with links to fiction, popular science books, and professional publications
As an astrophysicist, he studies the Sun and stars like it, and their impacts on planets, using mainly space-based telescopes such as NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. He has published popular science books about stars and exoplanets as well as science fiction in which he explores reality, consciousness, and identity. Whether in his professional or in fiction, science is an important part of his life, but so are traveling around the world and hiking wherever nature offers striking views and abundant wildlife. He lives near Portland, OR, with his wife, Iris, and their dog Mioko.
THE CONJURER'S TALE - available in print and e-book form.
Even though telepathy is downright at odds with his world views, conjuring images into the brains of others seems like fun to David Haas. Dumbfounded by his new psychic skills, he travels to Paris where his friend, journalist Kara Burke, has come across a group of mind readers. They discover that their telepathy is a symptom of a rapidly spreading disease that kills most of those infected, causing society to unravel as the death count rises.
It shakes David to the core when he learns that his new talent is caused by the same infection that turned Alexander Cross, his traveling companion in French Guiana, into a homicidal megalomaniac: Alexander intentionally spreads the disease to create a species of telepathic humans that he hopes will rule the world, no matter how many will die to achieve that goal. David realizes that he is the only one who can fight him to save the lives of millions. What is the nature of the disease? Why does Alexander teach David to wield his new powers even as they become enemies? Can David and Kara find the cure and stop Alexander and his minions as society around them collapses? And does the agent that enables his telepathy really have a mind of its own?
IMMERSION - available in print, e-book, and audio form
While investigating disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle, the submarine of a 21st-century investigating team led by Dr. Jack Briggs becomes stuck in a swamp, four centuries into their past. It appears they have ended up near Amford, a northern-European city under siege, where they find themselves entangled in a web of war and political intrigue. The challenge to understand what is happening to them is magnified when they run into a 23rd-century AI programmer working on virtual tourism.
As the worlds of sorcerers, scientists, and virtual travelers collide, the intertwined reality of past, present, and future is but one challenge. Views of reality, consciousness, and existence are upended while an evil mercenary sets out on a path to catastrophic war that could destroy them all. Nobody is safe. Can they find a way to join forces and save the world?
THE WHITE PRISON - available in paperback and e-book form
As an interplanetary probe melts its way through miles of ice on Saturn's moon Enceladus, the crew discovers a life form. While investigating the aliens' labyrinthine clusters of structures, they soon find themselves outsmarted and subjected to psychological experiments. Their efforts of building a precarious trust are soon thwarted as Earth's industrial interests in the chemicals of this life form clash with the crew's desire to protect the apparently fragile habitats from being harvested. But the Enceladeans quickly learn how to protect themselves, deciding that a preemptive strike on Earth makes for the best defense.
In this standalone sequel to the author's IMMERSION, astronauts inhabit a comfortable AI-generated world while they explore the hostile real-world setting of the distant moon. Once they learn to communicate with the alien life form, they find striking parallels between the Enceladeans and themselves. When the probe's crew discovers the foundation of Enceladus' ecosystem, they have to decide how to protect Earth and Enceladus from greed, destruction, and all-out war.
ONE OF TEN BILLION EARTHS - Available in hardcover, paperback, e-book, and audio form.
A look at the fascinating world of exoplanets and their discovery, and what we learn about our own home in space from the thousands of planetary systems discovered in the past few decades.
Illustrated with breathtaking images of the Solar System and of the Universe around it, this book explores how the discoveries within the Solar System and of exoplanets far beyond it come together to help us understand the habitability of Earth, and how these findings guide the search for exoplanets that could support life. The author highlights how, within two decades of the discovery of the first planets outside the Solar System in the 1990s, scientists concluded
that planets are so common that most stars are orbited by them.
The lives of exoplanets and their stars, as of our Solar System and its Sun, are inextricably interwoven. Stars are the seeds around which planets form, and they provide light and warmth for as long as they shine. At the end of their lives, stars expel massive amounts of newly forged elements into deep space, and that ejected material is incorporated into subsequent generations of planets.
How do we learn about these distant worlds? What does the exploration of other planets tell us about Earth? Can we find out what the distant future may have in store for us? What do we know about exoworlds and starbirth, and where do migrating hot Jupiters, polluted white dwarfs, and free-roaming nomad planets fit in? And what does all that have to do with the habitability of Earth, the possibility of finding extraterrestrial life, and the operation of the globe-spanning network of the
LIVING WITH THE STARS - Available as hardcover, paperback, and e-book.
Written with his wife, Iris, a physician, this book explores how the human body is connected to the life cycles of the Earth, the planets, and the stars.
Living with the Stars tells the fascinating story of what truly makes the human body. The body that is with us all our lives is always changing. We are quite literally not who we were years, weeks, or even days ago: our cells die and are replaced by new ones at an astonishing pace. The entire body continually rebuilds itself, time and again, using the food and water that flow through us as fuel and as construction material. What persists over time is not fixed but merely a pattern in flux.
We rebuild using elements captured from our surroundings, and are thereby connected to animals and plants around us, and to the bacteria within us that help digest them, and to geological processes such as continental drift and volcanism here on Earth. We are also intimately linked to the Sun's nuclear furnace and to the solar wind, to collisions with asteroids and to the cycles of the birth of stars and their deaths in cataclysmic supernovae, and ultimately to the beginning of the universe. Our bodies are made of the burned out embers of stars that were released into the galaxy in massive explosions billions of years ago, mixed with atoms that formed only recently as ultrafast rays slammed into Earth's atmosphere. All of that is not just remote history but part of us now: our human body is inseparable from nature all around us and intertwined with the history of the universe.
PRINCIPLES OF HELIOPHYSICS - Available as free pdf on arXiv.
Heliophysics is the science of everything that connects the life-giving Sun to the comfortable climate of Earth, but also the many processes that link stars in general to their planetary systems. This is a free on-line textbook for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students, written by 62 experts in a wide variety of fields. It accompanies a series of books with much more detail published by Cambridge University Press.
Also available as paperback or hardcover through Amazon.
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