The Gods of War (Graham Brown & Spencer J. Andrews; Stealth Books) is one of the better arguments for the traditional system of publishing-house gatekeepers I’ve seen recently. It is not merely bad, it is a stinkeroo that trumpets its awfulness from page one.
Straight up, a cabal of the shady super-rich in the year 2137 are told that the Earth’s ecology will collapse within about a year, and their maximum leader has a clever plan to evacuate them to…Mars. Which unspecified good guys have developed with a dream of turning it into (get this) an agricultural colony that can feed half the earth.
Nothing that calls itself SF but leads off with that much ignorance of the reality of Mars and the energy economics of space transport can possibly land anywhere good. Especially not when the prose is clumsy, the characters strictly cartoons, and the authors seem bent on writing a political allegory for which “hamfisted” and “stupid” will be among the mildest negative adjectives one could apply.
The only mercy in this book is that it is such an obvious waste of electrons that I was able to give up with a clear conscience on page twelve rather than forcing myself to slog through it all in hopes of finding some redeeming value. In brief: avoid.