Through a Forest of Stars
Year 2217. Earth's biosphere is dying. Mars's terraforming projects are in ruin. And even the voidoids—eerie portals into nearby star systems—have failed to uncover the one treasure humanity needs most. Until now. . . A miracle has been discovered in the Chara system, and Aiden Macallan, Terra Corp's embittered planetary geologist, is on his way there aboard the survey ship Argo. But who will get there first?
The System's rival powers, United Earth Domain and Allied Republics of Mars, want the prize for themselves. A cataclysmic war is about to erupt, and Aiden finds himself pulled into its vortex of violence—and into the heart of a profound mystery where the key to humanity's survival lies hidden.
To find it, he'll need to trek alone across a living landscape--one that's either trying to kill him or heal him--guided only by his enigmatic AI sidekick, Hutton, and by a recurring dream that grows more frighteningly real with each step. The miracle has become far more than it seemed, and now Aiden is the only person alive who can save it—and the human race—from certain extinction.
The discovery of an Earth-like planet 27 light years away spurs fierce competition in Jeffrey's dense but exhilarating debut. In 2217, Terra Corp's exploration ship Argo travels through a wormhole to the Chara system to find the pristine planet Silvanus, which boasts oxygen, water, and plenty of plant life. Silvanus offers hope to humankind, who have outgrown the environmentally degraded Earth, but also ignites conflict. The ruthless Terra Corp chairman wants sole rights to Silvanus so he can strip mine it; the Luna-based Gaians, a group of nature-worshipping scientists, hope to preserve it untouched; and the militaristic Allied Republics of Mars aims to colonize it. Caught in the middle is planetary geologist Aiden Macallan. After crashing on Silvanus, Aiden surveys the planet and discovers a form of intelligent life. Meanwhile, the many factions converge in a flurry of space battles and political machinations with "the future of human civilization" at stake. Jeffrey juggles myriad story lines in his exploration of the sociopolitical ramifications of space colonization and man's obsession with dominion over nature and each other. The result is a smart, if at times overcomplicated, story that weaves accurate hard science with imaginative space opera. Readers will be glad to immerse themselves in Jeffrey's immensely detailed world. (Self-published)