An obscure medical researcher develops Bevvinase, the "miracle enzyme" capable of driving carbon dioxide-to oxygen conversion within the organism, a radical innovation that opens the hostile Martian environment to permanent colonization. Decades later, several hundred Burroughs Enclave denizens are teetering on the brink of becoming a "lost colony" when former intelligence officer and alpinist Jesperson, together with his work-partner Barnes, both deported felons, are among the few hundred "Marsrats" -- Mars-rationalized, carbon-dioxide-breathing humans -- living within the pressurized, roof-shielded crater housing Burroughs in proximity to the long shadow of the immense Olympus Mons shield volcano and its vast aqueduct system, the sole source of essential water. A minor eruption and ensuing quake causes unknown damage to the aqueduct system, and the flow of water abruptly ceases, while at the same time a brewing earthly economic crisis provides a reason for the enclave's former sponsor, giant conglomerate Vonex Corporation, to officially hand over absentee governance of the enclave to the United Nations Organization. Struggling against vigorous opposition, with aid from the homeworld unavailable, Jesperson and Barnes lead a semi-suicidal trek to the volcano's heights in a desperate attempt to repair the aqueduct and save the "Marsrats."
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About the Author
Born at an early age of mixed parents, a man and a woman, the author’s early childhood was a disaster; his imaginary playmate would have nothing to do with him, though he himself thought the kid was great. Since then it’s been all downhill. Seriously, a former aerospace engineer, he spent several decades designing flight systems hardware at Lockheed Missiles & Space Co., where a career high was five years spent on a recently declassified project codenamed AZORIAN that secretly and successfully retrieved a Soviet era naval submarine from the deep Pacific north of Hawaii. Olympus Mons is one of ten novels published by Virtualbookworm.com Publishing, eight in the vein of speculative fiction, one historical novel, and one a humorous satire of the areospace industry.