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NSS Space Book Reviewers

Stephen Adamczyk has been a member of the National Space Society since 1990. He was born in 1970, “regrettably” missing the Apollo Moon landings. However, he enjoys studying the history of the space program through all of the literature published since. From a young age he has liked flying and earned his pilots license after high school. Following college he became a full time FireFighter and has worked in that profession in Grand Rapids, MI, since 1992. He hopes that his second career will in some way be space related and possibly help reach the vision we all see of creating a spacefaring civilization. Non-fiction reviews: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth; The Apollo Guidance Computer; At Home in Space; Canada's Fifty Years in Space; Dragonfly: NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir; Drifting on Alien Worlds; Escaping the Bonds of Earth; Foothold in the Heavens; Forever Young; Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight; Partnership in Space; The Road to Modern Rocketry: Launch Bases, Centers, Museums, Memorials, and Monuments; Saturn 1/1B; To the End of the Solar System: The Story of the Nuclear Rocket; Tragedy and Triumph in Orbit; Truth, Lies, and O-Rings; Voices from the Moon; Voyages of Discovery.

Masse Bloomfield was born in Franklin, New Hampshire in 1923 and attended schools in Laconia, N. H. He was in World War II receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal, retiring from the Air Force Reserves as a Lt. Colonel. He obtained a degree in bacteriology from the University of New Hampshire in 1948 and a master of library science from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1951. After twenty-two years as head of the Hughes Aircraft Company Technical Library, he retired. While at Hughes Aircraft Company, he wrote numerous articles for library journals as well as book reviews. He has written several books including Man in Transition (1993) and The Automated Society (1995) [available on Amazon]. His biography has appeared in "Who's Who in the West" and "Contemporary Authors." His volunteer activities include acting as a liaison officer for the U. S. Air Force Academy. His website is Non-fiction reviews: Distant Worlds; The High Frontier; The Living Cosmos; Science, Society and the Search for Life in the Universe; Too Far From Home; 2081. Fiction reviews: 2001: A Space Odyssey & 2010: The Year We Made Contact (DVD reviews); Darkship Revenge; Moon Beam; The Odyssey Series: 2001, 2010, 2061, and 3001; Gradisil.

David Brandt-Erichsen has been involved in the space movement since 1978. He is a former Secretary of NSS and served as an officer and Board member for over 10 years. He is currently a member of the NSS Volunteer Website Team and is webmaster of this book review section and of the NSS Library and the Space Settlement Nexus. He is also webmaster of and would love to catalog any natural arches on Mars. Now retired, his vocational background is as a research technician in molecular genetics. Non-fiction reviews: Across the Space Frontier; Adventures in Space Advocacy; Conquest of the Moon; The Exploration of Mars; Halfway to Anywhere; Krafft Ehricke’s Extraterrestrial Imperative, Lunar Outpost; Space Enterprise; A Traveler’s Guide to Mars; Turning Dust to Gold: Building a Future on the Moon and Mars; Where Is Everybody? Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox.

Gerald Driggers retired after a highly successful career as an Aerospace Engineer and is now writing science fiction and non-fiction on the subject of the large-scale settlement of Mars. He was prominent in studies of space colonization and space industrialization in the 1970s working directly with Dr. O'Neill. Gerald subsequently enjoyed success in such diverse engineering areas as environmental pollution control, missile defense, and maritime security. Gerald embraced the dreams of Dr. Werner von Braun and his team at an early age and was privileged to meet and work with many of them. He sought to contribute to the realization of their dreams until it became obvious that the space leadership and general populous of the United States did not share those dreams. Gerald's series of books strives to bring that dream back to life with new vigor. He currently resides in Florida with his wife, Wilson the cat, and Holly the lovable K-9. Fiction reviews: Leviathan Wakes; Life on Mars: Tales from the New Frontier; The Mars Imperative: Book One of the Imperative Chronicles.

