By Robert Zubrin

From well known Mars visionary Robert Zubrin comes his much-anticipated debut novel - a piece of fiction born from the evidence that encouraged his groundbreaking nonfiction works, The Case for Mars and coming into house . choked with startling authenticity, First touchdown follows humankind's first manned venture to Mars, a brand new frontier of undreamed-of chances - and nightmarish hazards.

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There was a warning tone in Soneka’s inflection. Bronzi stopped what he was doing and looked around at his old friend. ’ ‘She was just being wary. ’ Bronzi shook his head. ‘Something’s up. ’ ‘My ace in the hole. If anything goes wrong, you’ll still know what I know. ’ ‘Nothing’s going to go wrong,’ said Soneka. Bronzi laughed. ’ ‘Enough to know that covering your arse is never a waste of time,’ Soneka replied. He shook his head. ’ ‘No,’ said Bronzi. ‘We’ve found ourselves in a war of lies, disguise and dissembling.

It formed part of the ‘noose’ that Lord Commander Namatjira was tightening around the enemy city. Hurtado Bronzi, a sixty-year veteran possessed of boundless charisma and a stocky body going to seed, leaned out of the billet doorway and took another deliberate stare along the red brick passageway. At the far end, where it opened out into a central courtyard, he could see the newcomer standing in conversation with Honen Mu and some of her aides. The newcomer was a big fellow, really big, a giant dressed in a dust-grey mail sleeve and a head shawl, with a soot-dulled bolter slung over his shoulder.

My ace in the hole. If anything goes wrong, you’ll still know what I know. ’ ‘Nothing’s going to go wrong,’ said Soneka. Bronzi laughed. ’ ‘Enough to know that covering your arse is never a waste of time,’ Soneka replied. He shook his head. ’ ‘No,’ said Bronzi. ‘We’ve found ourselves in a war of lies, disguise and dissembling. ’ Soneka didn’t look convinced. ‘Come on,’ Bronzi rumbled. ‘That’s why the Geno Five-Two has survived this long. We fight smart, we always have. ’ Bronzi winked. He wasn’t going to rise to the bait.

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