Always writing, Jeannette has filled hard drives with ones and zeros that occasionally coalesce into books. Her non-linear career path has included both working as both a soldier and a scientist (but not at the same time). Currently, she lives on a non-tropical island in the Pacific with her husband and daughter and she really likes math jokes, especially if there is pi involved.

The Settler Chronicles: Books 1-4 by Jeannette Bedard

A crashed colony ship. A struggle for survival. A fight for independence.

Former army officer Margo didn't plan on leaving Earth. But it's impossible to find work on a world struggling with the aftermath of a global catastrophe fuelled by greed...not to mention her own troubled history with the corporation responsible. When a friend offers her a place on a colonizing mission to a world a wormhole away, she accepts. It might be barren, but they're free to govern themselves, outside the clutches of the corporation.

Upon arrival, the crash of their colony ship forces the colonists to scramble for survival. Accidents claim more and more lives. Their new world is harsh and unforgiving—but worse yet is the realization that they remain puppets in a drama unfolding back on Earth.

When Margo discovers evidence that someone is causing the accidents she starts the survivors on a path towards true independence. But can she save her new-found home without losing her life?

This set includes the complete Settler Chronicles series:

Book 1: Day 115 on an Alien World
Book 2: Far Side of the Moon
Book 3: Abandoned Ships, Hijacked Minds
Book 4: The Alien Artifact


•If you loved The Martian, here's another book about survival on a harsh planet and a brilliant, strong-willed pioneer battling the elements. This tale of an ill-fated colonization mission beset by a secret saboteur will have you glued to the text, flipping from one page to the next at a rapid pace. Living vicariously through the heroine, Margo, you will get a taste of what life on an alien planet might really be like, of the multitude of things that could go wrong and the consequences of the slightest mistake. Best of all, there are three more books in the series, each packed with more adventures and challenges. My advice to you, before starting book one, is to order books two, three, and four so you can plow ahead with reading them after finishing the first. You will want to do just that, no doubt about it. Jeannette is that good of a writer. – Robert Jeschonek



  • "Day 115 on an Alien World was so good I bought the rest of the series to read. Actually had my heart pounding."

    – Amazon review
  • "I'm a sucker for well-written sci-fi adventure novels, and boy, did this one deliver!"

    – Amazon review
  • "I loved Far Side of the Moon! It's even better than the first volume! I couldn't put it down."

    – Amazon review
  • "Wow! Just wow! What an exciting ride! Best read in order."

    – Amazon review



Thesan, Day 114 ― 14:21hrs

"Mayday, mayday, mayday."

Hovering by the colony's Control Room door, Gary Holbrook kept his eyes glued to the overhead screen as Joan Taggart's voice crackled over the radio.

"Right engine's down, left's responding sluggishly. Have to land. Over," said Joan, sounding infinitely far away—and practically speaking, she was. Out beyond the dome of the colony on Thesan, she was piloting Shuttle 2 with a single passenger, Margo Murphy.

Even though the Control Room had multiple workstations, only one was occupied, by Lucas Ordaz. Acting Commander Craig Spares stood directly behind him. Above, the main monitor displayed Joan's forward cockpit view of Thesan's landscape.

The shuttle's flat spin caused the towering spires of rocks to whirl sickeningly, making Gary's stomach lurch. A moment later, Joan regained control and the shuttle stopped spinning, but it continued to lose altitude. The rough terrain got closer and closer. Craig leaned over Lucas to get a better look at the landscape.

Gary moved from the doorway and into the room towards the main video feed monitor. As one of two doctors in their colony, he felt outside his element, but was also unwilling to leave. He'd been walking past the open doorway when he'd heard the voice of his wife, Margo, over the radio. That morning she'd been all decked out in her atmo suit, but he hadn't taken the time to ask where she was going.

"There." Craig pointed to a piece of landscape that, to Gary, looked no different from the rest of the dangerously craggy terrain. Craig picked up the microphone and pressed the transmit button. "Shuttle 2, there's a flatter region at your 2 o'clock, aim for that. Over."

"Margo, get your helmet on," Joan ordered, unaware she was transmitting. "Control, say again about landing site. Over."

"Your 2 o'clock."

"They don't have helmets on," whispered Gary, his eyes fixed on the screen displaying the shuttle's forward view. All sensors showed Thesan's atmosphere lacked oxygen. If the shuttle's hull was compromised, their atmo suits, with the helmets securely on, were all that would keep the two people on the shuttle alive.