Marianne Dyson is the Chairman of the NSS Publications Committee and a frequent contributor to Ad Astra magazine. Inspired by the space program and science fiction, Dyson earned a degree in physics and became one of NASA's first women flight controllers. Dyson now shares her passion for space through writing and speaking. Her first book, Space Station Science (Scholastic, reprinted by Windward), won the Golden Kite award for nonfiction. Home on the Moon (National Geographic), won the prestigious American Institute of Physics Science Writing award. Space and Astronomy: Decade by Decade was published in 2007 as part of a 7-volume set on Twentieth Century Science by Facts on File. Her articles, poems, and short stories have appeared in magazines such as Analog Science Fiction/Fact and anthologies including Best of Girls to the Rescue, Eat My Martian Dust, The Callahan Kids: Tales of Life on Mars, and Into the New Millennium. Many of these stories are available on Kindle. For information about Dyson author visits and publications, visit her at Non-Fiction reviews: Almost Heaven; The Attempt (The Martian Manifesto Book One); Go for Orbit: One of Americas First Women Astronauts Finds Her Space; How We'll Live on Mars; Planetology; Postcards from Mars; Spaceships: An Illustrated History of the Real and the Imagined; Spacewalker; To Orbit and Back Again: How the Space Shuttle Flew in Space. Fiction reviews: 2312; Across the Universe Trilogy; Beyond the Sun; The Cassini Code; Challenger Park; The Comet's Curse; Earthseed; Energized; Fire with Fire; Foreigner; Hurricane Moon; Impact; The January Dancer; Journey Between Worlds; Leviathans of Jupiter; Old Man's War; Rescue Mode; Species Imperative (series); Spin; The Web of Titan. Children's reviews: Apollo's Outcasts; Astrobiology; Astroblast; A Black Hole Is Not a Hole; Blast Off Doodle Book; The City of Ember; Crater; Darok 9; Earth to Stella; Exploring the Solar System; Faraway Worlds; Galileo's Universe; Greetings from Planet Earth; In the Shadow of Ares; Killer Rocks from Outer Space; Life on Earth—And Beyond; Look to the Stars; Mars (Updated Edition); Max Goes to Mars; Max Goes to the Moon; Meet the Planets; Mission Control, This Is Apollo; Mission: Mars; Mission to Pluto; Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11; Nefertiti the Spidernaut; Pieces of Another World; The Planet Thieves; Reaching for the Moon; Robots Slither; Saturn for My Birthday; Saving Mars; The Seven Stars of Matariki; Shanghaied to the Moon; Skye Object 3270A; Sky Horizon; Space Boy and His Dog; Spacer and Rat; Star Wars: A Galactic Pop-up Adventure; Taking Off; The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot.

Brian Enke is a Senior Research Analyst in the Department of Space Studies at the Southwest Research Institute. He holds a M.S. degree in computer science from Northwestern University, specializing in software algorithms and artificial intelligence. Brian is active in several space-related organizations, an adviser and Program Study Team member for the 4Frontiers Corporation, an adviser to the MarsDrive Consortium, and a Mars Society chapter chair. He has given conference presentations on space science and economics, public outreach, and low-budget Mars settlement strategies. In his spare time, Brian writes about Mars, and he is also a software mentor for the Nederland High School robotics club in Nederland, Colorado. Fiction reviews: Europa’s Lost Expedition; Forbidden Cargo; How to Live on Mars; Star Racers.

Gina Hagler is a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in a number of nonfiction publications. One of her articles for Odyssey, “Wildfire!,” received a Letter of Merit from the 2005 SCBWI Magazine Merit awards. She has an MBA and has worked as a financial analyst, strategic planning analyst, and small business consultant. She is married, with three children and the requisite dog. She lives in the Maryland suburbs and is a frequent visitor to the Air & Space Museum and the Udvar-Hazy Center. You can see some of her work at Children's reviews: Explore the Cosmos Like Neil deGrasse Tyson; Home on the Moon; Ilan Ramon: Israel's First Astronaut; Space Station Science; Team Moon.

Loretta Hall is a freelance writer and nonfiction book author. Her book Out of this World: New Mexico’s Contributions to Space Travel, was named “Best Book with a New Mexico Topic” in the 2011 New Mexico Book Awards and received a third-place award for general nonfiction from the National Federation of Press Women. Her book Space Pioneers: In Their Own Words won a silver award in the science category in Foreword magazine’s 2014 Book of the Year Awards. She enjoys giving talks about space history as well as writing about it. She has been a member of NSS since 2011. Her primary website is She lives in Albuquerque with her husband, Jerry Hall. Non-Fiction reviews: Abandoned in Place: Preserving America’s Space History; Blueprint for a Battlestar: Serious Scientific Explanations Behind Sci Fi’s Greatest Inventions; Infinity Beckoned: Adventuring Through the Inner Solar System, 1969-1989; Picture This! Grasping the Dimensions of Time and Space; The Politics and Perils of Space Exploration; Spaceshots & Snapshots of Projects Mercury & Gemini.

