The futuristic sci-fi novel that will take you to Mars
Science fiction author Robert E. Hastings takes you to Mars in his upcoming novel Terre Rouge.
With Elon Musk dedicated to colonize Mars, and efforts being made to get man to the Red Planet, novels that play with the idea what living on Mars could look like are more controversial and inspiring than ever before. Terre Rouge is exactly this kind of novel, futuristic, refreshing, scientifically well researched. In his interview with maranth press, the creative mind behind the book, Robert E. Hastings, will give us an insight on what inspired him for his novel, and what he thinks about the future of humanity on Mars.
Was your novel inspired by actual ideas or plans to colonize or terraform Mars, or where did you get the idea for the world-building?
Oddly enough, the story originally was to take place on futuristic earth, but with SpaceX constantly in the news and talk of people volunteering for a one-way trip to Mars, I thought why not move my story to a future colony on the red planet. It made sense, and afforded me the opportunity to create my own world.
What inspired you for the city in your book? Do you believe this could be how a colonized Mars could actually look like?
I considered what it might take for a future colony to be able to survive on Mars, which would still be a very hostile environment even after Terraforming. Domed cities made sense to keep a stable environment for the colonists to survive and thrive in. I have since seen artists' renderings, based on scientific prototypes, of domed cities on Mars that looked very similar to the ones that I have envisioned.
What do you believe are the biggest challenges for colonizing Mars, or a new Earth?
As I mentioned earlier, the Mars environment will still be very harsh and savage, and food and water supplies will be nonexistent will the first pioneers arrive. They will have to rely upon supplies from earth until they can develop an ecosystem that can provide for them. It will be tough going from the very start, and many of those that made the one-way trip will not survive. And, lawlessness could be an issue, as, being humans, there could be a fight to control the resources that the colonist do have.
How much scientific research did you have to put into your novel?
I actually did quite a lot, but certainly not as much as successful authors that make a living at the trade and can afford researchers and expert contacts to help them. Plus, working a "real" job to make a living does not afford me as much time as I'd like to do extensive research. A lot of the research and technical information originally in the novel was cut to avoid an "info dump" and keep the story moving.
Some people believe that we could build a „better world“ if we move to Mars. What are your thoughts? Is this realistic? Can we avoid a future that is dystopian?
Well, I'd like to think so, but I don't think that it is realistic when you look at human history. I'm sure much of the early colonization of Earth had much of those same ideological dreams to build a better world. But, you never know, perhaps we can learn from our past mistakes.
Could you imagine moving to Mars, or any other planet?
I don't see that in my future, but I believe that it is, as suggested in my novel "Terre Rouge", essential for the survival of the human species. It will begin in small steps, like to Mars, but who knows where our future expansion into space will lead us. And, we already know that there are planets in the Goldilocks Zone, or habitable zone, within our own galaxy that could very well support human life.
“Terre Rouge“ will be published this month.
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Interviewed by Ámaris Wen