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Our Man On Mars-bookcover

By: Keith Cornwell

Our Man On Mars

Pages: 322 Ratings: 5.0
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Will they end up killing one another? That’s what concerns the authorities as much as the scientific and technical hurdles of sending folk to Mars. So they address the human issues, as they would in an army, by appointing a chaplain.

The Church of Scotland considers this post just right for Steve McKay, one of their more wayward recruits. Steve finds he is off to a parish more remote and barren than he had ever imagined. However, he discovers that the remoteness creates a heightened awareness of the meaning of life and they share some Earth-shattering revelations.

Deep thinker he may be, but Steve is no saint. He muddles through offering his brand of care and support, both in the chaplaincy and increasingly in the Mars Bar. A misdemeanour on his part finally leads to Life on Mars in a way unforeseen by the authorities.

Keith Cornwell studied both engineering and philosophy as an undergraduate student in London. Engineering led to his gainful employment as a researcher, teacher, Professor, Dean and such things in Edinburgh and latterly the in Middle East. Philosophy led to wondering what it is all about.

His writing has been largely scientific non-fiction and this is his first venture into the realms of fiction. Here on Mars he has the freedom to probe accepted earthbound ideas of the meaning of life.

Customer Reviews
4 reviews
4 reviews
  • Nicholas Terry

    A masterful novel that transcends the "sci-fi" classification. Yes, there is a bit of physics and inter-planetary travel but much, much more and told with a simple elegance. The main character emerges from a restless existence to a more assured purpose on the Mars colony. An intriguing proposition, especially for a churchman and in light of recent Earthly developments and challenges. A different but not quirky story appealing to those seeking a bit of romance, adventure, discovery and philosophy from Earthlings in outer space. A thoroughly good read!

  • Sarah

    I am becoming quite the fan of realistic fiction stories about travelling to Mars, and this one does not disappoint. In fact, I will give it 5 stars before I even finish it.

  • Margaret Ann Mercer

    “Our man on Mars” is a scientifically correct and stimulating account of the life of a chaplain on Mars. If ever the word “chaplain” was associated with boredom, this will dispel that idea. We meet all the difficulties and surprises of an extraterrestrial life with a company of people who experience the many successes and failures common to life – illness and death, hunger and thirst, misery and elation etc..How they cope (or not! )makes good reading and gives the story momentum.
    How refreshing to find the kernel of “life” couched in an amusing and alluring story. We are not assaulted with gloomy prognostications but are gently prompted along to peel away the trappings of society and tradition, revealing a separate influence on our lives, a power beyond our understanding “the mind of the universe”, the only explanation of the observation and facts presented. But how? Read the book! The answer is in a surprising and astonishing reversal in the final chapters , not only earthshattering but universe shattering !
    Prepare to suspend unquestioned beliefs and venture into the mysterious, creative beauty and majesty of the unknown, but not the unknowable. This years winners of the Ig Nobel Prize exemplified the “scientific temperament.“ “Unorthodox ,even absurd , thinking is necessary for science to progress. (“The Guardian”,Saturday 11 September 2021)

  • John Grant

    A fascinating read, not so much Sci-Fi but rather philosophy wrapped up in a story line which is just about plausible given modern progress in space science. Once immersed in the slightly academic style and the wicked sense of humour you are hooked. It will lead to you viewing life a little differently and while not quite solving the 'purpose of life' question it offers positive vibes about the future. A great endeavor which could equally be categorised in a spirituality or philosophy genre.

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