Tor.com content by

Rick Wilber

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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

The One Book That Changed My Life Three Different Times

We’ve all read books that changed us, and in this new series, we ask SFF authors to tell us about one particular book that affected them in some important way — something as big as redirecting their life, or something as particular as changing their mind about a kind of story or a style of writing.

I was born into a sports family and by the time I entered college I was taking aim at a career as a sportswriter. I had good reason to think I’d make it: my father had been a catcher for the Red Sox, Phillies, and Cardinals and was a successful Triple-A manager in those days, so I grew up inside baseball. And I was a three-sport scholarship athlete in football, basketball, and baseball, so I knew those games well. I loved to read, I loved to write, and I knew my way around the diamonds, fields and courts. Sportswriting seemed natural, and by the time I was in college I was working for the school paper and also writing part-time for the local metro daily, covering high-school basketball and football. It was fun, it was easy, the paper published everything I wrote, and they paid me very well.

But within a few years I gave up that cushy sportswriting future and turned my attention to the much more difficult proposition of finding success as a science fiction writer, which wasn’t easy, and where most of what I wrote didn’t get published, and where they didn’t pay me very well at all. Why? Blame it on A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller.

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Alien Morning

Peter Holman is a freelance sweeper. The year 2030 sees a new era in social media with sweepcasting, a multisensory interface that can convey every thought, touch, smell, sight, and sound, immersing the audience in another person’s experience. By fate, chance, or some darker design, Peter is perfectly positioned to be the one human to document the arrival of the aliens, the S’hudonni.

The S’hudonni offer advanced science in exchange for various trade goods from Earth. But nothing is as simple as it seems. Peter finds himself falling for, Heather Newsome a scientist chosen by the S’hudonni to act as their liaison. Engaged to his brilliant marine biologist brother, Tom, Heather is not what she seems. But Peter has bigger problems. While he and his brother fight over long-standing family troubles, another issue looms: a secret war among the aliens, who are neither as benevolent nor as unified as they first seemed.

Peter slowly learns secrets he was never meant to know, about the S’hudonni, and about his own family. Realizing that he has been used, he can only try to turn his situation around, to save what he can of his life and of the future of Earth.

The fate of two civilizations depends on one troubled family in Rick Wilber’s science-fiction adventure Alien Morning—available November 8th from Tor Books.

[Read an Excerpt]