By Peter Cawdron
In science fiction, space has usually been imagined as a cooperative effort, sort of like Antarctica. We might go to war with other species (especially the scaly green ones), but when the chips are down you can usually count on humanity banding together in a multi-ethnic, colour-blind, post-national community.
That’s an ideal that’s put to the test in Retrograde when news of global nuclear war on Earth reaches an international research station on Mars. The installation is divided into four geographic modules that are soon divided against one other, at least until the discovery of a common enemy requires them to join forces.
What follows is an SF adventure in the grand John W. Campbell tradition as Team Mars tries to find a way to defeat a ruthless new life form that is always one step ahead of them in the struggle to survive.