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Mars. The near future. Across the Red Planet's stark, unforgiving expanse, a unique future society unfolds, one that teeters on the brink of triumph - and catastrophe.

With relationships between Mars and Earth careening towards breaking point, Ailia Bax, a war-weary journalist haunted by flashbacks from her past, is thrust into the heart of the brewing conflict. A terrorist threat dogs her every step, and she must navigate a treacherous landscape of intrigue, the fickleness of human nature, and her own demons.

Set against the backdrop of a vividly imagined Martian society composed of humans and sapient robots striving towards a utopian future, Ailia is forced to delve deep into the complexities of Red Planet life. As she forges alliances, she becomes an unlikely ally in the Martians' fight for self-determination and makes decisions that will ultimately shape the fate of a new world.

Emergent Mars is a thought-provoking utopian speculative fiction tale and a slow-burn political thriller rolled into one. Compelling and immersive from start to finish, with outstanding characters and superb world-building, it's a thoroughly engrossing read that combines real science, philosophy, psychology, and political economy into a stunning portrait that could completely change how you imagine our future beyond the confines of Earth.


Utopian Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Political Thriller, Science Fiction, Mars Colonization, Strong Women, Futuristic Society, Social Science Fiction, Robot Fiction, Indigenous Futurism, Economic Democracy.


Published: ‎ 16 January 2024

ISBN: 9780975628003 / 0975628003 (eBook)

Language: ‎ English

File size: ‎ 558 KB (EPUB)

Print length: ‎ 304 pages

Language Rating: Moderate Profanity

Trigger Warnings: Anxiety, Death, Hospitalization, Injury, Mass Murder, Panic Attacks, Political Conflict, Planetary Conflict, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Terrorism.


4 Stars. Loved it! This is a deeply thought-out story and all of it felt realistic. It's a stunning depiction of what we could genuinely face in the next few decades and a valuable contribution to the growing canon of literature about the settlement of Mars - Zoe Routh, multiple award-winning author and leadership futurist


Reader Reviews (from Russell's book shop & Goodreads)

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Max I.

1 week ago

5 Stars - I really enjoyed this book.

Klyford presents readers with a diverse cast of interesting and likeable characters along with a complicated geopolitical universe for them to navigate, including lots of twists and turns and even a terrorist bomber. The story is captivating and the novel really shines when describing the landscapes of Mars and Phobos. I recommend it to fans of SF political dramas and believable stories about Mars, who will get addicted to the concepts and worldbuilding of this novel.

Bernadette O.

Verified Buyer

1 month ago

Couldn't put it down.

At it's heart, this is a well thought out political thriller, albeit a slow-burning one. Set on Mars in 2059, the Red Planet has been settled in a fashion similar to Antarctica with various governments and corporate conglomerates establishing bases/habitats around the planet, but as time has gone by, relations with Earth have gone south and there is now a strong drive amongst the Martians to seek their independence.

Now, I have a love of science fiction books that deep-dive into speculative politics and governance structures, so the novel really appealed to me, although I understand that this type of worldbuilding might not be everyone's cup of tea. That is what's so good about the book, it introduces this stuff without getting bogged down in tedious political discourse and moves along smartly with a bit of action, lots of intrigue and truly beautifully described Martian landscapes - take me there now!

I particularly liked the cast of strong female characters, especially the protagonist Ailia Bax, a former war correspondent, and her inner journey as she grapples with the effects of PTSD. The graphic flashbacks add greatly to her backstory and serve to highlight the challenges she faces in the present. The rest of the characters are interesting and believable, particularly the sentient robots called mecha with which the protagonosit has some insightful metaphysical/philosophical conversations. Oh, and did I mention there's a terrorist threat permeating the whole story?

While this novel might not redefine the genre, it's a very engrossing read and a serious exploration of the potential issues we could face when we finally get off-planet - I highly recommended it.