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David Walton

David WaltonDavid Walton is a native of Pennsylvania and recipient of the of the 2008 Philip K. Dick Award for his first novel, Terminal Mind. You can read more about his life and work at David Walton’s website.

Bill chats with David Walton

David Walton is the author of Quintessence (which I highly recommend) and Terminal Mind, which won the 2008 Philip K. Dick Award for best paperback science-fiction novel that year. David recently took some time out to answer some of my questions and to let us know what he is currently working on. More information can also be found at his website. One commenter will win a hardback copy of Quintessence.

Bill Capossere: Why did you set Quintessence in the sixteenth century? What about the time period attracted you or made you think it fertile ground for a fantasy novel?

David Walton: The sixteenth century was a remarkable time. It was the age of exploration, when European sailors were taking dangerous voyages to discover new lands and people, as well as the very b... Read More

Bill catches up with David Walton

David Walton is the author of Quintessence (which I gave a 4.5 last year) and its recent sequel Quintessence Sky (3.5), along with Terminal Mind, which won the 2008 Philip K. Dick Award for best paperback science-fiction novel that year. David recently took some time out amidst all the hectic holiday activity to answer some questions and let us know what he is currently working on, (including I was glad to learn, a third book in the QUINTESSENCE series). More information can also be found at his website. Comment below for a chance to win a hardback copy of Quintessence.

Bill Capossere: Let’s start with what clearly was not intended with your latest novel, Quintessence Sky, which was to... Read More

Marion chats with David Walton about science and faith

David Walton took some time out of his writing and promotion schedule to chat with me about Supersymmetry, Superposition, science and faith, and the novels he enjoys reading. One random commenter with a US address will win a copy of Superposition.

Marion Deeds: Supersymmetry felt like it completed the story that you started in Superposition, and you’ve said you hadn’t originally planned a sequel. Do you envision more stories is this world, though?

David Walton

David Walton: I’m not planning any more stories in this world, but you never know – as you said, I didn’t plan a sequel when I wrote Superposition! At the moment, however, I’m working on a new near-future SF thriller, this one provisionally called Read More

David Walton answers 3 Big Questions about THE GENIUS PLAGUE

David Walton’s latest book is The Genius Plague, about humanity’s struggle against colonization, not by extraterrestrials but by a common earthly entity. (You can read our review here.) Marion asked Walton three quick questions about his book, and his answers are entertaining and intriguing. Three random commenters with US or Canadian addresses will win a copy of The Genius Plague.

Marion Deeds: I really enjoyed The Genius Plague. Fungi are certainly fascinating and you managed to make the premise here plausible. What was your inspiration? And what sources did you use to develop your fictional (I hope) mycelium?

David Walton Read More

Quintessence: Enjoyable historical fantasy

Quintessence by David Walton

Quintessence is a historical fantasy by David Walton, set in an alternate 1500s, a time of religious and political turmoil, exploration, and advances in natural philosophy, as old authorities were beginning to be challenged. In the last days of Edward VI’s reign, a ship returns from the edge of the world (literally — this world is flat) with news of a fantastic island, Horizon, filled with strange creatures and even better, home to what appears to be the Elixir of Life. Unfortunately, the entire crew is dead within hours of their return and their tales are thought to be ravings by all but Christopher Sinclair, an alchemist whose life’s quest is the discovery of quintessence — the element he believes will allow humanity to defeat death.

Soon, Sinclair has manipulated Stephen Parris, the king’s physician, and his daughter Catherine into joining him on an expedition to Horizon, where a ... Read More

Quintessence Sky: Solid self-published sequel

Quintessence Sky by David Walton

Quintessence Sky is the follow-up to David Walton’s historical fantasy Quintessence, one of last year’s more interesting reads for me which garnered a four and a half star recommendation, thanks to its rich characterization and smart discussions or representations of big ideas: clash of religions and cultures, imperialism/colonialism, the conflict of science and religion.

