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The Madison Record

Johnson explores ‘people of the stars’ in latest book

MADISON – As an aerospace scientist, Les Johnson sometimes switches from ‘science fact’ to ‘science fiction’ in his secondary calling as an author. His most recent work is “Stellaris – People of the Stars.”

Johnson and Robert Hampson co-edited the book, which features “stories and mind-bending speculation” from experts Martin Rees, Kevin J. Anderson, Todd McCaffrey and Sarah A. Hoyt, Johnson said. Baen Books is the publisher.

A review in “Booklist” stated “the question is, what happens when a bunch of science fiction authors and scientists sit around pondering the fate of humanity in space? The answer is ‘Stellaris.’ Readers will enjoy this collection that is as educational as it is entertaining.’

“Stellaris” is a collection of short stories and scientific essays by some of the “hardest hitters in contemporary science fiction and science fact, resulting in a thought-provoking look at a selection of real-world challenges and speculative-fiction solutions, according to “Booklist.”

In other work, Johnson’s “Mission to Methone” is now in paperback. This book shows “the spirit of Arthur C. Clarke and his contemporaries is alive and well in Johnson’s old-fashioned, first-contact novel, set in 2068,” according to “Publisher’s Weekly.”

Johnson describes himself as “a husband, father, physicist, manager and an author of science fiction / science fact.” His latest non-fiction book about the new wonder material, “Graphene,” was reviewed in “Nature” and excerpted in “American Scientist” and Salon.Com.

Using his technical background, Johnson served as technical consultant for the movies “Europa Report” and “Lost in Space.” He has appeared on the Discovery Channel series “Physics of the Impossible” in the “How to Build a Starship” episode. He has also appeared in three episodes of the Science Channel series, “Exodus Earth.”

Johnson works in the Science and Technology Office at NASA, George C. Marshall Space Flight Center. He serves as Solar Sail Principal Investigator for NASA’s first interplanetary solar sail mission, the Near Earth Asteroid Scout.

He also is Formulation Manager for Nuclear Propulsion and other advanced in-space propulsion technologies.

Recently, Johnson has lectured at Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, Calif.; Space Center Houston, Houston, Texas; The University Club, Nashville, Tenn.; Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan; EVE Online FanFest, Reykjavik, Iceland; and TEDx Huntsville.

For more information, email les.mail@lesjohnsonauthor.com or visit lesjohnsonauthor.com.

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