Book Jacket

 

rank 5911
word count 12675
date submitted 22.06.2012
date updated 18.08.2012
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Science Fiction,...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Mars Prevails

Jeff Clombard

After a corrupt government releases a virus that sets the populace against each other a few disparate groups form a resistance.

 

Mars: The first planet colonized by man. Mars: The industrial giant. Mars: The forgotten experiment left to it's own devices. Three hundred years have passed since Mars was colonized and it is now controlled by a mining conglomerate and a corrupt government. When a virus is released that turns the citizens of Mars into bloodthirsty killing machines a few scattered groups attempt to not only survive, but fight back against the tyranny. Mars for the Martians!

 
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tags

, evil corporation, fiction, future, future tech, hero journey, mars, science fiction, virus, war, zombies

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26 comments

 

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jet ramea wrote 576 days ago

nanobot review

i have to admit, i like the simplicity of the long pitch and that would definitely fuel someone to finish this story. that said, you display an ability to bring that plot to fruition with the introduction of beverly and the current conditions of mars as a result of a corporatist system plaguing the average inhabitants of the colonized planet.

the first chapter is brief, but to the point, and i think that achieves your hook very well. here we have a planet in desperate need of improvement and at least one person interested in getting that done despite the 'red' tape clearly involved in that process. i am wondering where beverly will fit in with the resistance crowd and would continue reading to find out. and that at its heart, i believe, is what makes a good story. fostering incentive in readers to continue reading.

scottkenny wrote 576 days ago

Nanobots review.
It's just as well I read beyond chapter one, or I wouldn't have seen the way you are setting the book out - introducing new characters one at a time per chapter. I like this approach and have no doubt that when the people do begin to interact we will have a more rounded understanding of their position vis - a - vis each other. The setting is just as I imagine Mars to be, though it wouldn't do any harm to fill that aspect out a bit. I think that the main gripe for me is 'tense' issues, with both past tense and present tense being used in the same sentence.
Best wishes,
Scott.

Elizabeth H wrote 578 days ago

Club nanobots review.

This is a very believable take on future Mars exploration. or exploitation in this case. Humanity, being what it is, has managed to put the most inappropriate in charge to extract the biggest profit with no concern for the lives of the miners.

Beverley comes across as a very charismatic MC. She is smart, good at her job and very aware the risks the company is taking with the new dig, despite all her carefully laid plans for a safe dig. Now she gets to meet the head man. This is an awesome hook.

Nits: I noticed a few missing commas and there is a d missing off the end of an and.

Thanks for a great read.

WiSpY wrote 587 days ago

Nanobots Review

Awesome

Right into the future flawlessly!

Do a punctuation edit - a few commas missing and an extra apostrophe (it's should be its)

Cartertown - love it :)

Very nice writing - easy to read. Once you fix the punctuation, this will be an excellent piece of writing - publishable. Good story too, I would read more...

Rob

Daniel de Molay-Wilson wrote 590 days ago

Club Nanobots Review:

Hi,

I'm very glad to there's a Mars-themed story in the mix here. It wouldn't feel like a Sci-Fi club without one given it's a destination mentioned in the papers and on the news, so it's good to get in there before such ideas become reality...

Your work has another kind of quality to the other stories I've read here, perhaps on account of the font size and style offering a different on-screen experience, as though akin to a film treatment or a scripted format (Courier being the font style for such mediums.)

But in general, yes, you really do have a good thing here. I would, however, like to strongly recommend some sites that could prove, in the long-run, to increase a tone of greater realism to your work. These being the sites for the European Space Agency, the International Space Station, in particular, and of course, NASA's website, too. All are very informative and could swerve you to newer, even more bolder projects in the realm of interplanetary affairs and our near-realised efforts for colonisation. (I'm English, so that's an 's' not a 'z' there) ;)
haha!

So in closing, a big well done and I please check out those sites, as they're incredible and informative in what it is we're capable of on a good day...

