Rick Wilber is an award-winning writer, editor and teacher who has published more than forty short stories, several novels and short-story collections, two edited anthologies, a memoir, and a half-dozen college textbooks on writing and the mass media.
Alien Morning, his new novel for Tor Books, is the first of a trilogy based on his long-running S’hudonni Empire series of stories, featuring a jovial but deadly alien named Twoclicks, his shape-changing sidekick, and an all-too human journalist from Earth, Peter Holman, a one-time professional athlete turned celebrity journo who goes to work for the S’hudonni as their media interface with Earth. Of the novel, award-winning science fiction and fantasy author Julie Czerneda says, “Brilliantly crafted, fiercely real, Alien Morning is first contact as it may very well happen: experienced by one, shared by all who subscribe. Relentless and original, this is science fiction that matters now. Highly Recommended.” Rick is at work on the next book in the trilogy, Alien Day.
Rick’s most recent college textbook is the introductory text, Media Matters (Kendall Hunt 2017), which introduces students to the history, business structure and possible futures of books, newspapers and magazines, sound recording, film, television, public relations, advertising, mass media research, free speech issues, social media and more. The book was written with significant help from colleagues Edward Jay Friedlander, Kelli Burns, Roxanne Watson and Kenneth Killebrew. Previous college textbooks from Rick include Modern Media Writing (Cengage Learning, 2002), with Randy Miller; The Writer’s Handbook for Editing and Revision (NTC, 1996) and Magazine Feature Writing (St. Martin’s Press, 1994).
Wilber’s most recent fiction is the novelette, “In Dublin, Fair City,” scheduled for the November/December 2017 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. The story is the third in a series of alternate-history stories about famous World War II baseball player and spy, Moe Berg. The stories have all appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, and include the novelette “Something Real,” which won the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History—Short Form, in 2012. Other recent work includes the short story, “Rambunctious” in the June 2016 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, and the novelette “Walking to Boston” in the October/November issue of the same magazine. He is notable as an award-winning and prolific writer in the field of baseball fantasy, with some fifteen baseball-themed stories published in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Elysian Fields Quarterly, Spitball and elsewhere. He is the editor of the recent anthology Field of Fantasies: Baseball Stories of the Strange and Supernatural (Night Shade/Skyhorse, 2014), featuring nearly two-dozen classic baseball fantasy stories by writers ranging from Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan to Karen Joy Fowler, Jack Kerouac, Rod Serling, John Kessel, Harry Turtledove, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Robert Coover, Kim Stanley Robinson, Louise Marley, Ron Carlson, W.P. Kinsella, and many others. Other baseball-themed work includes the baseball mystery novel, Rum Point (McFarland, 2009) and the memoir, My Father’s Game: Life, Death, Baseball (McFarland, 2007) about the caregiving role and about his father’s career in baseball. Broad Street Review said it’s a book “about the mythology of baseball … written with fine observation and wry understatement, and may well become a classic in the literature.”
Wilber lives in the St. Petersburg, Florida area of the West Coast of Florida and that area’s barrier islands have often figured into his stories and novels. Alien Morning is set primarily on one of those islands. Important parts of the novel also take place in Ireland, where Wilber led college students on for-credit study tours every summer. He has been to Ireland more than two-dozen times, often for lengthy stays.
A longtime journalism and mass-media professor, Wilber is administrator and co-founder with Sheila Williams, editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, of the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing, awarded annually at the Conference on the Fantastic in Orlando, Florida. He is married and has two adult children.