June 19, 2019

Reentry Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway


Author: Peter Cawdron
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Print Length: 304 pages
Language: English


After almost dying on Mars, astronaut Liz Anderson returns to Earth, but not to a hero’s welcome. America is in turmoil. The war is over, but the insurgency has just begun. So while life on Mars may have been deadly, at least up there she knew who the enemy was. Along with her, Liz has brought the remnants of the artificial intelligence that waged war on two planets. Buried somewhere deep within the cold electronic circuits lies the last vestiges of her dead partner Jianyu. Liz is torn, unsure whether he’s somehow still alive in electronic form or just a ploy by an adversary that will go to any length to win. Heartbroken and treated with suspicion, she finds herself caught up in the guerrilla war being waged on Earth, wondering if the AI threat is truly gone, or if it has only just begun.  

Praise for REENTRY:

"It's good to consider the AI possibilities ahead. Peter Cawdron's REENTRY is a marvelous read but also an intriguing scenario for what might go on within the superintelligences." ―Vernor Vinge, Hugo Award-winning author of A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky

You can purchase Reentry (Mars Endeavour #2) at the following Retailers:
“So, what got you to join the army?” I ask.

Cassie's voice is monotonous. “I guess I wanted to go kill someone.”

I spit my water, spraying the table. She’s being facetious, I get that, but she caught me totally off guard and I find myself bursting out laughing. She smiles. Mission accomplished. The soldier by the door has a grin on his face. He’s loving this.

“Life’s funny, you know? The choices we make are often bigger than we realize at the time, I guess. Like my dad, I love my country and wanted to serve. A lot of people say they want to make America great again. Few do. Stupid slogans are stupid. For me, the idea was more than words, more than some stupid chant at some stupid rally for some stupid idiot in a suit.”

I nod, appreciating her candor. “So, have you?”

“Killed someone?”


“You don’t have to go into detail.” I hold my hand out, wanting her to pause before continuing. She doesn’t owe me any explanations. “I mean, for me it’s an idle curiosity. For you, it’s life.”

She looks into her empty glass. “Life and death. Yeah, it’s pretty sober stuff, huh? It happened five or six years ago. We were coming back from a live fire exercise when we heard there was an active shooter in the mechanical pool. Some dumb fuck snapped. Shot his buddy. Some friend, huh?

“We were on the far side of the base. Our driver pulled up short of the armory, talking with base security over the radio. We were supposed to head for the outer cordon as the MPs came in, but as we drove on our van took incoming fire. I’d had people shoot over me before, but never at me. It’s different.

“Sergeant McAllister was driving. Took a round in the shoulder and we slammed into a lamppost. There was blood everywhere. Some of it mine. We bundled out of the van.”

Her eyes glaze over as she speaks, reliving the moment.

“Jones tends to McAllister on the grass. Blood pools on the sidewalk. He’s in a bad way. Me? I’m down by the rear bumper, slipping a magazine into my M4.”

Her tense has changed. She’s back there, transported through time, tumbling out of the van again.

“I adopt a crouched firing position, just like they taught us. Head down and lined up with the barrel. Shoulder high. Leaning forward. Straight front leg. Elbow resting on my knee. It’s the training exercise I was just on. Then I see him, running between huts. For me, it’s like shooting game in the woods. He’s ducking between buildings, but for me it’s like tracking a buck between the trees.

“I’m easily a hundred yards away, probably more. I fire low. I’m wanting to avoid collateral damage if I miss, firing only when there’s something solid beyond. It’s a brick building. Rec center, I think. There are soldiers in there. People like me. Don’t miss, Cassie.”

I swallow the lump in my throat, wondering who dies when she pulls that trigger.

“I hit him in the calf. He falls, sprawling out across the concrete, and loses his weapon. I watch as he scrambles to his knees, arms up, fingers interlocked behind his head, assuming the

position, looking for approaching troops to take him into custody, but it’s just me and I’m not coming for him. He never even sees me. He’s looking the wrong way, but I see him. I know what he’s doing. Fucking coward. My breathing slows. I exhale. My finger tightens on the trigger, the recoil thumps into my shoulder and a hundred yards away the back of his head explodes. Blood and brains scatter across the road. And that’s it. I killed someone. I killed a stranger.”

She sits the glass on the table.

“I was reprimanded, of course and threatened with a court martial. My defense was it all happened so quickly there was no time to deliberate. His rifle was still within reach. I feared for those in the rec center. But it was all bullshit. Truth is, we’re not police. We don’t train to be just or fair. We train to kill. The moment comes, and you do what you have to, right? Just like you up there on Mars, huh?”

She looks me in the eye. “We’re not so different, are we?”

Copyright © 2019 by Peter Cawdron
Photo Content from Peter Cawdron

Peter Cawdron is an Australian science fiction author, making hard scifi easy to understand.

His debut novel Anomaly has gone on to sell over 75,000 copies around the world, while his zombie story What We Left Behind was selected by Kindle Scout for publication with Kindle Press.


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