Humanity is coming up against the limits of the physical world—but the imaginations of the writers in this anthology reach far beyond those boundaries.
The Launch Pad Astronomy Seminar aims to bring more hard science into science fiction. These twelve stories look into our future and find humor, pathos, grand determination, and genuine courage.
Written by some of today’s most innovative writers in science fiction, all veterans of the Launch Pad program!
Kevin R. Grazier, PhD
Kevin R. Grazier, PhD. is currently the science advisor on TNT’s Falling Skies, Syfy’s Defiance, and the blockbuster film Gravity. He previously served as science advisor on Eureka, the Peabody-award-winning Battlestar Galactica, and several other series. He was the co-author of The Science of Battlestar Galactica, and editor/contributing author of Hollywood Chemistry: When Science Met Entertainment.
Grazier is a recovering rocket scientist, and spent 15 years at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Cassini/Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan. Still an active researcher, his research areas are numerical method development and long-term large-scale computer simulations of Solar System dynamics, evolution, and chaos.
Dr. Grazier also teaches classes in basic astronomy, planetary science, cosmology, the search for extraterrestrial life, and the science of science fiction, at UCLA, and Santa Monica College. He also serves on multiple NASA educational product review panels.
In 2001 Dr. Grazier was named the first-ever honorary chairperson for Oakland University’s “Week of Champions” (homecoming) celebration, eight years later he won OU’s Odyssey Award given to the alumni whose life most typifies the university’s motto: To Seek Virtue and Knowledge, and in 2013 he was named an “Outstanding Alumnus” by the Purdue University Department of Computer Sciences.
Geoffrey A. Landis
Geoffrey A. Landis is a physicist and a SF writer. He has won the Hugo, Nebula, and Sturgeon awards for his fiction, and in his day job, works at the NASA John Glenn Research Center on developing advanced technologies for space missions. He was a guest lecturer at Launch Pad in 2012.
Matthew Kressel’s fiction has appeared in Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interzone, Electric Velocipede, Apex Magazine, the anthologies After, Naked City, The People of the Book, The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, and other markets. He was a World Fantasy Award finalist in the category of Special Award, Non-Professional for his magazine Sybil’s Garage and his publishing venture, Senses Five Press. With Senses Five Press he published Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy, which won the World Fantasy Award in 2008. For nearly a decade he has been a member of the Altered Fluid writing group. When he’s not learning Yiddish or playing the trumpet, he co-curates the Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series beside Ellen Datlow in Manhattan. His blog and website are at matthewkressel.net.
Mike Brotherton, PhD
Mike Brotherton, PhD, is the author of the science fiction novels Star Dragon (2003) and Spider Star (2008), both from TOR Books, as well as a number of short stories. He’s a professor of astronomy at the University of Wyoming and investigates active galaxies using the Hubble Space Telescope and nearly every observatory that will give him time on their facilities. He is the founder of the NASA and National Science Foundation funded Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop for Writers, which brings a dozen award-winning professional writers to Wyoming every summer. He blogs about science and science fiction at www.mikebrotherton.com.
Mary A. Turzillo
Mary A. Turzillo’s novelette “Mars Is no Place for Children” won a 1999 Nebula, and, along with her novel An Old-Fashioned Martian Girl, is recommended reading on the International Space Station. She has been nominated for the British Science Fiction Association Award (“Eat or Be Eaten, a Love Story”) and the Pushcart (Your Cat & Other Space Aliens, vanZeno), the Stoker, the Elgin, and Dwarf Stars. She won a third place for long poem in the 2011 Rhysling awards and has recent and forthcoming work in Asimov’s, Analog, and Stamps, Vamps and Tramps. Her latest book is Lovers & Killers, Dark Regions 2012.
Jay Lake lives in Portland, Oregon, where he works on numerous writing and editing projects. His books for 2012 and 2013 include Kalimpura from TOR Books and Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh from Prime. His short fiction appears regularly in literary and genre markets worldwide. Jay is a winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and a multiple nominee for the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards.
Tiffany Trent is the award-winning author of the young adult novels The Unnaturalists and The Tinker King, as well as the Hallowmere series. Her stories have appeared in numerous anthologies including Corsets & Clockwork, Magic in the Mirrorstone, and Willful Impropriety. When not writing, she is out playing with bees. Visit her at www.tiffanytrent.com.
Jake Kerr is a science fiction author of short fiction whose works have appeared in Lightspeed, Fireside, Escape Pod, Zui Found, and other publications and anthologies. His first published story, The Old Equations, was nominated for the Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon Memorial, and StorySouth Million Writers awards. He lives in Texas with his wife and three daughters.
Michael Kurland writes fantasy, SF and mysteries with equal hubris. He is the recipient of two Edgar scrolls and was nominated for an American Book Award for his first Moriarty novel, The Infernal Device. Among his other works are The Last President (With S.W. Barton), Death by Gaslight, Ten Little Wizards, A Study in Sorcery, The Unicorn Girl, and Star Griffin. His most recent work of nonfiction, an idiosyncratic history of Forensic Science called Irrefutable Evidence, has enjoyed a European vogue. The latest Moriarty novel, Who Thinks Evil, will be released February 2014 to great acclaim. He is the author of It’s a Mystery to Me, an entertaining and informative work on how to write mystery and suspense fiction. His works have been translated into Chinese, Czech, Danish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and some alphabet full of little pothooks and curlicues. Mr. Kurland presently lives in a Secular Humanist Hermitage in a secluded bay north of San Francisco, California, where he kills and skins his own vegetables. He may be communicated with through his website, michaelkurland.com.
Sandra McDonald’s first collection of fiction Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories was a Booklist Editor’s Choice, an American Library Association Over the Rainbow Book and winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Her story Sexy Robot Mom recently won an Asimov’s Readers’ Poll award. Four of her stories have been noted on the James A. Tiptree Award Honor List for exploring gender stereotypes. She is the published author of several novels and more than sixty short stories for adults and teens, including the award-winning Fisher Key Adventures and the gay asexual thriller City of Soldiers. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine and teaches college in Florida.
Doug Farren is an indie author publishing his books through Amazon, Smashwords, and Createspace. His other works include: The Galactic Alliance series (Translight, Chroniech, Honor Thy Enemy, and soon-to-be released Peacekeeper); the Dragonverse series (Dragonverse—The Adventure Begins and Ishnef’s Revenge); Off Course; and When Ships Mutiny. Doug is a U.S. Navy veteran having served as a nuclear propulsion plant operator (nuclear ET) aboard surface vessels for 11 years. He currently resides in Northeast Ohio and works as an instrument technician at a nuclear power plant. His wife, Cheryl, has been proofing his books since shortly after they were married in 2003. He dreams of retiring from a “working” life so he can spend more time writing.
Matthew S. Rotundo
Matthew S. Rotundo’s stories have appeared in Intergalactic Medicine Show, Jim Baen’s Universe, and Writers of the Future Volume XXV. Matt also plays guitar and has been known to sing karaoke. Although he lives in Nebraska, he has husked corn only once in his life, and has never been detasseling, so he insists he is not a hick. Learn more about Matt at www.matthewsrotundo.com.