TourBanner_The Crying of Ross 128

The Crying of Ross 128
by David Allan Hamilton


GENRE: Science Fiction



America has splintered into various independent republics after a brutal civil war. Against this backdrop, space exploration is on the cusp of new technological breakthroughs. Jim Atteberry, a mid-30s English professor at City College in San Francisco, spends his free time listening for alien signals on the amateur radio astronomy bands. His life as a single parent to his precocious daughter is turned upside-down when he hears an intelligent cry for help from the Ross 128 system and realizes we are not alone. This signal unleashes a chain of events pitting Jim and his brilliant, mysterious colleague Kate against a power-hungry scientist with his own secret agenda. Jim must learn the truth about the signal, the strange disappearance of his wife Janet, and the meaning of true love before it’s too late in this first contact thriller.




“How long does it take a subspace signal to travel from Ross 128 to Earth?” he asked.

The machine responded verbally. “Twenty-two minutes, 13.4 seconds with current subspace technology.”

Atteberry recorded the time on his notepad, then looked at the screen. “Is there any history of alien signals coming from Ross 128?”

“Negative. Although in 2017, unknown signals from that system were received at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. They were later dismissed as Terran satellites.”

Ghost signals. That happened sometimes due to the multitude of satellites orbiting Earth back then, and now around the moon and Mars. Signals would bounce and echo off them all the time, like ripples in a pond bouncing off rocks and plants.

“Speculate as to the origin of this signal if it’s a ghost.”



“If the signal is a ghost, it is most likely an artifact of the Second American Civil War circa 2070. The Northern Democratic States and the Confederate States often used ghost signals as decoys to confuse enemy communications.”

So that’s it, Atteberry thought, he’s been chasing old civil war ghosts. Yet the question of subspace remained, and, as far as he knew, neither side in the civil war used the emerging FTL technology. It wasn’t sufficiently developed until after the new republics separated.

“What is the likelihood that these Ross 128 signals are satellite ghosts?”

“0.02 percent.”

“What’s the probability the true source is the Ross 128 system itself?”

“74.8 percent.”

Atteberry leaned forward on his workbench and realized the results were inconclusive. “What’s the probability that these signals are naturally occurring… a pulsar or a quasar for example?”

“Zero percent. The signals are artificially produced with slight variations in pattern frequency, suggesting unknown transmission methodology.”


“Improbable. There are no known humans in the Ross 128 space.”

Atteberry feared asking the next question; he swallowed hard. “Alien?”

“99.8 percent probable.”


david author photo - 1

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

David Allan Hamilton is a teacher, writer, and multipotentialite. He is a graduate of Laurentian University (BSc. Applied Physics) and The University of Western Ontario (MSc. Geophysics). He lives in Ottawa where he facilitates writing workshops and teaches. When not writing, David enjoys riding his bike long distances, painting, and knitting.

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What is something you’ve lied about?
In one of the Star Trek Next Generation episodes, Captain Picard is giving the business to Wesley Crusher about telling the truth. In that show, Picard said, “You told the truth to a point. But a lie of omission is still a lie.” So with that, one of my lies of omission that I carried with me throughout my youth was about my dad. He left the family when I was six or seven, and for some reason, I felt so much shame over that, that I didn’t tell my friends. They’d ask where he was and I’d say, oh, he’s away working or whatever. So I told the truth to a point: he was away working. But I didn’t tell them he wasn’t coming back.

Who is the last person you hugged?
My wife Susan. We were at our son’s graduation from the University of Western Ontario and it was an emotional time, for sure.

What are you reading now?
I read all the time, whether it’s stories from the workshops I run or non-fiction for business or news articles. But in terms of fiction, I’m reading Ted Dekker’s “Obsession” and “Caliban’s War”, from the James S.A Corey Expanse series.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?
Titles are such an important aspect of the writing, so I take a lot of time thinking about different possibilities. I want to capture the essence of the story without giving it away, and also carrying an echo of familiarity for the reader’s comfort. So I’ll make a list of possible titles, then start whittling it down to a few. I rarely ask for feedback on a title unless I’m really stuck which is usually an indication that I haven’t found the right one. Once I land on a title, I’ll live with it for a while. I’ll consider things like whether it’s a metaphor, whether it’s too simple, whether it’s too long or short for the genre. And finally, if I’m still in love with the title after a couple of weeks, I’ll commit to it 100%.

Share your dream cast for your book.
I really enjoyed writing The Crying of Ross 128 and I’d love to see it gain traction with the science fiction reading audience. I feel it strikes a good balance between a focus on the human condition and a near future, first contact conflict. In my wildest dream, I’d love to see the film rights picked up to bring the story to HBO or Netflix and take it from there.


Posted on September 13, 2018, in Guest Authors and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Did you design the cover? Congrats on the release.


  2. Great interview, thanks for sharing!


  3. Sounds like a great read.


  4. Thanks so much for bringing to our attention another great book out there to read. I appreciate hearing about them since I have so many readers in my family.


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