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The Basics, or, what is this site?

You've come to the personal web page of Chris Gerrib.  If you're looking for:

  • Information, including reviews, about my science fiction novels Pirates of Mars and The Mars Run, click here.  To read the first three chapters of Pirates of Mars, click here.
  • More about me personally, including a  biography and pictures, click here.
  • Links to sites I find interesting, click here.
  • My LiveJournal blog
  • To contact me, send an email to Cgerrib (at) comcast (dot) net.


Greetings, Earthling!  My name’s Chris Gerrib, and if you’ve come to this site, you’ve probably heard that I write books.  (I also have a day job, but you don’t care about that.) 

The site’s title Private Mars Rocket is a subtle clue to what I write about – Mars, going there, colonizing and living on it.  Since we haven’t done much of that yet, what I write is science fiction.  I try to keep it as realistic as possible, but hey, folks – it’s fiction, so don’t sue me your rocket based on my idea blows up. 

My first professional sale was made in 2010 to Hadley Rille Books, and the resulting novel, my (kinda-sorta) first, Pirates of Mars, comes out in February 2012.  In 2006, I released a “practice novel” The Mars Run via the self-publishing firm of  (It’s still available for purchase.)

Why Mars?

As you probably guessed, I would love to go to Mars.  Always have.  When I was a little boy, growing up in a small and (at the time) terribly boring little town in Illinois, one of my favorite escapes was riding my bike to the local library and devouring all their books on space.  I memorized one, a Werner Von Braun / Disney collaboration, which was full of cool pictures of cigar-shaped rockets.  To this day I can still see the pictures. 

But all small boys grow up, and I finally decided that going to Mars wasn't in the cards.  When I made that decision, the chances of anybody getting to Mars in my lifetime seemed pretty slim.  I take the Chicago Tribune, and Eric Zorn, one of their columnists, was running a "SIN club."  SIN stood for "someday is now" and the concept was simple - all those things you were going to do "someday" (run a marathon, write a book) you should do now.  I didn't formally join the club, but decided that he had a point.  Out of this was born The Mars Run

Like the title suggests, it's a story about a journey to Mars.  Not a first-time voyage of exploration, but a "routine" trip.  Of course, the story would be terribly boring if it was truly routine, so this one goes awry.  After I finished it, I bundled it up and shipped it off to a publisher, and waited eagerly by the mailbox.  Well, I wasn't that naive - I knew getting published was tough.

Eventually, as I kept writing and learning, I realized that The Mars Run, though I loved it dearly, wasn’t commercial enough.  At 55,000 words, it’s too short for a modern novel (they want 80,000 or more) and it’s plot is episodic, not the classic 3-Act story.  But I still enjoyed it, and so out the door it went.

More importantly, I kept writing.  There are a couple of novels sitting on my hard drive, but I finally got one done enough to publish for real.  

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