1. The name Stilicho Jones was taken from Cirocco Jones, the protagonist of John Varley’s seminal sci-fi novel Titan
2. Stilicho is also named after Flavius Stilicho, one of Rome’s last great generals, who was desperately trying to keep the empire from being conquered by the barbarians at their gates.
3. Karl Rossum is named after Karel Capek, the novelist/playwright who helped (along with his brother) invent the term “robot” in his 1921 play RUR (Rossum’s Universal Robots), which is also the name of his company in the novel.
4. Errol Flux is obviously based on Elon Musk (duh!)
5. ACE Corp is a play on ACME Corporation, the company that Wile E. Coyote frequently buys products from in his never ending attempt to catch the Roadrunner in Looney Tunes. The main difference being is that ACE Corp products actually work.
6. Mars First is based on Mars One.
7. PETR (People for the Ethical Treatment of Robots) is based on PETA.
9. Silas Balsamic was supposed to be named Silas Florescent, but the name was way too silly.
10. There was supposed to be a subplot involving aerial blimps on Mars, but after consulting with space enthusiasts, it was proven that the Martian atmospheric pressure was too thin for use of practical airship designs, so the idea was abandoned.
11. The smartglass devices are based on a more advanced version of Google Glass.
12. The skinsuits everyone wears are based on the MIT Biosuit. It is a skintight suit that uses mechanical counterpressure to enable the wearer to survive in low-pressure environments.
13. The interplanetary spacecraft that bring the transporter ships to Mars are based on NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) drive designs. NASA had plans for a Mars mission in 1978 and would have utilized this highly efficient and reliable drive on their Saturn V rockets had the project not been canceled in favor of the Space Shuttle.
14. Much of the research for the novel was taken from the Atomic Rockets web-blog. This site is a highly useful resource for sci-fi authors who want to add more realism to their works.
The sequel to this book is now out on pre-order!