John F. Kross is an oral pathologist and medical writer/editor in Lincoln University, PA. He is vice president of scientific affairs for a medical communications company and works with the pharmaceutical industry to approve/launch new drugs and provide continuing medical education to physicians and other healthcare providers. His "day job," however, is frequently interrupted by Bonstellian daydreams of leading an expedition to Mars and returning to the Moon. Consequently, Dr. Kross has been a member of NSS (or its predecessor NSI) since 1983 and has been a frequent contributor to Ad Astra since 1989. He has served as Senior Contributing Editor on the magazine since 2003. Personal highlights of his Ad Astra "career" include co-authoring an article on reusable launch vehicles with Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and contributing to a space reference book, Space Sciences. Non-fiction reviews: Astro Turf; 50 Years in Space; Moondust; Riding Rockets; Sky Walking; Space Race; Von Braun.

Mark Lardas, a sometime engineer, freelance writer, amateur historian and model-maker, lives in League City, Texas. He is currently employed as a technical writer. When he says something isn’t rocket science, he should know—he has been one. Although he graduated from the University of Michigan with a BS in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, he spent most of the the next 30 years as a space navigator and a software engineer on the Shuttle Program. His down-to-earth interests include model-making and writing, interests which he combines in numerous articles to modeling magazines, and in as a stints as the Hobby Master for Boy’s Life and the Model Master for English Street, an English language publication in Hong Kong. He is also the author of seventeen published books, all focusing on history, with ten related to maritime and naval history. Non-Fiction reviews: Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. Fiction reviews: Mission: Tomorrow: New Stories of the Future of Space Exploration.

Bart Leahy has been a National Space Society member since 1997. He earned a master’s degree in Technical Writing from the University of Central Florida, where his master's thesis suggested using targeted marketing to enhance the appeal of space exploration messages. As a volunteer writer for NSS, he has developed presentations, marketing collateral, and a position paper on space tourism. He was also volunteer coordinator for the 2005 ISDC in Washington, D.C., and has written several articles about the 2006 ISDC for Ad Astra magazine. He now works as Chief of Communications for Zero Point Frontiers, a space and technology company based in Huntsville, AL. Non-Fiction reviews: The Astronaut's Cookbook; Colonizing Mars; Homesteading Space; In the Shadow of the Moon (movie); Mining the Sky; Crossing the Threshold; Out of This World: The New Field of Space Architecture; Paradise Regained; Rocket Man; The Singularity is Near; Solar Sails; SpaceShipOne: An Illustrated History; Utilization of Space. Fiction reviews: Children of God; Dark Eden; Lucifer's Hammer; The Obligation; Red Mars; Return to Luna; The Sparrow; Starship Century: Toward the Grandest Horizon; Variable Star. Children's reviews: Welcome to Mars.

Robert A. Lee grew up in the 60s and was inspired by the space race to the Moon to pursue science and engineering. He received an electrical engineering and computer science degree from Princeton University, and then worked at IBM for over 30 years. During that time, he held various technical and marketing jobs, including working with IBM Research to create multiple versions of IBM's computer speech recognition products, as well as demonstrating a simplified version of IBM's Deep Blue AI computer program to high schools during National Engineering Weeks. He also holds a master of science in teaching (mathematics) from Pace University, and a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo. He has been a long time member of the National Space Society with interests including amateur astronomy, AI, and robotics. Bob is now retired and volunteering some of his time to NSS to share his passion for good science, astronomy, and science fiction books. Non-fiction reviews: Asteroid Hunters; Asteroid Mining 101; The Complete Space Buff’s Bucket List; Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future; Infinite Worlds: The People and Places of Space Exploration; The Value of the Moon; We Are the Martians; The Year in Space 2016 Wall Calendar. Fiction reviews: Ark; Crisis on Stardust Station; The Earth-Mars Chronicles Vol. 2: Home for Humanity; Earth Unaware (The First Formic War); Flood; The Martian; Pillar to the Sky; Poseidon’s Wake; Red Planet Blues; Seveneves; Trajectories. Non-Fiction and fiction: Touching the Face of the Cosmos: On the Intersection of Space Travel and Religion. Children's reviews: The Callahan Kids: Tales of Life on Mars; LEGO Space: Building the Future; Ringworld: A Graphic Novel, Part 1.

