“Snowfall on Mars” by Branden Frankel


This is a who-done-it story on Mars. Life is pretty bleak for the remaining 500 humans on the planet Mars. Really, life is not so good. These few are just hanging on for the last twenty years since The End. Why they are hanging on is a question no one can really answer.

David Adler is the main character in the story. He’s an oldster which means he was around when THE END happened. Not many of his kind are around. Mars had pretty much gone to pot since those idiots on earth blew themselves up, or did they?

What few people they have on Mars, do seem to be the best survivors of the bunch. Some survive by using their strength, while others use their brains. Still, some have talents that stay in demand while others make sure the ones who need to stay alive, do so. David Adler works in the mines. He’s a fungus miner! Yeah, they found some kind of fungus that eats martian soil and poops out a fungus that, when processed, is consumable for humans when they have absolutely nothing else to eat. There are no farms on Mars, there are no food processors on Mars. There isn’t anything coming from Earth, ever! Nothing works much because nobody really cares. The only thing keeping the last of humanity alive is the fungus that is made into sustainability rations and given out to those who want to continue to live. It’s a strange place; really strange.

Of course when you’ve got a group of people that have been through some horrendous times, some don’t quite stay right in their heads. One of the smart brains on Mars has just been killed. I mean, his head was almost severed from his body. Now that shows that someone didn’t like the guy a whole lot, but who would kill a person that keeps the few things on Mars working. David Adler intends to find out.

The story is a detective story with some interesting twist just because of where they are, the times and conditions. It’s interesting for a murder mystery I guess, but I don’t usually like reading these things because you can usually figure out who did what before the end of the story. This one wasn’t much different. I mean you only have a small group of suspects so who else could it have been?

The writing is OK. I didn’t feel any emotions or wasn’t surprised at anything that happened. I think the build up to what was going on was kind of anticlimactic or something like that. I knew what was going to happen usually before it happened and I’m not much good with murder mysteries. Still, it’s a pretty good book if you like this kind.

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