Ancient Heavens by Robert E. Vardeman, a 1972 Hugo Award finalist for Best Fan Writer, in addition to being an author in his own right, is his standalone science fiction novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.
This was originally published in 1989 by Avon, and the reprint is currently mislabeled as being the 7th in a fantasy series co-written by the author, but is indeed a non-series science fiction tale.
The science fiction story explores themes of human settlement and adaptation, centred around a man whose job it is to terraform a distant planet into a paradise for a religious cult, and finds himself becoming an object of worship in the ensuing colony, as the Creator of their new Eden.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
Free for a limited time, available worldwide @ Amazon
Richard Drake didn’t take the Church of Lost Eden seriously — until that surviving 20th century cult gave him the chance to fulfil a lifelong dream.
His job is to transform a distant, hostile planet into a new human Eden. And he is provided with the resources, the time and the technology for the greatest engineering feat in human history.
But man does not live by bread alone — and water and free oxygen are not enough to keep the inhabitants of New Earth satisfied.
They want a Creator to worship.
And Richard is the top candidate for the job …
Ancient Heavens is an intriguing and thrilling story of terraforming and human vices in alien territory.