Writer spotlight | Brad Aiken
posted December 2, 2004

BY VIVIANA BATISTA
vbatista@herald.com


Who are you?

My name is Brad Aiken. My wife, Laura, and I have been residing in Miami since 1989. Our son Dustin is a junior at the University of Florida,
and our daughter Danielle is a freshman at Florida State University.

What do you do?

I’m a physician specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. I have been the Medical Director for Rehabilitation at Baptist Hospital
in Miami since 1989. My work involves helping people recover from catastrophic injuries and illnesses such as stroke and traumatic brain
injury.

Although I have many interests, science fiction has always been one my passions. I write short stories and novels in the sci-fi/fantasy genre.
Two of my short stories have won awards in national writing contests. I’m presently spending most of my writing time on books. I’ve
published two books, Starscape: The Silver Bullet and The Starscape Project. These are part of a series of action-adventure science fiction
stories that take place around the turn of the 26th century. The Starscape books are fast-paced, fun stories for teenagers and adults who like
larger-than-life heroes and villains, lots of twists and turns and stories that make you feel good.

Where are you from?

I’ve been living in Miami since 1989 and raised my kids here, so when I travel and someone asks me where I’m from, my answer is
Miami. I was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland.

Where are you going?

Professionally, my goal is to strive to continually improve the quality of care that we provide in spite of the tremendous limitations imposed on
us by the government and health insurers.

When it comes to writing, my goal is to continue to expand the scope and quality of the stories that I write. I’d like to explore some of the
medical issues that I deal with every day in a format of near-future science fiction. My next book pending publication is a suspense story that
takes place fifty years from now, pitting a scientist’s altruistic use of nanotechnology as a cure for brain injury against a covert
government operative who has other ideas about how this technology can be used to suit his own purposes. I also plan to continue the
Starscape series; I’m nearing completion of the third book now.

Where/how did you start?

My first short story, entitled The Instant, was written during college. My professor encouraged me to submit it for publication, but my interests
were directed elsewhere at the time. I really started in earnest several years later.
My idea for The Silver Bullet was born out of a rather vivid dream that I was fortunate enough to remember when I awakened the next
morning. I quickly outlined the story and proceeded to take several years to turn it into a book. I had so much pleasure writing it and seeing
other people’s reactions to it that I kept on writing. I began to attend writer’s conferences and groups to improve my skills, and an idle
hobby became a bit of an obsession.

Why do you do it?

I practice medicine for many reasons. I was lead into rehabilitation as a specialty because I love watching people recover from serious
illnesses and [help them] get their lives back again. It’s a great feeling to be a part of that process.

When it comes to my writing, I find that science fiction fuels the heart and soul; it brings excitement to the mundane. In the painstaking
precision of science and medicine, we are limited by today’s knowledge and technology. Science fiction removes those boundaries and
allows us to solve problems that are insurmountable in today’s world. It stirs the imagination. Many of the technological wonders that we
take for granted today were born in the minds of yesterday’s science fiction writer. Jules Verne wrote about submarines and space ships
decades before they became a reality. Today’s scientists are studying antimatter, the fuel that powered Star Trek’s Enterprise.
Tomorrow’s advances will be born out of today’s imaginations.

Who/what inspires you?

My inspiration comes from many places. I’ve been fascinated by science fiction as long as I can remember. The stories of Jules Verne,
early TV shows such as Lost in Space (I can remember anxiously awaiting the premiere) and Star Trek, the excitement of the first space
launches and Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, the writings of Isaac Asimov bringing robots to life, the adventure that was Star Warsâ
€¦baby boomers have had the opportunity to live the birth of space exploration in reality and in fantasy. I am lucky enough to be one of them.
I’m also lucky enough to have a wife who enjoys science fiction as much as I do. She is my greatest inspiration to pursue turning my vivid
imagination into words.

Who are your influences?

There have been many along the way. As a kid, I had some terrific science teachers who made it fun to study the world around us. Without
that basis, it’s difficult to write believable science fiction. No matter how whimsical the story, it must somehow connect the reader to catch
their imagination.   In the literary, TV and film world, my strongest influence has come from Isaac Asimov, Gene Roddenbery and George
Lucas, respectively. I don’t think my style really reflects that of any one person, but these are the ones who have sparked my interest the
most.

How can you be reached?
Brad Aiken, MD
Baptist Hospital - Rehabilitation
8900 N Kendall Drive
Miami, Florida 33176
BradAiken@aol.com

Anything else you want people to know?

Please check out my web site at BradAiken.com. It has information about me as well as my books and some sample short stories.
I'll be doing a book signing at Books and Books in Coral Gables on Saturday January 29, 2005 at 5 p.m. along with Jerald Fine, who writes
and produces suspenseful short stories on audio CD. Jerry also recently produced a short film based on one of his stories. He and I are
members of the South Florida Chapter of the National Writers Association.

Excerpt from The Starscape Project :

   â€œWell, Blake, let’s hope that these two space cowboys are as good as they say they are.â€�
   â€œAmen,â€� responded the computer. Jennifer let a slight smile curl her tense lips.
   â€œThere!â€� cried Danny, pointing to the viewscreen. The starfighter was in plain view, having dropped out of spacewarp. He checked
his nav panel. “We’ll overtake it in three minutes.� He calculated his approach, trying to time the drop out of spacewarp to occur at
the last possible moment. He knew that they would be detected almost instantaneously once they engaged their thrusters. “Check your
monitor, partner, and warm up that trigger finger. We’ll only get one pass.�
   â€œOn it.â€� T.C.’s gaze was fixed on his tactical monitor, where a three-dimensional holographic image popped up out of the
display. It depicted the sector of space that the starfighter was in; superimposed over it was the tactical approach that Danny had been
working on for the past few days. The image showed a simulation of their approach, and the view that T.C. would have…briefly…of the
starfighter at the moment that he would be aiming his weapons. “Perfect, Danny. If you can get us in that position, I can’t miss.�
   Blake interrupted. “I certainly wish that you two would give me weapons control. The precise calculations that my matrix is capable of
are surely more …�
   â€œShut up!â€� was the simultaneous cry. Even Jennifer joined in this time.
   â€œWell, I was only trying…â€� Jennifer hit the comm panel, and disengaged Blake’s voice.
   â€œSorry, Blake, but this is really a bad time.â€�
   Danny and T.C. looked at her incredulously. She looked back, and just shrugged her shoulders. She knew where her best chance for
survival lay.
   Danny was intent on his screen. “Four, three, two, one …â€�
   The Stargazer lurched softly, as the spacewarp field generator was disengaged. They hesitated for a split second, and then lunged forward
at top thruster speed, maneuvering quickly on the planned trajectory around the starfighter’s stern, and circling back in obliquely from the
starboard side. T.C. could feel every sway of the ship; it was like sitting in a well-worn saddle on your favorite horse. “Just…a…littleâ
€¦bit…NOW!â€� He engaged the torpedo, and they held their breath collectively as they watched it streak toward the Teconean vessel.
Indie Spotlight