Kind regards,
Dan

KirkH wrote 597 days ago

This is a Club NanoBot review...
Hi Jeff,
Great to see a Mars sci-fi story on Autho. I hope a few tips may help you make this story a little better:
First, you mention "Beverly" way too often in the first chapter. Is there a way to reduce her name down, such as using 'her' or re-writing a few sentences?
The description of the mining industry reminds me a little of the sci-fi movie "Outland", which is cool. I'm wondering if either Beverly, or a best friend, should provide comic releaf by watching a video of Martin the Matian (from Bugs Bunny) saying something - IMO. It could help break the ice and make it easier for readers to get into the story better. Give it a try.
All the best
Kirk

Sara Stinson wrote 600 days ago

Club Nanobots Review

You have a great story idea going. Your writing is simply and easy to read...which is a good thing. I enjoyed the read and wish you the best!

Sara Stinson
Finger Bones

MauriceR wrote 604 days ago

Club Nanobots Critique

The story line of an evil corporation cutting corners to boost profits is a pretty well used one, so I would be looking for interesting twists on the base premise. It felt like things were just getting set up at this stage - but then it is only chapter 1.
You get across the idea that she is putting herself in danger by approaching the boss with her concerns, but it occurred to me that you could make it more engaging by giving more hint of her own feelings - such as to what extent she was or wasn’t scared by this.
Just some thoughts. Hope they are of some help.

Cheers
Maurice

Abbiealso wrote 609 days ago

Club Nanobots Review Chapter One.
A fresh and flowing start with a good premise so far. The only thing i'd say is that i think you say Beverly's name to many times in a paragraph. And maybe read the sentences aloud to yourself, remember comma's are your friends. Other than that, Really nice read and can't wait to read on.

Abbie Lee Walace
Medically Mystifying

brerandall wrote 611 days ago

Club Nanobot:
This was interesting for me. The way the text shows up on the screen gives it an oddly sterile feel, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Interesting voice with the MC. She seems...reserved. Which is a little refreshing. There's a simplicity here that makes it easy to read. I'm interested to see where this is going, for sure. It's well written, with a few easy to fix grammatical things (which Sue pointed out), but other than that I think this is a really lovely first chapter. Highly starred. (:

Bre
Memoria

Roy Batty wrote 617 days ago

Club Nanobots: Hi - standard sci-fi not a criticism. If I was a sci-fi nut you would be pressing my buttons. Always nice to have an impending disaster a few pages away. The fact that the virus hasn't appeared in the first chapter is no problem, I can wait. A few paragraphs are a little lazy, for example para 7, repetition of ago, really easy to fix. Nice to have a female MC, reminiscent of Ripley, I know she will kick ass - if she is the MC it might be an idea to include her name etc., in your pitch. All in all a tidy start. Roy.

kokako wrote 619 days ago

Club Nanobots

Hi Jeff,

Here’s my Nanobots review for ‘Mars Prevails’. Below are a few things I noted as I read – not many, though. These are just suggestions, and I’m no expert, so take what works for you and feel free to toss the rest.


Ch 1

1) ‘the perimeter kicking’
comma after ‘perimeter’

2) ‘red tinged’
hyphen

3) ‘tongue lashing she received’
‘she’ should be ‘she’d’

4) ‘room not bothering’
comma after ‘room’

5) ‘the making an when the dig’
‘an’ should be ‘and’

6) ‘would be in the chopping block’
‘in’ should be ‘on’ (it’s ‘in’ the firing line, but ‘on’ the chopping block)

7) ‘top of the line’
I’d hyphenate

8) ‘T wo thousand’
remove gap

9) ‘to one of flunkies’
should be ‘to one of his flunkies’

A nice start. You lay out the issues confronting Beverly and her frustration over them nicely. This chapter feels a little static though, probably because there’s a lot of information in it and very little happening. Perhaps she could witness a near accident as she’s watching the activity at the mine or something? This would highlight Beverly’s concerns and pull the reader more strongly into identifying with her dilemma.

Your writing is clear and easy to read and chapter one sets up an interesting problem that isn’t uncommon these days on Earth. Good work.

