About the Author
Bill Williams was born and raised in a small western Kentucky town, attended Murray State University for two years, then transferred to the University of Kentucky, where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1967.
After graduation, Bill joined NASA at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where he worked as a systems engineer, test director, and technology transfer manager, on the Apollo Program, Apollo-Soyuz Program, Skylab Program, Viking-Mars Program, and the Space Shuttle Program. He met his wife, Sandy, in California while working on the Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Test Program in 1976.
Bill retired from NASA in January of 2001 after 34 years of service and moved to Australia with Sandy and their son, Jonathan. Sandy is a native Australian and wished to return to her homeland. While in Australia, they purchased a home in Croydon, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, and a small farm in South Gippsland near Leongatha. After three years, they returned to Florida. Jonathan graduated from high school in Australia, has now earned his degree in Electronic Production & Design from Berklee College of Music in Boston, and worked for ROTU for about 3 years. Now he works for Brightline Technologies in Brighton, Michigan.
Bill's oldest son, Doug, a Gulf War veteran, passed away unexpectedly on February 24, 2011, leaving behind his ex-wife, Melissa, and their son, Alec, in Batavia, Ohio. Doug's hobbies were computers, astronomy, photography, and UFO investigation.
In May of 2012, Bill, Sandy, and Jonathan moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where Sandy had taken a position with the Air Force at Elmendorf AFB. After two years there, they moved to Howell, Michigan, where Sandy now works for the health department.
Interviewer: "Where did you get your idea for The Belarian Initiative?"
Bill: "The idea for this novel was smoldering in the back of my mind for probably 35 years, but I never considered really writing it. Then one day I was inspired by a NOVA program about the formation of planets and galaxies and thought that this information could be relevant in my novel. The next day I started writing and couldn't stop. The ideas were flowing so fast that my fingers on my keyboard couldn't keep up."
Interviewer: "What about some of the interesting characters? Where did they come from?"
Bill: "I modeled many of the characters in The Belarian Initiative after childhood friends and NASA colleagues. I want to thank them (and they know who they are) for giving me their permission. Their names have been changed to protect their innocence, but I have tried to be faithful to their individual personalities. It was great fun putting words in their mouths."
Interviewer: "If the Belarians built only 500 starships, how did they end up with ship designations greater that 500?"
Bill: "Well, the ships were built in three orbiting factories...one in Belarius orbit and one each in orbit around its two moons. So three ships were under construction at all times. Belarius was assigned 4-digit numbers starting with zero, so BS-0292 was built there. The moons were assigned 4-digit numbers beginning with 1 and 2, making BS-1071 the 71st ship built in orbit around moon #1 and BS-0292 the 292nd ship built in the Belarius factory. More ships were built there because, being a planet, Belarius had more manpower and raw materials than the moons."
Interviewer: "I see that your online version of your novel has a page listing cast members. Why is that?"
Bill: "Oh, that's just my fantasy of seeing The Belarian Initiative made into a movie or TV series. Also, it was easier to write dialogue if I had a familiar face to visualize saying it. The actors I chose for the different parts are ones that I admire and that seemed to fit the parts. I have also just added a page online that is designed for readers who might not be familiar with the music refered to in the novel. On that page the reader can listen to each piece of music mentioned in the novel and get a better understanding of the Pretore Billner character and how he reacts to the music."
You can email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interesting Storyline January 18, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase
An alien race is looking for intelligent life in the galaxy, without any success. Their criteria is to find an inhabited planet that has advanced technologically enough to have manned spaceflight. They finally find this when they visit Earth, and invite one human, a NASA manager, to visit them as a first contact step. (The aliens reminded me of those created by James Hogan in the Giants series). The alien ship is described in great detail and is full of technology including force shields, warp drive, fusion reactors, transporter beams. The story expands and if you like hard Science Fiction and want to explore the galaxy and more, keep reading. I really enjoyed the story and hope this is the first of a series of books built around this story line.
Trek to the Stars! June 14, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase
Unfortunately for me this was a trek to not go to sleep at night, I enjoyed the book that much that I finished it in one session. In terms of the story there Is nothing to be added to what Is a very good summary. If you are a Star Trek fan or would enjoy an optimistic view of a future first contact scenario, you will enjoy this book.
When the Belarians find the first spacefaring species after an 800 year search and it happens to be little old us with our feeble first steps, it was interesting to read the scenario unfold from both sides point of view. Too often first contacts are written only from the human view.
There is plenty of technology 'borrowed' from the trek universe: warp drive and teleportation being some of them. The dialog between the future human captain and his crew when after issuing flight instructions for the starship he said 'engage' and was given a knowing smirk in reply was well done and funny.
Good characters (on both sides) and a well written story. I am surprised this book had only the 1 review at this point, deserves a lot more and as the other reviewer said, I hope this is the first of many in a new interesting universe.
Highly recommended (if you don't mind the lack of sleep)