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Freedom at Feronia: cover, with ship image In The Dark Colony, Lisa and her team of asteroid police captured a nuclear rocket, and rescued a dozen kidnapped children. Now they aim to return the children to Mars, but first they need to build a ship. The rebel colony of Feronia is on their way, taken over by Christian fundamentalists. Can they return it to civilization, and what kind of government will lead to a long-term peace?

This is hard science-fiction, with no laser swords or time-warps, where space travel is difficult and takes many months, and the people who live in space must use engineering innovation to build what they need from local materials.

For some very interesting discussion about the book, see James Davis Nicoll's website.

Buy Freedom at Feronia Amazon Kindle USA Amazon Kindle UK Paperback from Createspace

Looking for the Feronia Project? It's here:planned parenthood
(I have no relationship with this charity and they don't endorse me)

Portrait, balding, sixty-something,glasses

Starting with a degree in Ergonomics, I moved into the High Tech world in the seventies, emerging relatively unscathed twenty years later. I was around when the profession of User Interface Designer had invented itself, and it provided me with a decent living in Canada. I left that business in the late nineties, before the tech bubble burst, going freelance to write custom software for a number of small firms. Now I've retired from all that and moved back to England. I live in the summer on my narrowboat "Delta Vee" (for the uninitiated, that's the rocketry term for a "change in velocity", many narrowboat names refer to slowing down). The winters, I live in a up north, near Hexham. I have two lovely daughters, one a psychologist and the other a veterinary nurse.

Since reading early science fiction as a teenager, especially the books by Robert Heinlein, I have been obsessed by humanity's future as a space-dwelling species. The non-fiction book "A Step Further Out" by Jerry Pournelle revealed the serious challenges to this idea, and got me thinking about ways of overcoming them. Several ideas and years of calculation later, I had a detailed simulation of the colonisation of the Solar System, with named individuals travelling about under the control of a realistic simulation of the motion of the various lumps of rock that fly about up there. Turning the simulation into anything other than a vastly expanded virtual train set was the challenge. This book is an attempt at that. If you spend all your spare moments in a complex imaginary world, you can be considered insane. Unless you share it with some other people, then you are an author. The big questions people ask when I talk about this world are: why would anyone want to go, and why wouldn't it turn into wild-west chaos. I've found there is no short answer to these questions, and fiction seems like the best way to address them. The "why" question seems so obvious to me I can't assemble arguments to it. The "peace" question is so broad, it's going to take several books for me to answer it to my own satisfaction.