Readers, I have a confession to make. I'm a science fiction junkie. I love all the Star Trek movies and TV shows, and Star Wars is still wonderful to me. That's why I was so glad to interview Peter Alesso, the author of Midshipman Henry Gallant in Space. It just sounded like my kind of book. Peter, welcome to my blog.
1.Tell us 5 things about yourself that no one would ever guess.
I am a voracious reader. I have habitually read several books a
weeks in a wide variety of subjects since I first obtained a library card. I
found that science fiction novels provided wonderful adventures in unexpected
places with unusual characters and strange circumstance. I’ve enjoyed them all
2. Me too. Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite Scifi author is Robert Heinlein. He was able to span
the emotional range from rage to laughter in developing his characters. He used
humor and romance as intrinsic elements of to the human spirit. Each displays a
vital aspect of each character in a story. The problem is that both human and
romance are difficult to include in a complex story because they may require
significant personality development to express and that may distract from the
central arc of the action of the story. A strong writer should be able to
engage both of these essential human characteristic within the context of his
main story line.
3.I'll put him on my list. When did you first realize you were destined to be an
I enjoyed Jack Campbell’s The Lost Fleet series and it inspired a
story that I wanted to share. Midshipman Henry Gallant was the result.
4.What one or two lines best sums you
up as an author? (tagline)
I think finding an author you admire and would like to emulate
provides the stimulus to become an author. By examining just what it is that
you find so compelling about that author will give you a start to developing
your skills. It may be that you can develop similar skills with practice.
Always remember that whatever criticism you get that any feedback,
complimentary or critical, can be useful in learning more about a writer’s
ability to improve and develop better skills.
5.What activity (cause, charity,
organization) consumes your time when you’re away from the keyboard?
love to read, do word (or math)
puzzles. I also develop computer program apps for Android. I like to work out
both my left and right hemispheres of the brain using a wide variety of skill
sets and abilities.
Uh oh. You lost me on the math puzzles. Readers, let's have a blurb and excerpt.
As the last star
fighter in squadron 111, Midshipman Henry Gallant is on his way from Jupiter to
Mars. With the United Planets' fleet on the verge of annihilation, he can
expect no help as he passes through the asteroid belt and threatening aliens.
With so much uncertainty about the aliens’ capabilities and intentions,
analyzing the captured computer equipment in Gallant’s possession could prove
The fate of Earth
could rest on the abilities of Midshipman Henry Gallant. Unfortunately, it is
his abilities that have been much in doubt during his tour of duty. In an era
of genetic engineering, he is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced)
officer left in the fleet. His classmates and superior officers have all
expressed their concern that he will not be up to the demands of the space
service. Only bright and attractive junior officer Kelsey Mitchel has shown any
sympathy for him. Now as his navigator on the last fighter in squadron 111, her
life as well as a good many others, depends on Henry Gallant.
A massive solar flare roared across the pockmarked face of
the sun producing static interference on every display console operating in the
tiny spacecraft as it approached the United Planets' battle cruiser Repulse
in orbit around Jupiter.
“No need to worry young man, we’re almost there,” said the
“I’m not concerned about the storm,” said newly commissioned
Midshipman Henry Gallant. Eagerly, he shifted in his seat to get a better
glimpse of the massive ship that was to become his new home for the next two
The pilot maneuvered expertly to minimize the worst effects
of the x-ray and gamma radiation until the craft made its tortured way from the
sunlit brilliance into the cold black shadow of Repulse. The tiny ship
quivered gently as its tractors reached out to the behemoth warship, slowly
When it attached to the Repulse’s docking hatch,
Gallant transferred to the warship and made his way to the bridge. He found the
Officer of the Watch standing next to the empty captain’s chair surrounded by
its nest of displays and virtual readouts. The officer rested his hand briefly
on the panel concealing the Artificial Intelligence (AI) tactical analyzer.
“Midshipman Henry Gallant reporting aboard, sir,” he said,
standing as tall as his seventeen-year-old gangly figure would allow. He tugged
at his uniform blouse to straighten the buttons into proper alignment.
“Welcome aboard, Mr. Gallant. I’m Lieutenant Mather.” Mather
was of average height, barrel-chested with sharp-angular facial features.
Stoic, he showed little interest in the new arrival. “Please give me your comm
Gallant handed over his pin and Mather made several quick
selections on a touch screen console. He swiped the pin passed the chip reader
which loaded the ID and personnel information into Repulse’s computer.
Gallant took the opportunity to look around the spacious
semicircular compartment with its numerous apparatus and instruments. The
captain's seat was centrally located and he noticed that many of the other
chairs were also unoccupied. Apparently some watch stations were only manned
during conditions of higher alert.
He observed the watch standers carrying out their ritual
duties. The communication panel was manned by a midshipman who looked occupied
with an incoming message. The radar station was also manned, but by a
technician who was diligently studying his display. Gallant couldn't tell what
he was tracking, but there were several blips on the scope. The weapons and
astrogator positions were vacant; several science analysis stations were
As a scientist and
author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty
years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As
Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and
engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers,
workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy
with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing
an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several
software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he
is the author/co-author of six books. (Website www.hpeteralesso.com)