Clifford R. McMurray is a freelance writer whose work appears frequently in Ad Astra magazine. A science fiction reader and space activist from an early age, he has served on the NSS Board of Directors, including a term as Executive Vice-President and Policy Committee Co-Chairman. He has also chaired the space business track at the International Space Development Conference for several years, and was a founder of the NSS Space Blitz, a citizen lobbyist event held annually since 2004. He is a Fulbright Fellow and graduated summa cum laude from the MBA program at the University of Scranton in 2001. Non-fiction reviews: But for the Grace of God; By Any Means Necessary; The Cosmonaut Who Couldn't Stop Smiling; Flying Higher and Faster; How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight; My Dream of Stars; The Orbital Perspective; The Ordinary Spaceman; Realizing Tomorrow: The Path to Private Spaceflight; Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue With His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve; Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue With His Century: Volume 2 (1948-1988): The Man Who Learned Better; Smoke Jumper, Moon Pilot; Starman; You Are Here: Photographs from the International Space Station. Fiction reviews: Public Loneliness: Yuri Gagarin’s Circumlunar Flight; Zero Phase: Apollo 13 on the Moon.

Tierney O'Dea is a science writer and Chief Operating Officer for, a live astronomy website. From 1998 to 2003, she was a researcher and associate producer for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw where she often covered science & NASA events. She was also a docent at the Hayden Planetarium and a writer for Tierney first joined the NSS in 1988 back during her Space Camp days and happily became a member again this year. At the ISDC, she volunteered for the NSS's Council for a Positive Future, a new joint venture with the Space Frontier Foundation and the Mars Society. She now lives in Austin, TX with her husband, Brooks, and loyal pug, Stella. For more information, you can visit her blog at Non-Fiction reviews: Abundance, Moondust.

Robert Z. Pearlman is the founder and editor of, the leading online resource and community for space history enthusiasts. He has driven the content and creation of some of the most popular and influential websites devoted to the subject of space exploration, including: the original "Ask An Astronaut", the National Space Society's website, the official viewer's guide to Tom Hanks' HBO miniseries "From The Earth To The Moon", and Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin's "Encounter with Tiber" website. Prior to establishing collectSPACE, Pearlman held positions with Space Adventures, Ltd., Imaginova Corp. and the National Space Society. Today, Pearlman is also Vice President of Countdown Enterprises, a leading producer and retailer of space-themed merchandise. He is a former member of the National Space Society's Board of Directors and serves on the Advisory Committee of the Ansari X PRIZE Foundation, as well as the nominating induction committee for the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Florida. Non-fiction reviews: Apollo Moon Missions: The Unsung Heroes; Live from Cape Canaveral; Return to the Moon; The Space Tourist's Handbook; Spacecraft Films Apollo DVD Sets. Children's reviews: Kids to Space.

Jim Plaxco Jim Plaxco is a digital artist and president of the Chicago Society for Space Studies. He is a also former member of the NSS Board of Directors and his online biography can be found here. Non-fiction reviews: Fundamentals of Space Business and Economics; Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program; ISScapades; Reference Guide to the International Space Station; Utilization of Space.

Susan Raizer is a life-long space enthusiast and amateur space historian and is also a docent at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, educating the public and fellow docents about the space exhibits and space history in general. She received a Master of Science degree from the University of North Dakota's Space Science Department in 2008, where she concentrated on space history, policy, law and remote sensing. She admits to being an original Star Trekker and enjoying the science fiction genre, including Star Wars and recently became a Whovian as well. She is a history junkie having earned an MA in History and is also interested in anything to do with science fiction and science fact. She spends her day working as a commercial loan underwriter and loan officer (and earned an MBA degree in Management and Finance). This has enabled her to encapsulate ideas and themes in a concise manner for her reviews for NSS. Non-fiction reviews: Alien Life Imagined; Apollo 13 NASA Mission Reports; Apollo EECOM: Journey of a Lifetime; Becoming Spacefarers; Burt Rutan's Race to Space; Earthrise: My Adventures As an Apollo 14 Astronaut; Footprints in the Dust: The Epic Voyages of Apollo, 1969-1975; From Jars to the Stars; Mars Rover Curiosity; Mars Up Close; Planet Earth: Guide to the Planet; The Planet-Girded Suns, Roving Mars; Saturn, A New View; Selling Peace; Sex in Space; Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe; To Rise From Earth. Fiction reviews: New Earth; The Quantum Thief. Children's reviews: Beyond the Solar System; Max Goes to the Space Station; The Mysterious Universe; Out Of This World: New Mexico's Contributions to Space Travel; Seven Wonders of Exploration Technology.

