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Science Fiction Author

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The Books:

  • Dark Energy Series - 6 books:  What if telepathy actually exists? How would you prove it? And what if this projective telepathy created positive feedback, enhancing sexual stimuli? What if you could induce telepathy in others? What would the social implications be?

    • Discovery: Telepathy is real - and a problem

    • Vindication: Telepathy is real, sexy and lucrative

    • Swift War: Telepathy is real - and a threat to China

    • Gorillas: Telepathic gorillas and Russian aggression

    • Society: Telepathy affects societies

    • Cultures: Telepathic gorillas discover religion

    • Sciences used and abused:  Physics - ultra-high energy gamma rays, volcanoes; biology - pineal gland, cognitive processing; mathematics - information theory, topology; anthropology; sociology; military science.  For more details, see here.


Robert and Eva

  • Persistence of Vision Series - 6 books:  What if quantum events could be controlled mentally? What kinds of things could you do with that control? Could you make money doing it? What would such an ability say about what the mind is?

    • Quantum Magic: Quantum randomness presents opportunities

    • Peggy: Quantum randomness is lucrative

    • Barbara: Teleportation through quantum randomness

    • Brandy: Practical teleportation and Chinese mimicry

    • JJ: Quantum randomness and nuclear attacks

    • Skylark: Quantum space travel becomes a reality

    • Sciences used and abused:  Physics - quantum theory; biology - neural processing, cognitive processing; mathematics - information theory, topology; chemistry; military science; philosophy - free will, mind-body problemFor more details, see here.

Ross and LeanneGold Coins

                       Ross & Leanne                                                        

  • Sense of Gravity Series - 7 books:  What if you could produce the warped space that is called gravity without having any mass at the center of the “gravity well”? Could you build a space drive with this capability? Where would you go if you had such a space drive?

    • Earth: Mathematics leads to a space drive

    • Moon: The space drive leads to a Moon base

    • Mars: Aliens were on Mars before us

    • Asteroids: Space wars are matters of minutes

    • Jupiter: An FTL hyperdrive changes things

    • Colonies: Colonizing the Moon and Mars

    • Centauri: The stars are in reach

    • Sciences used and abused:  Physics - gravitation, special relativity, orbital mechanics; mathematics - topology; military science; planetary sciences; astronomy; geology; astrogeology; chemistryFor more details, see here.


Chuck and Cathy

  • Folded Universe Series - 6 books:  What if the imaginary dimension that is necessary in standard physics equations were an actual dimension like length, width, and depth? And what if the universe were folded in that dimension so that parts of the universe that are distant in the standard dimensions were close in that new dimension? What would you find if you could travel in that direction?

    • Jura: An imaginary dimension yields a new planet

    • Jura Colony: Portals lead to big changes

    • Yucatan: Asteroids can be dangerous

    • Hades: Describing the folded universe is important

    • Settlements: Hunting dinosaurs for trophies can be dangerous

    • Herders: The survivors of the Yucatan disaster need to recover

    • Sciences used and abused:  Physics - curved space; mathematics - topology; military science; planetary sciences; astronomy; anthropology; sociology; geography; geologyFor more details, see here.


Bob and Suzie

  • Artificial Intelligence Series - 1 book:  What if you built a cell-phone sized AI? What governments would try to take it from you?

    • Personnal Assistant: The Chinese want the AI before Bart has even built it.

    • ?: ?

    • Sciences used and abused:  Computer science. 





About the Novels:

Each novel belongs in one of the series and should be read in series order.  However, each series is independent of the other series, so a reader can start with any series that he or she likes.


Since these are science-fiction novels, the science is important.  Each series is based on its own critical assumption about unknown parts of science.  That is, I have assumed that something is possible and tried to develop a plausible and consistent union of this assumption with known science.  The rest of the science is as accurate as I have been able to make it - there could be errors; however, I've tried to avoid making any.


