Ambassador From Earth
This story comes from a childhood fantasy. I imagined finding an alien spaceship hidden somewhere, perhaps abandoned for years. After learning how to fly it, my friends and I could have all kinds of adventures of exploration. The story follows three friends who make just such a discovery. The ship they find is disguised by a holographic projection system, and with a laptop computer and some ingenuity they learn how to control it—mostly. They accidentally become lost many light-years from Earth. Searching for a way back they meet a despondent alien priest from an ecologically ravaged world and wind up on an immense space station that serves as a diplomatic outpost for the evil Skleth Imperium. But the heroes and the Skleth face an even bigger threat from the merciless Horl who are bent on the destruction of any inhabited world they find. I began the story as a childhood fantasy but it addresses many grown-up issues and big sci fi concepts. In the end it is perhaps the childhood innocence and friendship that is the ultimate weapon against powerful alien forces.
Starfarer: The Lost Colony
Starfarer is a ship of exploration, and a family business. In the 24th century this faster than light capable spacecraft which is home to several families, travels the near stars in search of worlds to colonize, resources, and scientific knowledge. There are several school age children aboard who help their parents when they can and try to learn the family trade of being astronauts. This idea too was born from a childhood fantasy of my own of being the first astronaut to go to Mars (along with my best friend). It made sense to me since children were smaller, weighed less, and needed less food and oxygen. Unfortunately NASA didn't go for the idea, so I grew up and wrote a book instead. Our heroes land on a planet that was colonized by humans centuries before who got there on slower than light ships called Bussards. On the planet they find ruins of the colony along with more ancient ones from an alien race called the Crussians. The children are separated from their parents in a storm and spend the rest of the tale trying to find their way back on the hostile planet.
Theodore Grayson and the Devil Men of Mars
This idea is kind of a spin from the previous childhood fantasy about being a kid going to Mars (see the pattern emerging here?). Only this time I throw in some retro and alternative history (another passion of mine). It is 1922. In this world, astronomer, Percival Lowell's, ideas about the Red Planet turn out to be more or less scientific fact. Mars has canals and intelligent life. After Germany defeats France in a forty day war in the fall of 1914, terrifying creatures begin appearing in the cold, dry parts of the world, Canada, Siberia, and parts of South America. Our hero, Theodore, is the son of an American Army officer who is sent to Montana to keep the threat from invading the U.S. With the help of the indigenous Blackfoot Indian tribe they turn the tide, and Col. Walter Grayson is ordered to accompany a British force being sent by rocket to Mars. Sixteen-year-old Theodore, himself a full-fledged brave in the Blackfoot tribe, comes with him. When they get to Mars, after several attacks and attempts at sabotage by the Germans, things get a lot more exciting, complicated and fun, but you'll just have to read the book when I get it published.