20 Dec 2013

Nicholas Sansbury Smith: “ORBS”

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Today I am introducing a very talented author. You all know I am not a huge fan of Science Fiction but I connected with Nicholas over animal welfare, became curious to see what he was like as an author and was pleasantly surprised. Books like ORBS make me want to read Science fiction more often


“ORBS” by Nicholas Sansbury Smith is an excellently written and fascinating science fiction story set in the near future of 2061, six years after a solar storm has rendered Earth almost inhabitable. Scientist Dr. Sophie Winston is on a mission in Cheyenne Mountain when suddenly the connection to the outside world is cut off. When she and her team venture into the outside they find the world full of luminous orbs and unknown creatures.

The book has a very realistic and detailed apocalyptic setting that in itself surpasses stories of a similar nature. The addition of the unknown creatures and the why and how of it adds to the suspense element and the eerieness of the situation for our scientists. There is also a flashback to the time of the solar storm of 2055 and a bit of background to Sophie’s character which makes her more than just a scientist.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed the story and how well the parts worked together. I only occasionally read science fiction but books like ORBS make me want to do so more often. The book has a somewhat open ending since it is the first in a series. Smith has a winning combination at his hands with his exceptionally strong characters and plotlines. Highly recommended.


What made you become a writer? bella and me

I have memories of writing when I was in first grade. The idea of creating a story always intrigued me. I had all of these ideas in my head, but it wasn’t until I was in college that I really started jotting them down. In 2012 my friends and family convinced me to self publish my first book. Since then I have written five short stories and three full length novels.

When did you decide to write Science Fiction?

I grew up watching X-Files, Star Trek and Star Wars. I devoured scifi books at an early age as well. Titles such as Armor, The Forever War and Area 51. So many of my ideas have been inspired by these fascinating works. When I started writing, scifi was the obvious pick for me.

Tell us a little about the history of ORBS.

Interestingly, I came up with the idea of ORBS when I was in Mexico. I had been studying biosphere projects and researching ways I could incorporate that in a novel. One night I was walking through the resort I was staying at and I came across several large glowing balls. They looked just like the way I imagine the Orbs would look in the story. A year later I had a finished ms on my desk.

What was the easiest about writing the book and what was the hardest?

The easiest part was the action scenes. They flow pretty well. The most difficult was creating a female protagonist. I had a lot of help with that, and I think in the end it turned out okay.

Would you say there is a message in the book beyond the story? Amazon Final

There is, and I think Stephen Hawking sums it up best, “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the American Indians.”

Do you find it is well received and picked up by the reviewers?

I think there has been a fair share of negative and positive reviews. And I expected that. Truthfully, I know not everyone will like my books.

What do you like most about your characters?

I liked Sophie and Overton the best. They are from much different worlds. Overton has spent his career in the Marines, while Sophie has spent hers in academia. While they argue quite a bit in the beginning of the novel they end up teaming up later and Sophie transforms into a soldier.

What are your next projects?

ORBS II: Stranded and ORBS III: Redemption. Stranded is already written and mostly ready to go. I also have a YA novel I’ve sketched out and a Zombie novel I’m putting together. Actually there are two Zed novels, but I’m not sure how exactly that will flesh out, no pun intended.

Tell us about your other books.

I have another series called the Tisaian Chronicles. The Biomass Revolution is book I and there are two prequel short stories that accompany it. I haven’t decided when I will write the second book as my other projects are taking priority.

What is your life like?

I work full time for Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management where I help communities recover from disasters. When I’m not at work I’m more than likely training for triathlons, writing or spending time with my family and friends. I do have a tendency to disappear on long bike rides/runs and to caribou coffee where I find myself writing for hours at a time. I also started a not for profit to raise money and awareness for animal welfare. Next year I will be adopting a dog and running with it in several races. I absolutely love dogs and find they are the most loyal friend you can have.

Who are your literary influences? 0411_52342

There are so many. Cormac McCarthy, Joe Haldeman, Brandon Sanderson, Bob Mayer, Huge Howey, DJ Molles. I read a variety of genres and both self published and published authors.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

I’m currently wrapping up ORBS II: Stranded. To find out more about my books please check out my website and or facebook page.



ORBS and the short story prequel, Solar Storms on Amazon

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