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David Walton is the author of Quintessence (Tor Books, 2013) and its sequel, Quintessence Sky. His first novel, Terminal Mind, won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2009. He lives near Philadelphia with his wife, seven children, and three hamsters. By day, he works on classified defense technology, which not even the hamsters are allowed to know about. Since he doesn't actually have time to write, he trained the hamsters to do it for him, with a combination of Morse clicks on their drinking bottle and cleverly-arranged pellets. David's fiction explores themes that skirt the edges of science and religion, such as human origins, the nature of truth, the certainty of death, and the nature of the soul.