Introducing DSF: Rising Above the Noise

Many long ages ago, before I was a full time science fiction author (in other words, in 2015), I was a senior scientist at Dynetics in Huntsville, Alabama. As a medium-sized technology company, it mainly does defense contracting, but recently it's been winning quite a few NASA contracts (including one last year that I wrote!) and moving aggressively into the space industry.

Writing proposals for NASA funding is a bit like writing science fiction novels. Not in the sense that you're making stuff up, shooting up large alien spaceships with full phasers and burning through a (metric, not standard) ton of tax dollars, but in the sense that, in both situations, you need to set aside how things are done now, and imagine the possible. You need to get your mind in the future and think, what if?

Several decades ago, a bunch of NASA scientists and engineers got together to tackle the problem of atmospheric turbulance affecting the images taken by ground-based telescopes. We built giant telescopes at ever higher elevations, trying to get above that pesky, shimmering layer of oxygen that both sustained life, and completely ruined our beautiful deep-space astrophotography (lousy air!), but the problem of that swirling, turbulent layer of air still plagued all of our space images.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 3.15.04 PMBut those scientists didn't limit themselves to the now, they envisioned the future. And as a result, the Hubble Space Telescope was born, a modestly-sized telescope that was visionary not for its size, but for the fact that it was the first telescope able to rise above the atmospheric noise. It launched, and the new images opened up our eyes to the beautiful universe around us with pristine, sharp pictures that almost looked like works of art by the masters rather than cutting-edge scientific data.

Well, it eventually sent back clear pictures. The first set of optics sent up into orbit were misaligned, and needed to be fixed on a later shuttle mission. As a side note, during the same mission, the astronauts replaced the digital cameras onboard the Hubble along with their corresponding optics. Those old optics found their way to deep storage in some forgotten Nasa storage shed down at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, and years later, were sold at auction for a few bucks. They were then traded around amongst a few Nasa paraphernalia collectors, until one of them ended up in the hands of a friend at Dynetics. He brought it to work one day and let me hold it:


Nick Hubble CameraThere I was, holding a piece of astronomically expensive equipment that had flown around the earth tens of thousands of times, traveling literally millions of miles. I imagined a little bit of the space dust came off on my fingers. Yeah, it was pretty awesome. Some people crave selfies with celebrities, or footballs signed by super bowl winners. But I geek out with this kind of stuff: a piece of aluminum that took the first high-resolution pictures of space, in space.

Today, I and nine other bestselling science fiction authors are starting a new project. With the hopes of forging a more engaging relationship with you, science fiction readers and lovers, we're banding together to give you unique content you won't find anywhere else. Between the ten of us, we've:

-Sold upwards of five million books,
-Regularly appear on the USA Today bestsellers list,
-Are selling over two million books per year,
-Become full-time authors, coming from a wide variety of backgrounds (science, technology startups, New York City real estate development, the music industry, etc.)
-Optioned our books to Hollywood for both TV and major motion pictures,

And many other milestones. As a result, we've come to know on a personal basis, thousands of you, the readers. The fans. The folks who love science fiction. The people who would similarly geek out holding a piece of science history just like I did with that camera.

So we decided to bring you something that no one else can. You've probably seen the slew of book promotion websites and mailing lists out there. We are not a book promotion website. We are not just a mailing list. We are authors, connecting with you, the reader. We're going to bring you not only the best deals when our books launch, not only price promotions you won't find anywhere else, but sneak peeks and inside looks, and direct access to the inner thoughts of some of today’s bestselling science fiction authors. Not to mention amazing monthly contests for stuff you won’t find on any other site.

Just like with the Hubble, we want to rise above the clutter and the noise, and bring you the best deals first, with other insider content you won't find anywhere else. Like with this blog post, you might get to read about an author's history working with Nasa. Or how another author's experience starting a tech company prepared them to write post apocalyptic science fiction. Or how another author's experience in the cutthroat New York City real estate developer market prepared him for the competitive but rewarding world of science fiction writing and publishing.

In closing, we want to get to know you, the science fiction reader. We want to hear your thoughts. We want to hear what's important to you, what you're interested in. And, not least, we want to shower you with free and discounted books, as well as let you be the first to know when our new releases are published.

We’d like to extend a very personal thank you for taking the time to join us today, from all our author-partners including Matthew Mather, Nick Webb, Samuel Peralta, Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Michael Grumley, Evan Currie, Autumn Kalquist, Jay Allan, Darren Wearmouth, Joshua Dalzelle, and more.

Best, (and happy reading!)

Nick Webb

14 replies
  1. John Hyatt
    John Hyatt says:

    Dude, while I am fortunate to have read each of you, and agree that you are each “geek-worthy”, that “piece of aluminum… a little bit of space dust” is WAY cool! I grew up with the classics: Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, and watching Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo ( I even applied to NASA – as a Canadian 8-year-old, I was not in possession of enough of the ‘right stuff’ at the time…). I have come to know and recognize your works as the ‘next gen’ of the classics. I wish you all the very best, and am looking forward to telling the grandkids, “I knew them when…!” Fair Winds, Following Seas! Per ardua Astra!

    Reply
  2. Kim I
    Kim I says:

    I hope several of you or all of you get those Movie TV options made. Because I have been
    BLOWN AWAY!
    by the production values of the new SiFy Channel’s TV movie “The Expanse” which is an adaptation of “The Leviathan Awakes” by James S. A. Corey, the pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.
    To stop any flaming: I know the novel is better than the movie but what we are getting is better than any 2 hour movie and the “the future looks real”.

    Reply
  3. Brody
    Brody says:

    Great to see this site come to life. Looking forward to seeing this site grow and more content come available. Strong follower of most of the authors here, and definitely will try the ones i haven’t! Be great to hear more about the book writing process and status updates on new projects.
    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  4. PJO
    PJO says:

    Growing up in the 50’s, I cut my teeth on all things science fiction, first on all the classic science fiction B movies and then, when I learned to read, Burroughs, Campbell, Sturgeon, Asimov, Heinlein, et al. Analog and Amazing Tales became places to find new & exciting authors who added their fantastic voices to the mix. Then, for a brief while, the genre became a little stale, although great writers like Brin and Foster were there to keep it alive. Now, with the advent of digital publishing & delivery, there is a whole new world of worthy new writers to keep the genre alive & healthy. Thank you for this site. I look forward to exploring new worlds & ideas from all of you.

    Reply
  5. Nancy J. Hammer
    Nancy J. Hammer says:

    As a science fiction reader and writer, I’m looking forward to your new website and newsletter. It’s always exciting to start a new project and I wish you and your partners the best of luck. May all your stars shine brightly!

    Reply
  6. Jeff Wright
    Jeff Wright says:

    So you work with Dynetics?

    With the RD-180 in trouble with McCain–you think we can get Pyrios new life.
    I really want a new F-1 flying again——————-publiusr

    Reply
  7. Donna
    Donna says:

    I am so excited about this group/website! Although I have been an avid reader for MANY years, I have only been reading Sci Fi for a few years, so I have TONS of books to pick from and now I know what authors to look for those books from. Looking forward to tagging along on all of your successful coat tails 😉

    Reply
  8. Icinix
    Icinix says:

    Used to be a massive science fiction reader – but as the years rolled on and life took other turns I somehow fazed out my favourite past-time – as years have rolled on and life has taken other turns I realised how important it was to maintain that favourite past-time.

    Fortune would have it – this site is going live at much the same time. So whether divine providence, or merely a coincidence – I’m excited to get back into my reading and excited to see this site grow and spread the fine gospel of science fiction!

    Bring it on!

    Reply

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