Home » Author Interviews » Interview with H. Peter Alesso: ‘There is joy in expressing your thoughts, so find your words—tell your story’

Interview with H. Peter Alesso: ‘There is joy in expressing your thoughts, so find your words—tell your story’

H. Peter AlessoAs 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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About the Book:

Lieutenant Henry Gallant 2In an era of genetic engineering, Lieutenant Henry Gallant is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. Many of his superiors, including rival Anton Neumann, have expressed concern he is not up to the challenge. However, his unique mental abilities have proven essential to the defense of the United Planets in its fight against the Titan invaders.

Serving on the first FTL prototype, the Intrepid, on its maiden voyage to Tau Ceti, Gallant finds a lost colony on the planet Elysium. Cyrus Wolfe and his son, manipulate planet politics against the democratic opposition led by James Hepburn and his granddaughter Alaina. Wolfe has allied himself with an ancient Artificial Intelligence which had lain dormant on the planet for millennia, but is now willing to protect the colonists against the Titans.

With Alaina’s help, Gallant discovers the ancient AI has a sinister ulterior motive and he matches his unique and exceptional mind against the complexity of machine intelligence to escape the ultimate trap and prevent the extermination of humanity.

In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, one man pits the naked human mind against the perspicacity of machine intelligence.

For More Information

  • Lieutenant Henry Gallant is available at Amazon.
  • Watch the trailer at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Can you tell us who or what was the inspiration behind your book?

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.

In my book, Lieutenant Henry Gallant, the hero 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 beautiful, young, and bold woman—just what you’d expect from 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.

Is this your first published book and if so, can you tell us your experiences in finding a publisher for it?

In the past, I’ve 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. It allowed me more flexibility in editing and marketing choices.

When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun?

I like to work out both my left and right hemispheres of the brain using a wide variety of skill sets and abilities. As a result, I love to read, do word (or math) puzzles, as well as develop computer apps for Android.

In your opinion, what makes a good book great?

I found that 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.

Some of my favorite authors, I. Asimov, J. Campbell, and R. Heinlein have accomplished this. When they ‘set the stage’ at the beginning of a chapter, they offer elaborate descriptive prose, rich in adjectives and superlatives. For action scenes, however, their sentences become short, crisp, and emphatic. When involved in conversation, the individual characters each achieve their own ‘voice’—they demonstrate a distinctive characteristic of speech, or language, so that they can be picked out of the dialog. Of course, the arc of the main story must be seamlessly inter-wound with the subplots so that the reader doesn’t trip over the narrative. But the result is a reader so engrossed in the story that he is unaware of his actual reality, he has been transported elsewhere.

There is joy in expressing your thoughts, so find your words—tell your story.

Can you give us a short excerpt from your book?

Gallant ran—gasping for breath, heart pounding; the echo of his footsteps reverberated behind him.

He hoped to reach the bridge, but hope is a fragile thing.

Peering over his shoulder into the dark, he tripped on a protruding jagged beam, one of the ship’s many battle scars. As he crashed to the deck, the final glow of emergency lights sputtered out leaving only the pitch black of power failure—his failure.

He lay still and listened to the ship’s cries of pain; the incessant wheezing of atmosphere bleeding from the many tiny hull fissures, the repetitious groaning of metal from straining structures, and the crackling of electrical wires sparking against panels.

Thoughts flashed past him.

How long will the oxygen last?

He was reluctant to guess.

Where are they?

The clamor of dogged footsteps drew closer even as he rasped for another breath.

Trembling from exhaustion, he clawed at the bulkhead to pull himself up. His hemorrhaging leg made even standing brutally painful.

Nevertheless, he ran.

The bulkhead panels and compartment hatches were indistinguishable in the dimness. Vague phantoms lurked nearby even while his eyes adjusted to whatever glowing plasma blast embers flickered from the hull.

As he twisted around a corner, he crashed his shoulder into a bulkhead. The impact knocked him back and spun him around. Reaching out with a bloody hand, he grasped the hatch handle leading into the Operation’s compartment. Going through the hatch, he pulled it shut behind him.

He started to run, then awkwardly fought his own momentum and stopped.

Stupid! Stupid!

Going back to the hatch, he hit the security locking mechanism.

It wouldn’t stop a plasma blast, but it might slow them down, he thought. At least this compartment is airtight.

Finally able to take a deep breath, he tried to clear his head of bombarding sensations. He should’ve been in battle armor, but he’d stayed too long in engineering trying to maintain power while the hull had been breached and the ship boarded.

Now his uniform was scorched, revealing the plasma burns of seared flesh from his left shoulder down across his back to his right thigh. He had no idea where the rest of the crew was; many were probably dead. His comm pin was mute and the ship’s AI wasn’t responding. He had only a handgun, but, so far, he didn’t think they were tracking him specifically, merely penetrating into the ship to gain control.

Gallant tried to run once more, but his legs were unwilling. Leaning against the bulkhead, like a dead weight, he slid slowly down to the deck.

Unable to go farther, he sat dripping blood and trembling as the potent grip of shock grabbed hold. The harrowing pain of his burnt flesh, swept over him.

Hope and fear alike abandoned him, leaving only an undeniable truth; without immediate medical treatment, he wouldn’t survive.

I’m done.

Closing his eyes, he fought against the pain and the black vertigo of despair. He took a deep breath and called upon the last of his inner resolve and resilience . . .

No! I won’t give up.

What’s next for you?

A multi-book story arc requires a thorough understanding of the characters and their motivations, as well as considerable planning. An author always benefits from the encouragement and feedback of his co-conspirators in this endeavor—the readers. With the release of each book in a series, the voice of the readers becomes clearer. Their desire to see certain characters prevail and certain events transpire becomes plain.

I am looking forward to further developing The Henry Gallant Saga—if the readers encourage me to do so through their review comments.

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