‘I saw your liftoff fail on YouTube. That was (expletive) sick.’ … Adam Upton is back for MARS COLONY AGATHA: NIKKI RED

I’ll be posting occasional excerpts from my upcoming novel, MARS COLONY AGATHA: NIKKI RED, leading up to the Nov. 1 release. Here’s part of a scene featuring the return of Adam Upton and Thomas Harvey, both of whom played major roles in the first three books in the series and still have some key scenes in the new one despite most of the action taking place beyond Earth orbit …

Sept. 15, 2022
Middlebrook, New Hampshire

Adam Upton was easy to spot walking out of Dunkin’ Donuts — a stocky young man in shorts, ice coffee in hand, with a prosthetic left foot putting a hitch in his gait.

Thomas surprised him before Adam opened his car door.

“Hey Upton,” he said, offering his hand.

“Holy shit! Lee?!” Adam shouted, using an old, loaded nickname to warmly greet his former friend, former shooting-plot accomplice, former enemy and former fellow South Pole winter-over experiment of The Bridge.

They shook hands and even half-hugged before Thomas eyed his bionic foot.

“How is it?” he asked Adam, who also lost two toes on his right foot to frostbite after getting stranded in a snowcat mishap near South Pole Station in August 2020.

“I’m sorta used to that one now,” he replied. “It’s still weird driving with three toes on the right foot. I always feel like I’m slamming on the brakes to make the damn thing stop.”

Thomas shook his head.

“You came back here?” Adam asked.

Thomas shrugged.

“I saw your liftoff fail on YouTube,” Adam said, taking a slug of coffee. “That was fucking sick.”

“It sucked hard … fucking tanked that thing in the North Sea.”

“Did you and Nikki get tossed around with that ejection … like rolling around on top of each other and shit?” asked Adam, bug-eyed with enthusiasm conversing with his old classmate from nearby Lakeview Regional High School.

“Yeah, we fucked each other in front of four foreign-speaking astronauts while we crashed down, dumbass,” Thomas deadpanned, cracking up Adam so much he nearly fumbled his coffee.

… to be continued



Amazing job as usual by Damon Freeman and his crew down in New Zealand of capturing my concept for the cover of this novel, just as they’ve done for the first three books in my Nikki Janicek series, which has traveled from Lakes of the Clouds Hut in the White Mountains of New Hampshire all the way to deep space, and many interesting places in between.

The release date for the Amazon paperback and e-book of MARS COLONY AGATHA: NIKKI RED has been bumped up to November 1st! Here’s the blurb:

Nicole Janicek already has stared down a high school shooter, a cult of criminal ex-Scientologists and six months of frigid darkness at South Pole Station in her young life, but now she risks it all attempting to ride a rocket to Mars in 2022. After the Red One mission quickly aborts in the skies over the North Sea, Nikki gets a surprise phone call from Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. What follows is a euphoric, historic, tragic and heroic mission to establish Mars Colony A, dubbed by some in the media as “Mars Colony Agatha” when misfortune strikes. While doubters predict the perilous mission will morph into “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie, Nikki and her crew are determined to write their own story. Through it all, Nikki is surprised to learn how strong her connection to those she loved on Earth remains despite the chasm of time and space.