David Batchelor is a physicist and science writer. He has been consulted on futurist topics by Wired Online, The Economist, The San Francisco Chronicle, National Geographic Online, NBC Nightly News, and Star Trek Communicator magazine. He also appeared on television shows such as the 2009 PBS special "Science Trek." Dr. Batchelor is employed as an Astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He has published numerous scientific articles in journals such as The Astrophysical Journal. He has taught at the University of Maryland University College. The Metalmark Contract is his first published novel.
The alien Metalmark offered mankind a starship and its advanced technology in a trade for the rights to planet Mercury and moon Triton. What could go wrong? But his appearance sent the nations of Earth into turmoil as many people suspected danger and a trick. Our dreams of futuristic breakthroughs made Metalmark a celebrity in the West, but inflamed the Islamic world. A scientist with the space agency and a CIA spy became two of Metalmark's defenders. Our chance to join superior beings and travel the stars depended on the clash of futurists with ancient traditions. Could he sell us the means to a quantum jump in progress? But . . . he wanted Mercury and Triton for habitats where his species could spawn . . . what did that mean?