Each series involves building a business to support the characters' activities; therefore, there are descriptions of some business financial and operational activities.  The characters in my novels live in the real world.  That means they have to support their scientific researches in one way or another.  Most of the characters do not start out so wealthy that money is never a consideration and, thus, they have a "day job," which is a consideration.  Generally, this means that they have had to find ways to make money off their inventions or discoveries.  That meant the accounting had to be correct; the income had to be balanced against the expenses of these made-up businesses.  I have simplified some of the tax implications, but not removed them.  And the details of the businesses that they create drive parts of the stories, just as they do in real life.  In some cases, the business aspects also contributed to the problems the characters encounter. 


My novels contain sexual situations; the Dark Energy series explores the impact of telepathy on sex and the other series contain sex as a part of the lives of the characters.  On a scale of 0 - 5, where zero contains no sex and five represents pornographic descriptions, I would say that the sex in these novels is at a level 3 to 4.  Therefore, these books are not for children.  In the first series, Dark Energy, I had to treat sex explicitly; that was one of the implied effects of the scientific assumption.  In the other series, sex was not a critical issue; however, the characters' had lives to live and that is part of life.  I could have glossed over the sex, but chose to continue describing it in the same way as I had in the first series. 


My novels also contain explicit Christianity; the characters go to church regularly and discuss Christian morals and general ethics.  There are also snippets of the sermons that are delivered in church included in the stories.  When I began writing science fiction, as a long-time reader of SF and as a Christian, I was aware of the different ways that religion and Christianity had been portrayed over the years by many authors in their SF stories. In many, religion was not treated at all; it wasn’t important to the story or to the characters. In some stories, such as the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis (Lewis, 1950) and Tolkien’s Middle Earth stories (Tolkien, 1965), Christianity was used allegorically. A few explicitly included Christianity, such as Weber’s Honor Harrington series (Weber, 1993), Kurtz’ Deryni series (Kurtz, 2014), and Inferno by Niven and Pournelle (Niven & Pournelle, 1976). Some books began with standard Christianity and then modified it, such as Heinlein’s Job: A Comedy of Justice (Heinlein, Job: A Comedy of Justice, 1984) and Stranger in a Strange Land (Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land, 1961). Some authors have used religions other than Christianity in a book, such as Zelazny’s Lord of Light (Zelazny, 1967) and some have invented a religion, such as Modesitt in the Imager series (Modesitt Jr., 2009). And then some have treated Christianity as a bad thing (Pullman, 2000).

Therefore, I had a wide variety of models for including religious or spiritual practices in my novels. In a short story, there isn’t room for anything but the most critical elements of the story; hence, it’s not surprising when a short story doesn’t mention religion. However, a novel has more scope and the full development of the novel’s characters supports revealing the religious feelings of at least the main character.

I wanted my characters to be similar to the people I admire and that meant they would go to church regularly. They might miss a Sunday here and there because of some important event; however, their default practice would be to attend church. Further, I wanted my characters to be serious about their faith. I see this in the world I inhabit, so I wanted to ground the more fabulous parts of my novels in as much reality as possible.

So, I began to write. At first, the novels’ contexts just contained regular attendance at church. However, saying, “And he went to church,” grew old. The preacher had to say something worthwhile in a sermon occasionally. Then the characters began to take over and when they ran into problems, they had to consider the solutions. Sometimes that involved a moral or religious question. Since I didn’t have a theologian to generate the sermons or solutions, I had to read the relevant parts of the Bible for a weekly sermon and generally think about the questions my characters were raising. That means the results did not come from some tablets of gold, nor have they been blessed by a committee of priests and theologians. They come from the author, me, and are based on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The fidelity of my writing to that inspiration is absolutely subject to debate.  

Characters and Plots

A novel requires a plot and characters.  Within the stories spying and combat take place; however, the descriptions aren't particularly bloody.  I discovered that my characters had personalities; I couldn't just direct them to follow a simple plot.  Therefore, the plots evolved to meet the needs of the characters and how they would react to the developing situations.  The characters would also have to travel and that meant the local descriptions had to be realistic.  Therefore, almost all of the locations are places in which I have lived or spent some time visiting.  Finally, I want to note that the initial books in each series are simpler than the later books.  As the stories evolve, the characters meet and interact with more people and the number of sub-stories increase.  I've attempted to make the character list at the beginning of each book grow with the increase of characters.  I also had to age the principal characters properly; birthdays occur and the stories need to reflect the ages properly.


