Synopsitized for your protection

A notice at Cathy’s Comps and Calls motivated me to apply at the Speculative Literature Foundation (Motto: “We’re as surprised as you are.”) for the 2021 SLF Older Writers Grant – which, being substantially over 50 and arguably a writer, I was pleased to hear about. It was a good reason to revisit my biography spiel and hone the blurb for Elbert, appended below as evidence of willingness to self-promote. Today’s featured image is the source for Paul Trif’s portrayal of Elbert Harrison on the book cover. Yes, I was a little younger then, and my hair was not black.

John G. Dyer

Born February 16, 1950 in Chickamauga, Georgia, I moved to the Philippines in 1956 when my stepfather took an engineering assignment with a power utility. I attended grades 1-12 at an international school and, in 1968, returned to the United States for college. A computer scientist, I’m a founder of an IBM-affiliated software company.

An avid reader of science fiction since age eleven, I’ve brought a lifelong interest in engineering and technology to three SF novels and an adventure/love story — The Illusion of Gravity, Quantum Soul, Resilient and Silken Thread, on Amazon, bearing common themes that, a) success flows from constructive choices, b) nobility is demonstrated through courage, compassion and sacrifice, and c) whatever one wants, he must show up to get it — to wit, life’s lessons, self-evident but worth reciting.

My goals as a writer of SF include the promotion of authenticity in story, landscape and character development. In Resilient, protagonist Sattva Pala is introduced as a disembodied soul brought across a dimensional boundary into a quantum vessel in the Physicality, raised from nascence in the Virtuality (the Matrix, if you will) under a cloud of presumption she’s an angel sent by the Gods — fantastic elements tempered by the mundane tale of a complicated young woman with a confusing life who, despite her many virtues, can be impulsive, mean-spirited and disagreeable.

In The Illusion of Gravity, a manufacturing executive has an opportunity to participate in the development of anti-gravity, but lies about the project in order to get it past his boss — a decision that makes sense if one understands how unimaginative senior management can be.

Science Fiction is blessed with a rich lexicon of tropes and devices — time-honored and, in many cases, shopworn. It is within this framework that I’m staking out my own territory, aspiring to produce literary science fiction wherein story, rather than ray guns and rocket ships, is in charge of the narrative.

Elbert is work-in-process, 94,000 words.


In 1928 South Dakota, a furry citizen of another planet enlists the aid of an elderly human physician to ensure her soon-to-be-born son will someday be able to claim American citizenship. For Doctor Elbert Holland Harrison, the event unveils 25,000 years of Anye influence, an unrecognized family at arm’s length, a means to be treated for old age, an opportunity for a new life.

But the Great Depression looms on the horizon with the Dust Bowl catastrophe close on its heels — together, a one-two punch threatening a commerce engine that feeds two-thirds of Jivada’s population, its collapse potentially leading to an invasion of Earth.

And Elbert is about to find himself in the middle of it.

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