Sue

Paul Richards wrote 620 days ago

Nanobot Review:

Ever since I read Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis, I have had a fascination about stories about Mars. This does not go to the depiction of what a Martian is supposed to look like. The idea of colonialsation of Mars is an idea that actually might become sci-fact someday.

Interesting concept and a lot of promise to your story. I do wonder why you are using this kind of typeface. Courier or the like is more difficult to read on a computer screen.

You seem to slip into very common sci-fi terminology such as Delta. I doubt there is a more often used designation than Delta for some reason. It just sounds sci-fi and technical but it is overused.

The safety precautions had been "overlooked, overruled or flat out forgotten" is a bit redundant. "Overlooked or overruled" or "Overruled or flat out forgotten" is enough and does not beg the point.

"Cross between skilled minors an blind luck" I always wonder why the word blind is used to modify luck when it adds nothing to the meaning. I really doubt that the skilled miners are stumbling around blind and luck into doing a good job. It contradicts itself.

Your format suffers from the use of the type face. I don't know if you have no options but if you do, change it to Arial or Helvetica or some sans serif font. It will even it out and help it be easier to read.

I sure hope Beverly loose lips and threats to these seemingly ruthless corporate bullies do not sink here on the Red Planet. Maybe she can find, Oyarsa at his home in Meldilorn. He hates the colonists and might help her overthrow if she promises to shut the place down and return to Earth as Ransom did.

Abby Vandiver wrote 620 days ago

Club Nanobots Critique

I actually like this and caught the humor in several places - "Judging by the tongue lashing she received, the safety council should drop the independent part of their name."

My book is also about Mars and your quote at the beginning would fit perfectly in it. As a matter-of-fact one of my characters relays that same sentiment, only not so succinctly.

So here are the grammatical errors I see:

You forgot to capitalize "Mars" in one place.
Independent Safety Council should probably have initial caps if that is the name of an organization.
This entire project was a disaster in the making an when . . . "an" s/b "and"
"With META's blessing they build . . ." it should be built.
If writing for an American audience I would spell enquiries with an "i" so inquiries.

I like the story and I will read more. Good job.

John Life wrote 622 days ago

Club Nanobots Critique
Mars Prevails
By Jeff Clombard

Chapter one is a good intro to the book as it gets me interested in this character Beverly.
She sounds competent, even though she also sounds a bit too moany. If we had some action from her we might accept this moan as her action should show her character.
This opening could do with more ‘showing’ and less telling. (Mind you, one could say that to nearly every book), however in saying that, it would be more dramatic to show us a safety incident rather than telling us about unsafety… and so keep the drama moving.
There are few typos which would be better if they are not in the first chapter, where people first look…. Such as:
‘an when the gig went bust…’
‘T wo thousand new miners…”
Beside these small things this is a good start to a hopefully good book.
Thanks.

Lenny Banks wrote 623 days ago

Hi Jeff, I read chapters 6 and 7. I found this to be an interesting idea of the future. It is sad that we can't sort out the problems of this planet and are already expending fuel and energy exploring others, this future you paint is probably nearer than we think. The dialogue is good and you have a handle on the characters. Good Work.

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes
Lenny Banks - Tide and Time: At The Rock
I noted you are backing your own book, I made the same mistake; apparently you dont get any credit for doing that. I would appreciate a return read and comment if you are able to find time, hopefully you might put mine up until you find something better. ;-) Thanks

Pollyanna Pilsbury wrote 628 days ago

Club Nanobots review.

Chapter one is a nice introduction as to what is going on and where. It's well wriiten with only a couple of typos.
A little more of Beverly's character would have helped as she came across to me as being a moany jobs-worth.
In England WATTS is a very old and established furniture and toy shop chain. I was distracted by their image each time I read the word WATTS (it was mentioned a lot in a short space).
All in all it's an interesting beginning.
Pollyanna.

Ryan_Gomes wrote 631 days ago

Club Nanobots Critique

I love stories involving Mars, so I was already partial to this before I read it. Althogh your first chapter was a little short, I did find it compelling enough to make the reader want to read on. A few typos aside, you've got some great structure and grammar in your story. I quite liked Beverly as a character, and she seems like a likable protagonist. All good stuff!

