Science Fiction Author RICHARD DOYLE
LinkedIn Richard Doyle
Fact ignites fiction in this first-of-its-kind anthology of speculative tales by Caltech and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) scientists, engineers, technologists, and students. Experts at the frontiers of their fields, along with renowned Caltech alumni such as David Brin, S.B. Divya, and Larry Niven, present stories about alien astrobiologists, AI parenthood, a quest to preserve our histories beyond the heat death of the universe, a heist to steal engineering secrets from an ancient monk-scientist, the recovery of a long-lost phase of the human life cycle, the demise of Earth's first intelligent species—billions of years before the rise of humanity, and more!
Richard wrote the story "Disentanglement" in the recently published speculative fiction
anthology INNER SPACE AND OUTER THOUGHTS by Caltech and JPL authors.
His current writing projects include:
The speculative thriller THE FIFTH WALL about a magician
who experiences inexplicable phenomena in his own act.
The time-travel limited TV series ONE MILLION TIMES,
featuring rumors of time travelers in our era,
in collaboration with independent filmmaker Rogelio Fojo.
And the space adventure RAISING THE ROOF,
in the OUT OF TIME Young Adult series created by David Brin:
May 22, 2023 at 5:10 p.m.
The first half of Richard Doyle’s professional life and this second dream career he works at now may seem worlds apart.
Doyle, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, spent more than 40 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, pushing the boundaries of space exploration and computer science as a program manager. Retirement fueled a change to a more creative space, but the question remained the same: “What if?”
Doyle, who writes under the name R. James Doyle, is one of 21 authors that contributed to a first-of-its-kind anthology written by Caltech, NASA-JPL scientists, engineers and students. The book, “Inner Space and Outer Thoughts,” is available at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, Once Upon a Time in Montrose, The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles and on Amazon.
About 300 people attended a book talk at Caltech’s Beckman Auditorium in person and online on Saturday, May 20, where some of the authors explained their writing process, how their ideas turned into stories and the intersection of their scientific work with creative imaginings.
For Doyle, who remembers meeting physicist Freeman Dyson whenever the scientist visited the JPL campus, his story began with one question: “What would it be like to live until the end of the world?”
An article Dyson co-wrote on energy sources in the universe informs Doyle’s tale of end times, community and loneliness.
Award-winning author David Brin, a Caltech alum, helped edit the collection and serves as a mentor for TechLit, the school’s creative writing club which produced the book. He said the writers impressed him with their vision and professional grade work.
“Most of the best of Caltech people, I feel, have the itch to have a creative sideline and they’re very good at it,” Brin said, remembering theoretical physicist Richard Feynman and his bongo-playing, painting and safe-cracking.
Caltech alumna S.B. Divya said the anthology authors really are “scientists in the lab of their own head,” with stories shaped by their individual experiences.
The foray into writing life certainly sparked a change in TechLit founder Rachael Kuintzle’s plans. She defended her dissertation on May 2, moving one step closer to her doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biophysics. But she is also finishing a young adult science fiction novel, co-writing with Sam Clamons, another contributor to the anthology.
“(Sam) is brilliant at writing aliens that feel alien but are still relatable, and the (novel has) themes of environmental justice featuring teens that have to figure out how to communicate with intelligent trees on another planet via a complex biochemical language,” Kuintzle said.
TechLit members are also working on an audiobook version of “Inner Space and Outer Thoughts,” and are planning a book signing at Vroman’s on Aug. 22.
Kuintzle said TechLit members, and their mentors, are already working on more stories together. Meetings are usually on first Saturdays and include pizza, writing prompts and literary peer reviews. The connection between Caltech and science fiction continues.
For more information, follow @TechLitClub on Twitter.
Caltech and JPL Authors Publish Original
Speculative Fiction Anthology
Inner Space & Outer Thoughts: Speculative Fiction From Caltech and JPL Authors features stories across science, technology, space, and beyond.