Peter Spasov received a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia. After a brief stint as Instrumentation Engineer for Gulf Canada, he joined the teaching faculty at Fleming College in Peterborough Ontario. In 1983, he attempted to join the first Canadian astronaut program, alas without success. Hence he continued with teaching and coordinating in the fields of computer engineering technology, laboratory automation and applied projects. During this time he authored Microcontroller Technology: The 68HC11 and 68HC12 and Programming for Beginners Using Visual Basic, both published by Pearson Education, Inc. In 2013, he retired from teaching to rekindle his interest in space travel, including joining the National Space Society. Non-Fiction reviews: Mars: Making Contact; Using Medicine in Science Fiction. Fiction reviews: Beltrunner; Science Fiction by Scientists. Children's reviews: The Darkest Dark.

Ted Spitzmiller began his professional career at the Army's Ordnance Guided Missile School in Huntsville, Alabama, and taught in the Atomic Weapons Training Group at Sandia Base in Albuquerque.  He has worked for IBM, INTEL, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, from which he retired in 2001.  Paralleling his profession in computing (he has an MS in Computing Information Systems), Ted is an aerospace historian and a flight instructor who has logged over 4,000 hours in more than 60 different types of aircraft.  He is an author who has been published in all major aviation magazines over the past 25 years. His 2007 two-volume history of space exploration is available from Apogee Books (Astronautics: Book 1 - Dawn of the Space Age and Astronautics: Book 2 - To the Moon and Towards the Future). Non-fiction reviews: 2001: The Heritage and Legacy of The Space Odyssey; The Case for Mars; Digital Apollo; Energiya-Buran: The Soviet Space Shuttle; Into the Black: The Extraordinary Untold Story of the First Flight of Shuttle Columbia and the Men Who Flew Her; License to Orbit; Living in Space; Men Into Space; Moon Lander; The New Space Race; The Nuclear Rocket; Red Moon Rising; Rocket Men; Rockets and Revolution; Sky Alert: When Satellites Fail; The Soyuz Launch Vehicle; Space Pioneers; The Space Shuttle Decision; Von Braun. Fiction reviews: Project Mars.

Allen G. Taylor is the President of the Oregon L5 Society. He joined the National Space Institute in 1976, which later merged with the L5 Society to form the National Space Society. He is a co-founder of the Orange County Space Society in Orange County, California. A lifelong reader of science fiction and science fact books, Allen has worked as a design engineer in the aerospace and the computer industries. He is the author of over twenty books, including several in the popular "For Dummies" series. Allen currently teaches electrical and computer engineering at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, and lectures on astronomy onboard cruise ships. He also runs a blog called The Zetetic Forum. Non-fiction reviews: Deep Space Flight and Communications: Exploiting the Sun as a Gravitational Lens; The Lunar Exploration Scrapbook; Mars and How to Observe It; Mission to Mars; Packing for Mars; The Plundering of NASA; Saturn; The X-15 Rocket Plane. Fiction reviews: The Engines of God; Lightcraft Flight Handbook; Powersat; Red Lightning; Red Thunder; Rolling Thunder. Children's reviews: 101 Outer Space Projects for the Evil Genius; Engineering for Every Kid; Older than the Stars.

Ronald Thomas is the Associate Dean of Online Academics and Assistant Professor of Arts and Letters at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide in Daytona Beach, Florida. He has taught mass communications and communication theory at Florida State University, Central Florida Community College and Gulf Coast Community College. His doctorate is from the University of Florida and he is a fellow of Vanderbilt University's Peabody College. Non-fiction reviews: Boys' Books, Boys' Dreams, and the Mystique of Flight.

Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto served on the National Space Society Board of Directors from 2006-2008.  She is the founder and chapter president of National Space Society of Phoenix  and serves as a Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassador (2004-present). She is a veteran of the Mars Desert Research Station serving on Crew 36 as Crew Geologist on the first all-female crew to a Mars analogue station in Utah in March 2005 and Commander of a private F.L.A.M.E. mission in June 2005 (which she shared with her three children), and will be commanding a mission in March 2007. The final mission of F.L.A.M.E. was in March 2008 in which Veronica Ann commanded as well.  She was assigned to work on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission that launches in Spring 2009. She has been involved with the calibration of the LRO Narrow Angle Camera, research in planetary geology as well as creating education outreach materials for educators, students and members of the general public related to the mission. Veronica has presented at invited talks and gives lectures to schools and space related venues. Veronica is heavily active within the academic, scientific and non-profit sectors related to human space exploration and settlement. She also devotes much of her time educating the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers. She enjoys hiking, camping, aviation, and Clive Cussler novels. Children's reviews: First on the Moon; Man on the Moon; NASA Planetary Spacecraft; One Small Step; You Wouldn't Want to Be on Apollo 13.

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