Ares by L. Neil Smith
Trade Paperback – Caezik S.F. – Dec 2023 – 226 pages
As humanity explores space, political strife rips apart nations and increases social divides. US President Horton Willoughby III governs only Eastern America, and is seen as a political farce. Industrialist Richfield Chan sees opportunity in the fractured government, and plans to seize power.
Chan rallies allies to send a seventh colony ship to Mars, hoping to undermine the current president. The Ngu family, responsible for terraforming and mining on Pallas, realize that any rescue mission from Earth will arrive too late. Four siblings launch a rescue mission from Pallas to save the ailing colonists with their expertise and better chosen implements.
The Ngu siblings know their mission is one-way, and must teach the colonists to survive on the inhospitable planet or find a way to endure until another rescue ship arrives. The “little people” refuse to be subject to incompetent governments any longer, and must make their own stand.