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 seven books.
His latest book is the science fiction space opera, Lieutenant Henry Gallant.
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Would you call yourself a born writer?
I love words, but that wasn’t always the case. My first infatuation was with numbers which explains my career as a research scientist. However, with maturity came insight into the elegance and efficacy of words. I learned to express myself in narratives rather than in algorithms.
I discovered that basic human behavior—emotional and physiological reactions to specific internal and external stresses—could be well-expressed though stories. What makes a science fiction story special is the tension originates at unexpected locations with unusual characters and strange circumstance, all of which combine to produce surprisingly ordinary human responses.
I’ve enjoyed this wonderful form of entertainment
What was your inspiration for Lieutenant Henry Gallant?
Science fiction novels provided wonderful adventures in unexpected places with unusual characters and strange circumstance. I’ve enjoyed them all my life, so when I first began to develop science fiction stories, I wanted to write adventures that I could vicariously enjoy.
Henry Gallant is handsome, brave, and daring—just what you want in a hero who sets out on a great adventure. A rival challenges him for the love of a young, beautiful, and bold woman—just what you’d expect in a warrior princess. Together they face an alien invasion, a jungle full of dangers predators, and a malevolent artificial intelligence bent on exterminating humanity.
Can you guess who wins in the end? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the corrupt politicians who maneuver to upset all Gallant’s efforts to protect the people and stop the malicious AI.
How much fun do you think I had writing this tale?
Actually, I had more.
What themes do you like to explore in your writing?
In the past, the scientific speculation of science fiction has helped spark the curiosity of researchers in many fields.
As a result, I believe science fiction should start on hard scientific principles. I researched the technologies included in the story and tried to predict their development path into the next centuries. For example, genetic engineering is current an important social topic and humanity faces difficult choices ahead. In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, genetic engineering plays an influential role in the background, but it is cast against a competing innovation—Artificial Intelligence.
How long did it take you to complete the novel?
It takes me about a year to write, edit, and prepare to publish a book—though the time flies by once the basic story arc is firm. I enjoy most aspects of the project including the second and third draft stage when I have a good idea of the chapter content and I am ready to embellish the descriptions and bring personality to the dialog.
Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.
My work habits are ‘slow-and-steady,’ but not a rigid regimen. I let the day unfold and find a quiet time to do some writing when I feel I have worked out some ideas in my mind.
What did you find most challenging about writing this book?
I believe science fiction should be based on hard scientific principles. I researched the technology included in the story and tried to project their development path into the next centuries. For example, genetic engineering is current an important topic in our society and humanity faced difficult choices as it develops over the course of the next century. In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, genetic engineering plays an influential role in the background, but it is cast against another important innovation that also may prove a future concern—Artificial Intelligence.
Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?
In the past, I have published several books through large traditional publishers, but for Lieutenant Henry Gallant I chose self-publication in order to get the book to market more quickly.
Where can we find you on the web?
My Web Site is: http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx
My books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel as well as most web outlets.