To improve and make this great chapter even better, I do think a little more description would help. I also think employing "show, not tell" would make a big difference. Showing a thing or two, perhaps in the prologue, of previous accidents or even of Beverly before the dig arguing with the safety council would be wonderful. Can't wait to read more!

Ryan

Douglas York wrote 633 days ago

Club Nanobots Critique

I've only read the first chapter, but hopefully I can read more today. As far as content goes, this is very promising and right up my alley. I love space scifis. I think the biggest downfall of this chapter is that you information drop before the reader has a chance to care about the world.

I'll start with the good and then try to provide some suggestions. When I read something like this, my favorite lines are the odd specifics. "She had dealt with every underling from Cartertown to Lowell." I loved this - we don't need to know where Cartertown or Lowell are, or if they're cities or towns, etc. We get the idea that she's talked with countless people but you execute it in a way that gives us colorful details.

For me, there was too much telling in this chapter. I'm still interested because I like the content and the subject matter, but I felt like I was reading the history of the world before anything happened to a character.

I thought you over-stressed the "telling" of how unsafe the dig was. I would have rathered you show me through something happening. Perhaps a miner comes running into the command center bleeding, or a pipe bursts because of pressure. Something that would convey the idea through action and dialogue and less through the narrator's explanation.

There were a few typos here and there, but a quick spell check can't hurt. My main point is that to care about the world you created, we first need to care about Beverly and what might happen to her. To accomplish that, we need to be hooked by the action in the story, and less by the information drop.

I've added this to my bookshelf because I'm interested to see where you take this!

JAMIE TUBBS wrote 646 days ago

This a very informed storyline, which shows you have clearly done plenty of research before writing about somewhere no one has ever been to.
You've created the set up for what could turn out to be a really interesting read.
I will return to find out what happens next.

Jamie Tubbs.

Mike Lee wrote 660 days ago

Jeff, it looks like my comment was lost before posting... so if this double posts, you know why!
It looks like you have a couple slight problems with tense usage. That's typical, but you will have to proof-read those out.
I like this scene where you talk about Jin becoming obsessed to the point of madness, and KNOWING he is going mad. I would milk that a little more. Since he is (presumably) our first case of madness, the sympathy you create for him in his madness will carryover to all eventual victims. I especially liked "as his anxiety swelled in his head..." Nice touch. Milk it :)
You know, I have to say this: You and I have at least one problem in common. We want to start the story with background and setting. Jeff, you might seriously think about switching the positions of chapter one and two, because two give us some promise of conflict, emotion, sympathy for the character(s)... chapter one gives us forshadow of problem solving. I think you could hook readers better with chap. 2, and then chapter one will explain something about what's going on. Give it a thought. But if you do that, put in more actual action: Jin digging, Jin worrying about getting excavation out, and really milk the madness angle. What do you think of that idea?

patio wrote 660 days ago

"If they kept staring he would give them something to look at". I'm gonna do that when people stare at me

Mike Lee wrote 664 days ago

Jeff, you know what I think you ought to do? I think you ought to change your title. Do you remember that spoof/satire movie called "Mars Attacks!"? I wonder if your title is just a bit too similar, and doesn't give the impression that you are writing real sci-fi here. You could try a few titles, and you will know when you found the right one when you get a few comments. Let me tell you, my first book was up here 8 months, and got one comment. This recent one is up one week or so and gets 9. Title (AND pitch) matter. I bet "Mining Mars" would do better, because it wouldn't let people think this is a spoof- but you can probably do better than that, with a little thought. Anyway, I was just looking your pitch over when that crossed my mind, so give it a thought.
Mike Lee

Jeenyus336 wrote 666 days ago

Thanks for your feedback. I'm hoping to check out a few books on here as I'm off for work for a while. I'm not going to lie, that is a first draft your reading and the only proofing that's been done is spell check, but I thought I'd throw it up here because I like when someone points out something I've missed or points me in a direction I perhaps hadn't thought of. I definitely struggled with the long pitch, and I guess it showed lol.
All your critiques are noted and very valid, but it's always easier, for me at least, when someone else notices the issues. Again, thanks for you critique and just for reading it at all. Good luck with all your endeavors on here and in general.

