vagaries of academia or scientific research. Gravity is a good one; on Mars, it’s far less than Earth; a fact many Martian stories, especially on film, fail to address. Then there’s the length of the Martian day, which is longer than those on Earth due to distance from the sun. This means that the teenager whose research we are reading is only nine Martian years old. Meanwhile, the difference in atmosphere means certain weapons like missiles don’t work, so to defend themselves, the utopians make creative use of a space elevator and a laser they build themselves. There is more sly humour in their attempts to construct the weapon; they were meant to be the perfect society, so why should they need either weapons or the desire and ability to create them?The attack by the terrorists is gripping stuff, particularly as the stakes rise in the face of pointless psychopathic assault. There are parallels here with climate change denial, gun ownership and the anti-knowledge movement and the novel dramatizes these dark forces very well. However, at times the author’s rage and frustration rise too close to the surface and there is some very on-the-nose sermonising about the glaring stupidities of fundamentalist creeds (including capitalism) that the book’s natural readership will already know about and probably agree with.However, by the conclusion I had a lot more sympathy for The Chosen, who want to help everyone and do their best to see it through. The terrorists are very determined; indeed, even the utopians grudgingly admire the persistence of their idiotic but lethal foes. That the outcome ultimately rests on diligence and compassion makes the novel a timely read. It’s also hard to put down and I devoured it in one sitting.
This is a good sci-fi read. It tells of a calamity on Earth that reflects some of the concerns and troubles of modern times, and of the resultant efforts to save some of humanity by colonising Mars. It's told as a series of historical records, but despite the fragmentary style is does feel like a coherent style.I wasn't a big fan of the Chosen, the superior smugness is a bit grating over time. To an extent all of the characters feel like they represent different aspects of humanity, which gives it a bit of a parable feel.