Mark T. Skarstedt


Mark T. Skarstedt spent his childhood and undergraduate years in California. After graduation from UCLA with a B.Sc. in chemistry, he joined the army as an infantry lieutenant, and while serving as a platoon leader in the 101st Airborne Division in Viet Nam, was twice decorated for valor, once by the U.S. Army, and once by the South Vietnamese government (which insisted on using the word 'gallantry' rather than 'valor' in its citation). He also received the purple heart, having unfortunately been trapped by a booby-trap, which would seem to make him a booby. Sorry about that.
Upon returning home, he earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry (cellular and molecular biology) and, as an unrepentant Viet Nam veteran and fan of the hard-fighting South Vietnamese people, was probably the most unpopular graduate student in the Western Hemisphere. He followed up with a pair of two-year post-doctoral fellowships, one at Imperial College in London (H.G. Wells's old alma mater), and one at the State University of New York in Brooklyn. He then took up a research career in the medical diagnostics industry, managing to develop some products and bring his paper trail in the scientific literature up to 23 patents and publications. In his sparse spare time he worked on honing skills in a lifelong love: the crafting of hard science fiction.
Mark and his gorgeous wife Decia, married now for some 43 years, have brought up three magnificent boys, all of whom have established independent households with children of their own. He now teaches college chemistry, an occasional class in securities licensing, and continues to pound away at science fiction. He will soon have more of his books and stories available on Smashwords.


The Inclusion
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 20,070. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi
In this novella, two rival galactic states, forced to work together on an exploration project, make a shocking discovery. The DNA of a primitive human population contains a mysterious inclusion with implications for the entire human race. One state wishes to publish the discovery; the other wishes to suppress it.
The Intervention
Price: Free! Words: 8,250. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Military, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
In this short story, military software had optimized a classic ground campaign, except for a twist in the assumptions that was completely useless. Or was it?
The Censorship Function
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,370. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General, Fiction » Adventure » General
A short story about treachery and redemption in the GenShee Isands.
Virtual Victory
Price: Free! Words: 7,800. Language: English. Published: July 19, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
A free short story about semivirtual flight on another world.
Special Metal: a Tale of the Bloo Cluster
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 123,820. Language: English. Published: July 19, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Military, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
During a nasty little action on the metals-rich planet Threnn, Natvig Tomelos, a young officer on mountain patrol, is captured and savagely mutilated by an ambush commander. Regenerative surgery restores Tom's body, but he cannot rest until he faces his enemy again in the field. Help from an unexpected quarter returns him to Threnn in an unexpected role, and the hunt is on.
The Shore People
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 181,190. Language: English. Published: July 17, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
"An engaging science fiction adventure after the classic, golden age ideal." - Brandon Sanderson Men - from Old Earth - have occupied other star systems since ancient times. So discovers Jack Whittier, an American scientist living in London, from Chorry, an extra-Solar woman he meets in a dream-place called the Watchpost. The Watchpost's builders are not dreams, but only too murderously real.

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