When I started reading science fiction, it was classed as pulp fiction and undeserving of literary notice.  However, I understand that some colleges have courses in science fiction now.  In one of the series, one of the characters is an English major and develops a technique using Hilbert spaces in her analyses of literature.  I thought it would be fun to use that technique to analyze my novels and other books. There is a rudimentary literary analysis of the novels here.

Cited Works

Heinlein, R. A. (1961). Stranger in a Strange Land. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Heinlein, R. A. (1984). Job: A Comedy of Justice. New York: Ballantine Books.

Kurtz, K. (2014). The King's Deryni. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group.

Lewis, C. S. (1950). The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

Modesitt Jr., L. E. (2009). Imager. New York: Tom Doherty Associates.

Niven, L., & Pournelle, J. (1976). Inferno. New York: Pocket Book.

Pullman, P. (2000). His Dark Materials. New York: Random House.

Tolkien, J. R. (1965). The Lord of the Rings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Weber, D. (1993). On Basilisk Station. Riverdale: Baen Publishing.

Zelazny, R. (1967). Lord of Light. Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc.  



I started subscribing to Astounding/Analog Science Fiction/Fact in the ‘60s and more than 50% of my 7500+ book library is SF. So, I have read a lot of science fiction over a large number of years. I have lived and read through a large portion of its history and know how to recognize the ones with solid scientific backgrounds and which ones contained characters that I grew to care about and wanted to read more about. So, now I'm writing SF; I'm writing books with stories that I want to read, populated by people I like, and based on science as we know it today, with the exception of one or two extrapolations that make the stories science fiction.

I am the Principal of Hartley Consulting.  I am also the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Vice President of Sisyphus Energy, Inc. (SEI).  Previously I was a Senior Member of the Research Staff at the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Facilities (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Y12 Site and East Tennessee Technology Park).  I graduated Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Wofford College in 1968, majoring in mathematics and foreign languages.  I received my Ph.D. in piecewise linear topology from the University of Georgia in 1973.  I've been active in the practice of operations research for more than 50 years.

I am a past Director of the Military Operations Research Society (MORS), a past Vice President of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS), a past President of the Military Applications Society (MAS), and a member of the INFORMS Simulation Society (ISIM).  I also served as the Technical Advisor for Operations Research and Modeling to the International Psychopharmacology Algorithm Project (IPAP).  I am a Senior Fellow with the George Mason University School of Public Policy, a consulting resource for the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Modeling, Virtual Environments & Simulation (MOVES) Institute, and a Research Fellow with the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Center for the Management of Science and Technology (CMOST). 

I've co-authored Cognitive Superiority: Information to Power (2020), authored An Ontology of Modern Conflict: Including Conventional Combat and Unconventional Conflict (2020), An Ontology for Unconventional Conflict (2018) Unconventional Conflict: A Modeling Perspective (2017), Predicting Combat Effects (2001), co-authored OOTW Analysis and Modeling Techniques (OOTWAMT) Workshop Proceedings (1997) and NATO Code of Best Practice for C2 Assessment (2002), contributed eleven chapters to nine other books, and written more than 150 articles and technical documents.  My expertise includes modeling of combat, DIME/PMESII (diplomatic, information, military, economic / political, military, economic, social, information, infrastructure) operations, verification, validation, and accreditation (VV&A) of models, psychopharmacology modeling, and simulation.  I received the Koopman Prize for best publication in military operations research in 1994 and the Steinhardt Prize for lifetime achievement in operations research in 2013.  In 2022, I was presented the MORS Clayton J. Thomas Award for distinguished professional service and expanded application of military and national security research.


Motto:  There's more to life than reading books ... but I don't remember what it is.

To contact me, use my initials 'DS' lastname 'Hartley' the number '3' and '' - make the subject line 'Science Fiction Books' or something similar.

Return to Dr. Dean S. Hartley III Entrance.