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An hour-long chat with Alan Smale, NASA astrophysicist and Sidewise Award-winning author of alternate and twisted history and hard SF, including Hot Moon and Clash of Eagles.
Alan Smale writes alternate and twisted history and hard science fiction. His novella of a Roman invasion of ancient America, “A Clash of Eagles,” won the 2010 Sidewise Award for Alternate History, and his series of novels set in the same universe, Clash of Eagles (2015), Eagle in Exile (2016), and Eagle and Empire (2017), are available from Del Rey (US) and Titan Books (UK and Europe). His Roman baseball collaboration with Rick Wilber, The Wandering Warriors, came out from WordFire Press (2020), and Hot Moon, his alternate-Apollo “technothriller with heart,” set entirely on and around the Moon, was launched by CAEZIK in July 2022.
Alan has also sold more than forty pieces of shorter fiction to Asimov’s and other magazines and original anthologies. His short story “Gunpowder Treason,” set in London in 1605, the lead story in Tales from Alternate Earths Vol. III from Inklings Press, won the 2021 Sidewise Award. His non-fiction essays have appeared in Lightspeed and Journey Planet, and he writes a regular column about scientific and historical turning points for Galaxy’s Edge.
Born and raised in England, Alan lives in Maryland and works as an astrophysicist and data archive manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. In what is humorously referred to as his “spare time,” Alan also sings bass and serves as Business Manager for high-energy vocal band The Chromatics, who have performed at various science fiction conventions (Balticon, Shore Leave, Farpoint) and were Music Guests of Honor at Philcon.