The Story Behind Lieutenant Henry Gallant by H. Peter Alesso

I love words, but that hasn’t always been true. My career as a research scientist was the result of my early infatuation with numbers. Over the years however, I found an elegance and efficacy in words which allowed me to express myself more fully in narrative rather than algorithms.

Lieutenant Henry Gallant 2When I began to develop science fiction stories, I wanted to write adventures that I could vicariously enjoy. I found that basic human behavior—emotional and physiological reactions to specific internal and external stresses—could often be well-expressed though stories. What makes a science fiction story special, in this regard, is how the story tension originates at unexpected locations with unusual characters and strange circumstance, all of which combine to produce surprisingly ordinary human responses.

Science fiction stories, based upon hard scientific principles, often serve as a spark for the curiosity of speculative researchers in many fields. For my stories, I researched the technologies involved and tried to predict their development path into the next century. 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.

The theme of AI has been the topic for many stories with a wide variance of trajectories. In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, I was able to find a unique approach by tying AI to another apocalyptic danger known as the Great Filter. If you are not familiar with this hazard, I suggest you read my book for an entertaining education on the topic.

Henry Gallant is handsome, brave, and daring, though flawed,—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.


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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