"Dr. Holbrook, get ready to receive casualties," said Craig, without looking away from the monitor.

Is Craig being delusional? Joan and Margo were kilometres away from the colony and their only other shuttle lay trapped beneath a mangled hangar door. A rescue operation was impossible. Gary didn't move.

The shuttle's flight pattern grew more erratic, creating the illusion that the pillars of rocks were grabbing at the shuttle with Lovecraftian tentacles. Watching made Gary feel sick to his stomach, but he couldn't turn away.

A single rock tower loomed in the display. For a split second, the monolith of pock-marked grey consumed the view. Then the display went black and Joan's life signs from her biotracker winked out. Joan was dead. Gary tensed, expecting Margo's biotracker monitor to stop transmitting as well, but it remained on.

"Get me visuals," demanded Craig. Lucas looked down to the secondary screen in front of him and began searching the video feeds. "Margo, can you hear me?" transmitted Craig.

"Her life signs are still strong," said Gary, his eyes fixed on the line indicating Margo's rapidly beating heart.

"She must've got her helmet on in time." Lucas leaned closer to read Margo's suit sensors. "Damn! She only has 25 minutes of air. No, make that 20." He turned to Craig. "Her suit has a leak. She needs to fix it right away."

"Margo, do you hear me?" Craig repeated. There was no reply. "Lucas, bring up her helmet cam."

"It must be damaged. Look." Lucas switched the main display view. The screen was mostly black with a few patches of smudged light left of centre.

"Try the other cameras."

Lucas flipped through views until he came to the only working camera. It was in the shuttle's cargo hold pointing aft. The camera should have showed the shuttle's interior, but it now pointed at the ominous grey landscape. The back ramp was gone. The over exposed illumination from the brighter of Thesan's two suns washed out the view of the valley floor. On impact the shuttle had been ripped in half and tossed in different directions.

"Margo, respond," Craig demanded.

The three men waited in silence. Gary closed his eyes as if that would somehow allow the sound of Margo's voice to crackle reassuringly over the comm system.

"There! Movement," said Lucas, pointing to the valley floor.

Gary's eyes flicked opened and he stepped closer to get a better look. Thick gobs of mucilaginous ooze slowly dripped from a moving mass, revealing a human shape. Relief made Gary feel momentarily dizzy. Margo is still alive!

"What? The valley floor is liquid?" asked Craig.

"It shouldn't be, but I can't get any details," said Lucas, his fingers flying on his keyboard. "None of the shuttle's sensors are working."

They watched as Margo tried to walk in what looked like shin-deep, syrupy fluid. A thick coat of the mud-like substance clung to her atmo suit. The mud, combined with the bulk of her suit, made her look more like a Sasquatch than a space explorer. She stopped and stood motionless as if debating her next step. Gary could almost hear her air venting away. Do something Margo! As if in answer to his silent plea, she raised her muddy gloved hands and swiped to clear her visor. She was engulfed in mud, but she must have cleared enough to see as she started wading towards the wreckage.

"Ten minutes of air," said Lucas.

"Margo, respond," the Acting Commander demanded again.

On the monitor, they watched Margo finally emerge from the sludge and stumble to the shuttle's aft section.

"There's no way she'll find that tear with her suit covered in... whatever that is," said Lucas, eyeing the sensor readings.

As Margo walked towards the aft section, her form grew larger in the Control Room's screen. Gary couldn't see her face under the smeared surface of her helmet, but he assumed the suit's alarms were warning her about the leaking air. Why isn't she trying to fix her suit? When her head and shoulders filled the screen, she stopped and stared directly at the camera.

"Five minutes!" said Lucas.

Margo looked down at her control panel on the left arm of her atmo suit, then glanced back up at the camera before turning and stepping out of view.

"Bring up her helmet cam," snapped Craig to Lucas before activating the comms link. "Margo! Respond!"

Gary's eyes were fixed in horror on the screen.

Lucas slumped in his seat. "She's out of air."

As if on cue, Margo's life signs winked out.


Gary turned his back on the Control Room and stepped into the corridor that looped the entire circumference of the Settler III colony. He looked down the empty corridor; 114 days ago, the Loop had been a pristine testament to parallel lines and right angles. Now, skewed doors that were no longer airtight separated crooked and distorted lines. On the wall ahead, just above the red horizontal stripe, a blast of fire had made a pattern reminiscent of a Rorschach inkblot test. From where he stood, it resembled a butterfly rising out of flames.

