Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Forge of Mars – 2002 hard SF novel by Bruce Balfour

The Forge of Mars (2002), a hard science fiction novel by former NASA employee and writer Bruce Balfour.

Paperback original (New York: Ace Books, 2002) $6.99. Cover art by Jean Pierre Targete. The blurb from the back cover:

A NASA team has discovered alien ruins buried in the canyons of Mars, at the site called Vulcan’s Forge. The first man who touched them died, making them very, very interesting. NASA needs to figure out who left them, and what they might mean to earth exploration.

Tau Wolfsinger is the NASA researcher to do that. Brilliant and intuitive, he’s as much an outsider at the agency as he has been everywhere, all his life. Nobody likes using him, but he's the best.

What Tau doesn't know is that the Mars ruins aren't the first of their kind. The others are in the hands of the Davos Group, a shadowy international organization whose members have been hiding similar artifacts for decades, trying to unlock their secrets. Tau has sworn that his talents will not be put to military use, but dangerous people are watching him now, and they do not intend to be stopped.

Bruce Balfour has devoted an entire website to The Forge of Mars. It includes a cool globe of Mars, an excerpt from the novel, and a Reader’s Guide with discussion questions. Interestingly, the main character, Tau Edison Wolfsinger, "sees the world through the filter of Navajo Indian traditions and experience."

The Forge of Mars was reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer of the SF Site, Christian Sauvé, and the late cryptoterrestrial Mac Tonnies.

No comments: