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On a wintery Ohio morning in 1958, Doug Turnbull watched the television broadcast of America’s first satellite blasting off atop a Jupiter C rocket into the darkness above Cape Canaveral. From that moment, he was hooked on rockets and space travel, both what was being done and what could be done. As a youth he constructed a series of solid and liquid fuel rockets, on one occasion filling the house with smoke after conducting a static test in the basement. Future tests were banished to the back yard and while none of the rockets flew, their failures were spectacular.
A victim of Math Deficiency Syndrome, his future as a professional engineer or scientist was limited. Nonetheless, while making ends meet in mortgage banking, a field requiring only limited mathematical aptitude, Turnbull maintained his interest in Astronomy, as well as Physical and Planetary Science. He has constructed several telescopes, including one with a clock drive of his own design. As an amateur historian, amateur scientist, radical Libertarian, UCD graduate, member of the NRA, occasional reader of the work of other Science Fiction writers and subscriber to the Scientific American, he is well positioned to opine on a variety of issues. A resident of Lexington, Kentucky, Turnbull also writes Science Fiction novels and stories for young adults and adults.
on Aug. 20, 2013 :
I have read the second story of of Doug Turnbull’s book Footprints in Red. It is a set of stories for Mars. I had read another story of his before, so I knew what to expect.
Doug writing (well, at least what I had read of him) is in very hard sci-fi genre. I can compare his style with the one of Konrad Fialkowski Zerowe rozwiązanie, (Zero solution) – which is my favorite short story of my childhood, the last chapter of Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, October 2026: The Million-Year Picnic as realism, and Tsiolkovsky’s book On the Moon as Doug Turnbull aims for the best scientific facts in his stories.
Doug’s stories envision future situation from very human point of view – that of an explorer, but an everyday man. No superheroes, no aliens.
Colonial scout is a story of a boy-scout leader Augie who led his team into an outing in a cave on planet Mars. The story starts with very profound description of the transport vehicle, the scientific facts are transferred in a questions and answers session between Augie and the teenagers. After a while a major problem arised, when one of the boys broked his forearm in a horse-play with one of his mates. The quick solution is made by fixing the broken limb with near-future medical device. The story ends with the team coming back to the base. According to me the stories worth to be recommended as an juvenile (teenage character forming) literature even if the protagonist usually is an adult.
As a conclusion I’d say I love to read Doug in original and I am looking forward Doug being translated into Bulgarian so more people could enjoy his talent.
18 Aug 2013
Mihail Mateev, M. Sc.
President of Mars Society Bulgaria
(reviewed the day of purchase)