Like so many others on this disastrous colonizing mission, his wife of only a few months was dead. The mission had been intended for married couples, but couples with appropriate skills couldn't be found to fill all the colony's slots. Eight singles had been taken on and matched together. The mission organizers claimed they used personality compatibility algorithms to make the matches, but Gary suspected their decisions were made to conveniently fill the slots.

Gary had expected to be matched with an intellectual, but although she was a scientist, Margo preferred to tinker with things and get dirty rather than spend time getting to know Gary. He and Margo had seemed incompatible from the start. After three months of marriage, he knew little more about her than when they'd first met. He didn't even know her favourite colour. Blue perhaps?

A flash of shimmering blue drew his attention. He stared in astonishment and even blinked twice, but the anomaly remained. There was a real, live butterfly on this alien world. Margo had to be responsible. In fact, butterflies had been one of the few topics Margo and Gary had discussed. She was an entomologist and they were her specialty. The insect fluttered away from him. Wings open, it glowed an iridescent blue while the underside of its wings were a rich, mottled brown. Gary followed it.

The butterfly led him down the Loop. The painted horizontal stripe changed from red to purple then green before the insect turned a corner towards the outer rim of the colony. With a final shiny flash, it disappeared through the open door―its frame lopsided―of the entomology lab. Margo's lab. Overgrown greenery seemed intent on escaping into the corridor, with a vanguard of vines already crossing the threshold. He paused in the lush doorway. In the months of their marriage, he'd never bothered to visit Margo in her work space.

Peering into Margo's lab, Gary was surprised at its size. The space was smaller than the aquaponics and nursery labs, but as a space dedicated to producing their pollinators, it didn't need to be large. Being tucked away in a dead-end corridor meant it provided privacy. If he'd learned one thing about Margo, it was that she valued privacy.

Gary wiped his hands on his pants. Is entering her lab an intrusion? He supposed it wouldn't matter, now that she was gone. Perhaps, he'd learn more about the woman he hadn't taken the time to get to know, and now never could.

He pushed his way past the guardian plants towards the blue butterfly he'd followed. It had landed on a dinner-plate sized leaf a few paces away, as though it was beckoning him to enter. Inside the door, a jungle of lush green greeted him, a sharp juxtaposition to the charred industrial hues of the corridor. Blue butterflies were everywhere, flapping against unseen breezes, hunting for flowers.

Gary filled his lungs with the damp, earthy air—the room felt alive. For the first time since Settler III's crash, moisture saturated his sinuses. As he looked, remnants of what had once been lab-like order emerged from the jumble of plants. Pots had been placed in neat rows, each sporting a label and a line of plumbing.

Globulous displays of botanical sexuality peaked out beneath their leafy shrouds. Hand-sized, purple flowers vied for space amongst golden, fist-sized fruit. A fuzzy purple fruit that could only be described as Muppet testicles dangled unapologetically on a thick stem. In the corner was a fruit so large Gary didn't think he would be able to lift it.

As he studied the plants, he realized he couldn't name a single plant until he spied little pink bananas peaking out under a tuft of broad leaves. At last, something he recognized. Perhaps this plethora of fruit would soon make an appearance on the menu. This far into their mission, they should've been producing their own crops, but luck had not been on their side.

The butterfly began fluttering again, following an erratic path between the foliage. Gary followed it to the centre of the room where a huge tank took up all the available space. Inside, several dinner-plate sized fish calmly made rounds of the tank. Why are there fish in Margo's entomology lab?

Through the clear aluminum wall on the other side of the tank, he glimpsed a gap in the greenery and something red near the floor. Edging between the tank and the plants, he came up to a long potting table. He noticed an antique machine of some kind on its surface, then realized it was a mass spectrometer. How interesting, he thought, then realized he'd never before considered anything about Margo particularly interesting. Strange what being dead did for a person's capacity to intrigue.

The toe of his boot encountered something under the bench. Kneeling down, he peered underneath. Light from the fish tank illuminated a neatly made bed covered by a thick wool blanket with a red, green and black plaid pattern.

So this is where Margo slept. She'd never slept in their shared quarters, not even on their wedding night. The time she'd been hurt didn't count, really. The cocoon under the bench was inviting. More inviting than the sterile bunk in their quarters. Crawling in, he lay down.