Jeff,
You have set a good table here. We see the coming conflicts (miners/company/individual company officers) and we know from the pitch that an emergency is on its way.

I don't see any real problems with your style as a writer, and there is not enough here to judge whether you are getting too caught up in the minutia, the details of each scene, or if everything will come back and be necessary to the later story, but I write the same way; putting the detail in, and hoping I have the good chops to cut the extranious out later. Still, I rely on others to help me find those cuts. I suspect that as the story goes on, you will be able to cut this beginning by a quarter or in half, and it will probably read better for it, but don't taek that to heart and start cutting before we have more to see.

So, next after style and errors is story construction, and frankly, we don't have enough here to address that. i will mention that your short pitch is fine, but your long pitch needs work. It's closer to a synopsis than a pitch. Use the long pitch to create questions and stimulate the imagination of the person browsing for a good read. I can't make any suggestions, because I don't know the story yet, and pitches CAN be very difficult to get right. I would start by eliminating everything after "insanity and violence," and try to hint at problems without identifying so precisly what is going to happen. Instead of "Edger Whatsit leads the struggle to cure the virus" maybe say, "Racing the clock to find a cure for the virus, disaster begins to look unavoidable!" Poor, I know, but I'm trying to illustrate a principal, not give an actual suggestion I would use.

So, very often in comments like this, I will start observing the things that you do well; the limiting factor just now is that we have little to judge from. Give us some more to look at; this piece looks very workable to me.

Mike Lee

Mike Lee wrote 666 days ago

Jeff,
You have set a good table here. We see the coming conflicts (miners/company/individual company officers) and we know from the pitch that an emergency is on its way.

I don't see any real problems with your style as a writer, and there is not enough here to judge whether you are getting too caught up in the minutia, the details of each scene, or if everything will come back and be necessary to the later story, but I write the same way; putting the detail in, and hoping I have the good chops to cut the extranious out later. Still, I rely on others to help me find those cuts. I suspect that as the story goes on, you will be able to cut this beginning by a quarter or in half, and it will probably read better for it, but don't taek that to heart and start cutting before we have more to see.

So, next after style and errors is story construction, and frankly, we don't have enough here to address that. i will mention that your short pitch is fine, but your long pitch needs work. It's closer to a synopsis than a pitch. Use the long pitch to create questions and stimulate the imagination of the person browsing for a good read. I can't make any suggestions, because I don't know the story yet, and pitches CAN be very difficult to get right. I would start by eliminating everything after "insanity and violence," and try to hint at problems without identifying so precisly what is going to happen. Instead of "Edger Whatsit leads the struggle to cure the virus" maybe say, "Racing the clock to find a cure for the virus, disaster begins to look unavoidable!" Poor, I know, but I'm trying to illustrate a principal, not give an actual suggestion I would use.

So, very often in comments like this, I will start observing the things that you do well; the limiting factor just now is that we have little to judge from. Give us some more to look at; this piece looks very workable to me.

Mike Lee

Mike Lee wrote 666 days ago

Jeff, I will make a comment after I have completed reading which will be broader, but since I am the first, I will take a moment to point out some little things along the way. I hope you find some of them helpful.

You will need a good proof reader (we all do, by the way) to help you locate some commas, etc. to make some of the reading more clear. For example, in Chap. 1, "Now it was a planet with a pulse run by people determined to kill it," would probably read better as, "Now it was a planet with a pulse, but run by people determined to kill it." The first sounds like people are running the pulse, and determined to kill the pulse.

"breath that smelled like the polar ice flows..." Well, I don't know what polar ice flows smell like. Is that minty-fresh? My point is that when you make this sort of comparison, you need to be referring to something people either know, or can easily imagine. This might work if you said, "smelled like the mud beneath the polar ice flows," or something, because we all know it wouldn't be good to smell like mud. On the other hand, Dentine Gum USES "ice" imagery to sell minty-fresh gum. In fact, they have a line NAMED "Ice."

1