Unfortunately, despite all its good qualities, Quintessence couldn’t find enough of an audience (we do what we can here) to keep Tor on board as publisher, and so Walton chose to go the self-published route. While I find that utterly depressing that such a smartly written novel couldn’t find a market, the silver lining is that the sequel is out sooner than it otherwise would have been. While Quintessence Sky doesn’t quite match the standard of it... Read More

Superposition: A quantum-physics courtroom thriller

Superposition by David Walton

David Walton’s new book Superposition is billed by the publisher as a “quantum physics murder mystery.” Clearly, Walton loves quantum physics and can explain its concepts in an understandable way. Choosing alternating first-person narrators was a stroke of brilliance, upping the suspense, at least in the beginning as the story unfolds.

Jacob Kelly is a physicist who resigned from the New Jersey Super-Collider (Yes! New Jersey has the biggest super-collider in the world in this book!). Now he teaches at Swarthmore College. A former colleague of his, Brian Vanderhall, comes to Kelly’s house, claiming he has made an extraordinary breakthrough, which he has. Things don’t go well in the meeting. A day later Vanderhall is dead, and Jacob is the obvious suspect. Jacob must work to get acquitted, and also contain the result of Brian’s experiment. Jacob... Read More

Supersymmetry: A thriller with cool science and lots of heart

Supersymmetry by David Walton

Warning: May contain mild spoilers for Superposition

Supersymmetry is David Walton’s sequel to Superposition. While Superposition was a quantum physics murder mystery, Supersymmetry is a thriller. The action starts on page 8 and never really flags, and yes, the physics do matter.

In the first book, Jacob Kelley and his family battled an intelligent quantum entity they called the varcolac. They prevailed, but the struggle resulted in a quantum event that split the Kelley’s teenaged daughter Allesandra into two people (two points on a probability wave). Now fifteen years later, their wave has not resolved itself, and the twins, as they style themselves, have grown into ... Read More

The Genius Plague: The mycelium strikes back

The Genius Plague by David Walton

Fungi are fascinating, successful, scary organisms, and in the past several years speculative fiction writers have been making the most of them. David Walton steers away from the brooding, surreal and creepy approach to fungi others have chosen in favor of straight-up science fiction adventure in his 2017 novel The Genius Plague. An outbreak of a fungal infection leaves the survivors smarter, more visionary… and fully loyal to mycelia. Soon a greenhorn NSA codebreaker is fighting to save humanity and his own family.

The Genius Plague wastes no time getting us into the action as Paul Johns, a young mycologist, heads home from a field trip collecting specimens in the Amazon basin. The riverboat he catches back to civilization is attacked by people in Brazilia... Read More

Three Laws Lethal: Exciting, fascinating, and timely

Three Laws Lethal by David Walton

Best friends Tyler and Brandon are building a new ride-hailing service that uses autonomous vehicles. Their software is spectacular, especially with the secret AI algorithm developed by Naomi, one the two sisters they’ve partnered with. When a tragedy occurs during their public media demo, all of their plans and hopes are dashed and the college friends all go their separate ways. Within a few years, Tyler and Brandon become competitors and their feud gets ugly, leading to more tragic accidents and even murder.

Meanwhile, as Naomi continues to develop her algorithm, she makes some exciting but unsettling discoveries about what her artificial intelligence can do and she has to make some hard decisions about what she’ll do with the information she learns.

It takes a while for David Walton’s Read More

More speculative fiction by David Walton

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsTerminal Mind — (2008) Publisher: Years in the future, the U.S. is a splintered country. The city-state of Philadelphia is ripe for revolution. Mark McGovern, the son of a rich politician, lives in a world of expensive parties and frivolous biological mods, a sharp contrast to the poor underworld of his best friend, Darin Kinsley. When the two accidentally release a sophisticated virus called a ‘slicer’ into the net, Mark must try to stem the tide of casualties before the charged political situation explodes. But the slicer is more than a virus. To destroy it, Mark must first sort truth from lies, not only for himself, but for the mind of the child who holds his fate.