Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Midshipman Guest Post





Midshipman Henry Gallant In Space by H. Peter Alesso

Genre: Science Fiction (sub: adventure/space opera/military)
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 crucial. 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 of Henry Gallant.

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About the author:

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.

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And now for the guest post...

Thank you for allowing me to discuss some of my ideas about writing in relationship to my book, Midshipman Henry Gallant In Space.
I love words.

That wasn’t always been the case. My first infatuation was with numbers, in all its manifold forms from algebra to topology. However, with maturity came insight into the elegance and efficacy of words for expression beyond algorithms.

Words elucidate the ideas of great thinkers and leaders from Aristotle to Lincoln.  Consider the brief collage, “All men are created equal?” Can you doubt the inspiration of these words? Words shroud us with the emotions of others and bring nature’s kaleidoscopic scenery into view. They let us share experiences both past and present.

Our past is a tapestry, rich with dramatic experiences. Our thoughts and memories are arranged around such experiences. As memories bring the past flowing into the present, we gather words into stories that capture the drama and excitement of real and imaginary events. As such, they help us understand our place in the world.

In 1949, Joseph Campbell wrote The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and argued that myths, spanning all time and all cultures, contain the same basic elements, or ‘archetypes.’

Campbell thought that stories formed a grand pattern he called the ‘hero's journey.’ The journey begins with the hero hearing a plea for help. When he finally responds, he crosses a threshold into a new realm where he faces great challenges and matures under the tutelage of a mentor. Finally, he becomes the master; committed to changing the world. This story archetype has thrived from the Odyssey, to Star Wars.

The ‘hero's journey’ is a theater of human behavior; anecdotal but illuminating. In Midshipman Henry Gallant, I present a young man’s heroic journey. He doesn’t travel it along. He has friends, mentors, rivals, and enemies, and one more essential element, romance.

There is beauty in expressing your thoughts. Find your words. Tell your story.

Regards,

H. Peter Alesso

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