For Immediate Release
731 Avocado Place
Del Mar, CA 92014
California chemist publishes hard science fiction novel
DEL MAR, CA Woodrow Wilson has published a science fiction novel. His Dead Astronauts is a first contact story with a twist: the alien visitors all died in transit. Exposed to what killed the crew, can NASA let the astronaut explorers come home? Quarantined and running out of air, can they survive?
The author is a Caltech PhD with a career in research and developmentŃincluding military and intelligence applications of space. No warp drive here, he insists his story is hard science fiction. Even the alien technology is in human laboratories today.
We live in the outer suburbs of the Milky Way Galaxy where stars are few and far between, he says. Interstellar travel here is far beyond human technology. Maybe our neighbors are more advanced. What if they tried to come here, he wondered. Even at a hundred times the speed of the Apollo mission, itÕs a journey of a thousand years. A lot can happen in a millennium. Dead Astronauts explores the possibilities.
The book is available on WilsonÕs website http://www.woodrow-wilson.com, and from most on-line book dealers.
Dead Astronauts, Woodrow Wilson, BookLocker.com, August 2010, 174 pages, $13.95 paperback $8.95 electronic, ISBN 978-1-60910-290-6
Woodrow Wilson is a Caltech PhD with more than thirty years experience in research and development for the military and intelligence communities. He has explored space and other exotic environments in the laboratory and in the computer. He contributed to the design and testing of space-based and ground-based anti-ballistic missile defenses. He has studied chemistry at 10,000”F, 30,000 mph collisions, plus fires and explosions in zero gravity, the aurora borealis, and more. WilsonÕs work in military applications of space puts the science in this hard science fiction work Dead Astronauts.
His interests are eclectic. He published The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook offering restaurant quality meals without quality restaurant prices. He is a Distinguished Toastmaster, and a Toastmaster District executive. He has addressed scientific meetings in Russia and Germany, and throughout North America. He addresses general audiences on technical and historical topics.
Wilson lives in northern San Diego County with his wife and their two yellow labs. His two sons and four grandsons live nearby. He is working on his next novel, The Utah Flu, a medical fiction piece. Learn more about him on http://www.woodrow-wilson.com.
Del Mar Times, October 8, 2010
Del Mar author talks about his latest science fiction novel, ŌDead AstronautsÕ
By Marlena Chavira-Medford
An alien ship is orbiting around Earth, and after investigating from afar, NASA has decided to send a couple of astronauts to make contact. After boarding the ship, theyÕve discovered all of the aliens are dead, and now that the astronauts have been exposed to whatever killed the crew, NASA must decide whether they can come home or not.
ThatÕs the synopsis of Del Mar author Woodrow WilsonÕs latest book, ŌDead Astronauts.Õ Wilson, a Caltech Ph.D. with a career in research and development Ń including military and intelligence applications of space, pulled on his many years as a scientist for the plot of his new book. Here, he sheds some light on how he developed these extraterrestrial characters, and whether he thinks we really have reason to worry about alien invaders or not.
How did you make the transition from the science world to the literary world?
Well, IÕve been writing long before I ever really could. After graduating from college, I decided I was a functioning illiterate. I started working on my spelling, going back and studying grammar nobody had ever taught me. Becoming a writer helped me be a better scientist because you have to be able to communicate what you find
Where did the idea from this book come from?
This book is the result of some deep contemplation, just looking at stars and saying to myself: ŌHow would anyone get here?Õ Even at a hundred times the speed of the Apollo mission, the journey to get here would be a thousand years. A lot could go wrong in that time, and in this case, it does. I wanted to explore the possibility of aliens coming here, but the science behind it is all real, some of it is an extrapolation, but itÕs all real. IÕve even deeply disguised some quantum mechanics in this story.
All the science may be real, but how did you conjure up your fictional aliens?
I didnÕt want to look at TV or movies for inspiration because all of the aliens portrayed look like humans. They donÕt have enough money to make them very alien, so they dress them up and give them pointy ears, and they end up looking like guys in rubber suits. I donÕtÕ think other intelligent life beings would necessarily follow our template. Look at dolphins: they donÕt look much like you or me. Or look at giant squids, another intelligent being, and they look even less like us. For this book, I decided that these aliens came from a liquid planet, and they were interested in Earth because we were the nearest planet with water. So, I went with the squid model. And I didnÕt just create aliens, I create an entire world where they came from. So when the astronauts board their ship, they explore quite a bit. Being from a liquid planet [the aliens] eat seafood, so these astronauts run into fish farms.
Where did the inspiration for your human characters come from?
Characters always start out as someone you know, but over a period of time they grow. You synthesize these characters and by the time youÕre done, theyÕre not the person you knew in the first place. These characters are a totally new person that you know so well because you just spent a year with them inside your head.
Stephen Hawking, the famed cosmologist and black hole expert, warns mankind about alien visitors. Do you agree with him?
I donÕt agree with Hawking on that. I donÕt think Earth has anything worth the time and energy it would take to come and get it. If we did, aliens couldnÕt detect it. Even from the nearest star, it would take superb optics just to see Earth as a dot. They couldnÕt resolve it into a picture. Spectroscopy could tell them we have air and water here. ThatÕs about it. They couldnÕt detect life here Ń much less tell that we taste like chicken. The spoils of raiding the planet wouldnÕt be worth the cost of getting here.
What book are you working on next?
My next book will likely be a medical fiction. I did a lot of medical research where I was involved in developing ways to defend against biological attacks, so again, IÕm pulling from that. This next story will include subplots on anthraxŃand, of course, there will be a twist, because it wouldnÕt be any fun if there wasnÕt a twist.
WilsonÕs book, Dead Astronauts, is available on his website www.woodrow-wilson.com, and from most on-line book dealers.
The Genre Traveler, November 1, 2010
Podcast Episode 6: Could Alien Astronauts Survive a Trip to Earth?
By Carma Spence
In Episode 6, I chat with the author of Dead Astronauts, Woodrow Wilson about his book, his name and his proclivity for cooking. We also cover the possibility of life (intelligent or otherwise) in the universe, the myriad ways that alien astronauts would not survive a trip to Earth, cooking and how having eclectic interests can affect your writing.