Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Piranha Solution (Ace of Space, Book 1) by John Triptych

Release date: March 15, 2017
Subgenre: Hard science fiction, space colonisation

About The Piranha Solution:


In the near future, a new space race has begun. Private industry is now pushing the limits of human exploration and colonization. NASA has changed its mandate into a regulatory agency that oversees all US-based corporations and individuals involved in interplanetary expansion.

Stilicho Jones always has his hands full while working as a personal troubleshooter for eccentric trillionaire Errol Flux and his numerous cutting edge space projects. When a mysterious and potentially deadly situation threatens the colonies on Mars, Stilicho must team up with a feisty NASA special agent in a race against time to avert a looming catastrophe that could end any hope of a permanent settlement on the Red Planet.

Check out The Piranha Solution. If you were ever inspired by the NASA Space Program, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars, Robert Zubrin's The Case for Mars, or Andy Weir’s The Martian, then have a look at this newest, edge of your seat technothriller! 


Errol walked out of the bathroom, a small hand towel draped over his shoulder. “Stil, how was San Diego?”
“Everything went well,” Stilicho said. “Campos has been neutralized, and his copies of the reactor magnet design have been switched for a fake one. He’s already authorized the finance department to take the money back from his account. All’s well that ends well.”
Errol sat down with a sigh on a high-backed chair behind his desk. “Good job. We’ve got another problem though.”
Stilicho crossed his arms. “I figured as much. Campos was small fry, and I could have just emailed you the report. But you wanted to see me in person, why is that?”
Errol’s answer was a single word. “Mars.”
Stilicho gave him a quizzical look. “Okay, what about it?”
“I’ll put it to you plain and simple,” Errol said. “We’ve lost contact with the entire construction team in the Chryse Planitia region.”
Stilicho’s eyes narrowed. “The new colony site you were building?”
Errol nodded slowly. “Yeah.”
Stilicho was feeling sleepy. He was now starting to regret having those bourbon shots on the transcontinental flight. His mind wasn’t working at peak capacity and his response came a little late. “You mean … those rumors about viruses being sent from that area on Mars is … true?”
“We did get malware from the outpost uplink at the building site, and my technicians shut down the node a few hours ago,” Errol said. “But I think the problem’s bigger than that.”
Stilicho pursed his lips. “So it’s not just a prank from the outpost crew then?”
“Simms is a pretty good team leader, no way would he allow any of his men to do that juvenile nonsense,” Errol said. “Before the virus stream happened, we'd already lost contact with the outpost for a whole week. We then sent in a search and rescue team as soon as the outpost failed to check in at the last scheduled update.”
Stilicho was intrigued now. A sudden spurt of adrenaline put his mind back in focus. “So what did the rescue team find?”
“That’s the problem,” Errol said. “The rescue team failed to check in as well.”
Stilicho’s eyes opened wide. This never happened before. Everyone was always accounted for in Mars. “What?”
“Yeah,” Errol said. “No response for over a week. Then came the virus stream, which uploaded onto the satellites, which then sent the packets to Earth’s internet. We’re still assessing if there was any lasting damage, but so far the relay network is still operating at near peak capacity. There was something strange about the virus too.”
“What do you mean?”
“Normally when we deal with viruses, it’s usually a denial of service attack, which disrupts the network by overloading it with remote requests from software bots,” Errol said. “But this one seems to be a worm of some sort. It only made a few selective attacks before shutting itself down.”
“What kind of attacks?”
“It went after specific entries in the database of numerous public archives and private servers,” Errol said. “My IT team is working with system administrators from other corporations and the Library of Congress, for it seems a number of government records were tampered with. We haven’t narrowed down the exact entries that have been corrupted or altered, but we will, in time.”
Stilicho smirked. “Well, IT isn’t exactly my specialty. I’m more into dirty tricks like blackmail and counter corporate espionage. I suppose you want me to lean on someone in the government or with another company to track down the hacker then?”
Errol shook his head. “No, I need you to go to Mars.”



About John Triptych:

John writes thrillers of differing genres, from hyper-realistic crime books to fantastic, post-apocalyptic sci-fi novels that make you want to turn one more page just before bedtime. A former fanfiction writer turned self-publishing novelist, John Triptych’s varied interests include: reading other people’s books, recreational diving, watching movies and TV, guns, internet, politics, computer and tabletop gaming, cooking, art, architecture, wines, spirits, beer, history and travel.



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