Foothold is set in the near future, some fifty years from now. It’s a world that is in many ways unsurprising – dystopian, in that climate change is happening as we might predict right now, power is being concentrated into a few large multinational corporations and there are people that behave badly, as some people always will. But it is also optimistic, predicting that in only fifty years we will have settled Mars with self-sustaining colonies, and invented the technology needed to build a starship that can transport eight people all the way to Tau Ceti.

The starship Hope is the largest spacecraft ever built by mankind. It has been an international joint venture in much the same way as the International Space Station, this time between the United States, Russia and the European Union.

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The bulk of the ship’s mass can be found at the front, which consists of three massive spherical fuel tanks, each 100 meters in diameter. These tanks are filled with water, which provides a safe, easy-to-use medium for the ship’s drives to work with.

The crew’s quarters are located in the rearmost tank, a location that provides them with the most protection from potential collisions with interstellar debris and radiation. The middle tank is drained first, to maintain that leading emergency impact shield and crew radiation shield for as long as possible.

Directly aft of the third tank is the cargo hold, which contains the aerospace shuttle and the four large landers that contain everything the crew need to establish a colony.

Continuing our journey to the stern of the ship we next encounter the business end, where the reactor chambers and main drive are located. The Hope, despite featuring some sophisticated technology, is still at heart a rocket, the engines generating thrust by accelerating water in the direction opposite to which the ship is to travel.

Overall, the ship measures nearly half a kilometer from stem to stern.

28 comments on “The Foothold Universe

  1. I love both books! The first went into wonderful detail about setting up the colony – something most colonization books dont do. Looking forward to #3!!

  2. Really enjoyed your first 2 books, read them back to back in 2 days. I’m looking forward to the next instalments to the story.

  3. Absolutely love the books. Some of the best space travel books out there. Really looking forward to the release of number 3 which I will certainly be reading. Anyway thanks for writing them.

    • Thanks, you’re very welcome! Just got Serendipity back from the editor so everything is looking on track for a December release!

    • Thanks Chris, I’m currently planning the next three books in the series, so more are on the way! Don’t forget to grab the free prequel story from my website if you haven’t already.

  4. Glad to see more are on the way! I just finished the first and imagine I will work my way though the next two pretty rapidly! Glad I found this series!

  5. Really enjoyed all 3 books. Would love to see more artwork so I can visualise things better. Perhaps what jack, Jill and hope look like now, and maybe what haven looks like or a map of locations in serendipity.

    Look forward to future stories. Thanks for writing.

  6. Hi Dennis,
    I’ve just finished Serendipity, loved all three books, can’t wait for the next one. Do you have a timescale when the next book will be available ? And many thanks for the prequel, loving the adventure !!

    With best regards,


    • Thanks Sean, I’m glad you enjoyed the books. I’m at about 70K words into my first draft of book 4, working title Revolution. I think I ought to finish that mid-July. Then three edit passes for me, beta-reading and then it goes to my editor. Realistically, I think November. Definitely by Christmas!

  7. Hi Dennis –

    Enjoyed the first three books, and just registered for the prequel.

    Best of luck on the authoring journey!

    Joe P

  8. Loved the first three books. But the fourth! Why on earth the barbaric fighting when you have two starships and replicating machines and asteroids as resourses? The debacle on Mars could have been solved without the violence and bloodshed from orbit. Anyway, I will be reading book five just because one, two and three were so good and hope it returns to the old formula.

    • Hi Geoff, thanks for your comment. I’m sorry our side trip to Mars didn’t pan out quite the way you’d like – let’s see how it goes with Earth.

      Kind regards

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