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SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2007
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Allow ‘Doc’ to be your guide to science fiction books at Decatur library

By Patrice Stewart
pstewart@decaturdaily.com· 340-2446

Get ready to take off for Mars at warp speed on Thursday.

Your spaceship is scheduled to leave earth at 6 p.m. from Decatur Public Library’s community room, with area author Travis “Doc” Taylor as your guide.

And if you should encounter aliens, have no fear — your leader and pilot has a black belt and some high-tech knowledge to protect you.

The scientist, engineer and science fiction writer grew up in Morgan County, said library spokeswoman Patricia Slaton. The library decided to feature him in a summertime “Meet the Author” program for both adults and students in the summer reading program.

Taylor’s topic will be “Putting the Hard Science in Science Fiction.”

His books include “Warp Speed,” “The Quantum Connection” and “One Day on Mars.”

He is the co-author of “An Introduction to Planetary Defense: A Study of Modern Warfare Applied to Extra-Terrestrial Invasion,” as well as “Von Neumann’s War” and “Vorpal Blade.”

Taylor lives near Huntsville with his wife and daughter and for 16 years has worked with the Department of Defense and NASA. His recent work has included advanced propulsion concepts, large space telescopes, space-based beamed energy systems, future combat technologies and systems, and next-generation space launch concepts.

In his leisure time, Taylor is a private pilot and scuba diver, has a black belt in martial arts, has raced mountain bikes and competed in triathlons, and has been the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of several hard rock bands.

His degrees are varied, too: a doctorate in optical science and engineering and master’s degrees in physics and aerospace engineering, all from The University of Alabama in Huntsville; a master’s degree in astronomy from the University of Western Sydney; and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University.

Call the library, 353-2993, for information.

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