Paper has lived her whole life in Fill City One so she is quite used to the overpowering smell that has become known as the Everpresent Stink. Fillers like her can never leave and they only dream about living in a place with actual clean air, which means it isn't one of the giant landfills now known as Fill Cities. The mob runs the Fill Cities in a ruthless manner and if you live there then it means that one of your ancestors signed a contract binding them, and their next 8 generations, to life as a Filler. Despite that fact, Fillers still love to watch TV shows about the outside world to see the exotic foods they will never eat and the places they will never go, like Mars. The biggest new TV show is called "You're Going To Mars!" and it is being run by Zach Larson, a tech entrepreneur who is using the show to help fund the first human mission to Mars. With his futuristic version of Willy Wonka's golden tickets, Zach has created a contest that will result in a few lucky winners competing in a reality TV series to win the right to join a crew of trained professionals on this historic space mission. This may all sound pretty cliche but if you are into rooting for the underdog and want a fun sci-fi story that never takes itself too seriously then look no further than "You're Going To Mars!"
Captain Keyes is not the same man he used to be and he has emerged from his captivity placing vengeance above all else. He is also willing to pay any price to get it. None of this is good news for his crew or his allies since the enemy fleet is far larger than they ever imagined. Even so, the real threat to team Keyes is not the enemy fleet itself but rather the Advanced AI that is controlling it. The presence of the AI behind the scenes makes things more complicated for everyone caught up in this mess and that AI is quite capable of out thinking anyone fighting against it. It has been lurking in the background for quite a long time and it planned for this very war long ago when it wrote the original Ixan Prophecies. Using its incredible ability to predict the future the AI put the prophecies into play many years ago and so far they are proving to be quite accurate. Is this a case of the AI predicting the future or are the prophecies themselves a form of manipulation? Free will may be battling destiny in this war but no matter which side you believe in there is no denying that the prophecies have always fortold the destruction of humanity.
Now that the various races are picking sides in the galactic war nothing could be more appropriate than for humanity to start fighting with each other. Dark Tech can no longer be relied upon by the human fleet so that makes Captain Keyes and the Providence a force to be reckoned with. The Providence is bigger and more well armored than any of the newer ships in the human fleet, perhaps even the entire galaxy, and as a Supercarrier class it can carry multiple wings of fighters making it a battle group unto itself. With the support of the alien personnel that he has allowed on board Keyes is plans do what is "right" even if it means fighting against his own race. What makes it all the more complicated is that all of these events were predicted in the Ixan Prophecies and Keyes is starting to believe that those prophecies are more than just religious mumbo jumbo. While he hopes to use what the prophecies predict as a form of military intelligence to help him win this war, he is also concerned that the prophecies could be manipulating him and others into taking actions that will ultimately make them come true. Not good when those prophecies end with the downfall of humanity.
The Six Families made a deal with the Anvarrid invaders. In return for leaving their Fortresses untouched the psychics of the Families would become warriors to guard the Anvarrid. They would share their technology and give up their individual languages. The Families lied and rather than share technology that could be misused they hid it. Also, one promising engineer in each generation was designated the Oathbreaker and taught the language of the Fortress so they could communicate with it. Then the Horn Family discovers a man freezing to death on a glacier within sight of the abandoned Salonen Fortress. A man with no memory, probably a spy sent by a hostile empire, of pure Salonen DNA, and with an instinctive knowledge of engineering. Killing him and burying Salonen would be the safe choice. Or the Horn might risk their independence, the Treaty, and their way of life to recall the technology of the founders and bring Salonen back to life.
