The following news article was reprinted on the Internet by Businessweek.com on September 13, 2009, giving national exposure to two books of mine that appeared in 2009--JUDGMENT DAY AND OTHER DREAMS and MOTHER EARTH'S STRETCH MARKS. The article was originally published in the Silver City Sun-News newspaper on July 21, 2009. 

'Hooked on Sci-Fi:' Silver City author makes his fantasy a reality


Silver City, New Mexico, Jul. 21--It's not common that an author has two books published in one year, but that's just what happened for local author, poet and scientist T. Jackson King.

King, who goes by Tom when he's not writing, has had his third and fourth books published this year -- a long 13 years after the publication of his last book.

"Judgment Day and Other Dreams," a collection of 15 science fiction, fantasy and magic realism stories, was published in April by Fantastic Books, out of Blacksburg, Va. King's third book, a collection of poetry about land, critters, the desert, class warfare, loss and memories titled "Mother Earth's Stretch Marks," was published locally by Motherbird Books of Silver City in March.

On Wednesday, King will appear on Channel 17's The Morning Show at 8:15 a.m. to discuss "Judgment Day and Other Dreams." On Saturday, he will do a reading and book-signing from 10 a.m. to noon at Wild West Weaving, 211-D N. Texas St., in downtown Silver City.

An award-winning journalist and former government archeologist, King, 61, said the publication of his most recent book was the realization of a lifelong dream.

"I've read science fiction ever since the fourth grade. And after my first short story appeared in the fifth-grade school newsletter, I was hooked on Sci-Fi, science and learning everything I could," he said. "After that, all I wanted to be was a storyteller to readers of all ages and interests."

King has had stories published in Analog, Science Fiction and Fact, and Figment, as well as other magazines, but careers in journalism and government archeology intervened before his first novel, "Retread Shop," was published in 1988. That was followed up with a second Sci-Fi novel, "Ancestor's World," in 1996.

In his newly published collection, King said, "Six of the stories are Earth-based, nine are space-based, all include humans, and many of the aliens in the stories are as human as you or me." Three of the stories have never been published before.

While the collection includes a mix of science fiction, magical realism and dark fantasy stories, King draws on his diverse interests in archeology, cross-cultural anthropology, Jungian archetypes and world mythology.

Of the stories in the collection, King said, "They are all dreams that wanted to be real."

Hosana Eilert, owner Wild West Weaving gallery, where King will be reading Saturday, said she particularly enjoyed a story in the collection that was set in Reserve, New Mexico.

"He really brought out the culture of the area in that story. It was a magnificent way of preserving that," she said.

King read recently at a science fiction convention in Phoenix over Fourth of July

"It was great to spend time with fellow lovers of science fiction and fantasy,' he said. "I've long thought that science fiction was the literature of 'a hopeful future' and that was reinforced by lectures from Arizona space scientists involved with probes to the moon, Mars and the outer planets."

In addition to his published novels, poetry collection and recent short story collection, King has had short stories published by national and regional magazines, along with several dozen non-fiction articles in specialty journals and magazines. His archeology thesis was published by the San Bernardino County Museum in 1976.

King moved to Silver City in 2004. Before that he worked as managing editor of the Eastern Arizona Courier in Safford and The Copper Era of Clifton, Ariz. While reporting on crime issues in Clifton, a story by King won the 2003 First Amendment Award by Arizona's Society of Professional Journalists. He also worked for 15 years as an archeologist for the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service and Forest Service in the Southwest and the Colorado Plateau. He is the father of two grown sons and a daughter.

King is currently at work on several short stories, and another novel, this one about a young orphan boy who scavenges in a garbage dump in a future colony world, where the people and the culture are based on South America. It is titled, "Little Brother's World."

"Judgment Day and Other Dreams," is available online at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. More information on King's books and stories can be found on his Web site at http://www.sff.net/people/t-jackson-king.


Copyright (c) 2009, Silver City Sun-News, N.M.

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