NSS Book Reviewers

Casey Suire joined the National Space Society in 2017 but his interest in spaceflight began back in 1998 when studying about space in middle-school science class. During this same period of time, media coverage of John Glenn’s space shuttle mission further sparked his interest. His hobbies include reading space history books, amateur rocketry, and watching webcasts of real space missions. Mr. Suire lives in his native Louisiana and works in the helicopter industry.

Matthew Levine has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor for the Mechanical Engineering Department at Lafayette College in Easton, PA as well as a part time instructor for the Space Studies program at the American Public University System (APUS). Matthew also shares a passion for STEM education and youth outreach, which includes serving as an instructor for gifted high school students in the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) as well as gifted Emirati middle schoolers in Abu Dhabi through Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) International. Matthew also volunteers as Assistant Director of the NSS Space Settlement Contest.

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 Fire Fighter 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.

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.

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 was also webmaster of naturalarches.org for 23 years and would love to catalog any natural arches on Mars. Now retired, his vocational background is as a research technician in molecular genetics.

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. He currently resides in Florida with his wife, Wilson the cat, and Holly the lovable K-9.

Marianne Dyson is a member of the National Space Society’s Board of Advisors. She was one of NASA’s first female flight controllers, serving as a Flight Activities Officer during the first Space Shuttle flights. She continues to share her Passion for Space (the title of her memoir) with adults and kids through writing and appearances. More information about her activities and copies of her work are available through Dyson’s website at mariannedyson.com.

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.

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 GinaHagler.com.

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 AuthorHall.com. She lives in Albuquerque with her husband, Jerry Hall.

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

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. For more information see marklardas.com.

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.

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. Bob has also completed the three novels of his Martian Manifesto trilogy which describe a cult’s attempt to colonize Mars and discover alien life: The Attempt (review by Marianne Dyson), The Emissary, and Retribution.

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.

Tierney O’Dea is a science writer and Chief Operating Officer for Slooh.com, 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 Space.com. 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 Leapology.com.

Robert Z. Pearlman is the founder and editor of collectSPACE.com, 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.

Jim Plaxco is a digital artist (Artsnova Digital Art Gallery) and president of the Chicago Society for Space Studies. He is a also former NSS Vice President and former member of the NSS Board of Directors and his online biography can be found here.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.