From Earth to Mars and Beyond is a collection of eight previously published science fiction stories by award-winning author Ruth Nestvold. But reader be warned: these stories of galactic empires, space exploration and first contact tend to be on the dark side and do not depict an ideal future world. Here a selection: "The Far Side of the Moon" - Women from all over the world have been "recruited" into service on the habitat Volva, where they unwillingly cater to men's pleasure. But the Volva is outside all global jurisdiction -- and none of the women will ever retire ... "Troy and the Aliens" - When the first aliens make contact with Earth, they do not land in the U.S.; they land in Stuttgart, Germany. The President sends his aide Troy Jackson to figure our why. What ensues involves beer tents and driving fast on the Autobahn, but it doesn't exactly end as the President ordered. "Rainmakers" - Rekaya is sent as ambassador to Chepanaek, in order to try and negotiate peace between the planet's native population and the colonists of the Allied Interstellar Community. The task seems impossible, and Rekaya doubts she is the right person for the job. But soon she begins to feel an affinity for the planet that she cannot explain. Enjoy the interstellar darkness!