The last Joe Ledger series came to a close with the formation of a new agency, Rogue Team International, which replaced the Department of Military Sciences after it fell out of favor with the current administration of the US government. RTI is much smaller than the DMS, but other than new team names and new call signs, it is still playing a similar role protecting the world from the largest and most deadly threats. In theory, RTI should be able to play an even bigger role now that it has no affiliation with any country, but since Mr. Church is still running things and Joe Ledger is still the main operative, the rest of the world isn't so quick to accept RTI's professed neutrality. Nevertheless, RTI is first on the scene when leaked footage appears to show the United States testing a new bio-weapon on the inhabitants of a small North Korean island. A bio-weapon that almost instantly turns anyone it comes into contact with into a rage filled killer...
An aging starship that is the last of it's kind within a fleet of modern warships has become a sci-fi trope at this point. In the case of Supercarrier, that ship is the Providence and it is not the only trope embraced right off the bat. Captain Keyes is a veteran of the first galactic war, and loved by the public, but he is hated by the rest of the military brass and that is why he captains the Providence. He has also just been assigned a first lieutenant to serve under him as a form of punishment to go along with a demotion for not following orders. That's three tropes so far but we better stop counting or we won't get to the actual story. Humanity has ruled the galaxy since winning the first galactic war by deploying Dark Tech (lol, what could possibly go wrong there) and the other races have started to resent us for it. Dark Tech allows our modern ships to do amazing things like create their own wormholes for travel and curve ordinance after they fire it, so it is a carefully guarded secret and shared with no one. We humans view ourselves as peacekeepers and believe that we use Dark Tech for the good of everyone, but the other races don't see it that way and they have had about enough of us. This is a powder keg of a situation just waiting for a spark...
Hellifax is the third book in the Mountain Man series but the events within it occur simultaneously with those of book 2, Safari, so in a way is more like book 2b than book 3. This time around we follow Scott and his desire for revenge against Tenner which takes him to the city of Halifax. Back in the first book, Mountain Man, Scott and his two companions ran into Tenner and that encounter ended with Scott being shot in the back and left for dead. Barely able to survive his wound, Scott awoke to a gruesome scene of torture and the bodies of his two friends who were skinned alive by Tenner. Scott then vowed to avenge his friends and this book finally provides the details of that attempt. Scott is a big man, but he is no killer, so despite his desire to make Tenner pay for his crimes there is no guarantee that Scott has what it takes to make that happen. Luckily for him he runs into Amy.
Book two of the Mountain Man series picks up right after book one as Gus recovers from the attack on his home that almost killed him. His poor state of health forces him to venture into the city to find pain killers to aid in his recovery so he makes sure to also grab supplies (mostly booze.) WHen he begins to feel better he decides to take advantage of the winter conditions and fight back against the zombie horde down in the city while the cold and snow hampers their movement. This leads to the advancement of one of the more intriguing threads from the first book - why do the zombie corpses completely disappear within a few days after they are killed for good? When Gus finally uncovers the root cause behind the disappearances, he finds himself facing a new threat even more menacing than the zombies themselves.
Book one of this series, We Are Legion, was a unique take on the future of the human race. A future that became dependent on self replicating probes implanted with the personality of a cryogenically frozen, sarcastic, sci-fi geek named Bob. With Earth dying and becoming non-viable, Bob and all his replicants are busy doing what they can to find viable homes for the humans left on Earth; however, finding enough habitable planets and getting everyone off Earth in time is no easy task. To that end the Bobs make great strides in technology that allow them to better fulfill their role as humanity's caretakers but the challenges they face are also increasing at an alarming rate. Those challenges include first contact with alien races, both more and less advanced than Bob, domestic terrorists that threaten the survivors on Earth, and Bob's personal struggle with the fact that he is no longer human.
After two generations the research colony on Venus has lost most of its funding so the discovery of a possible alien artifact on the planet's surface couldn't come at a better time. It means an influx of money, but also a team of experts and security agents from the United Nations which has ruthlessly controlled the colonies since Mars tried to declare independence. Elsewhere in the galaxy, an alien planet is slowly dying. Their scientists have finally identified a world they can terraform. However, there is another intelligent species in the same solar system who might have a prior claim. There are those on both sides willing to do anything for their survival even if it means xenocide.