Local author shocked by science fiction success

Doug L. Hoffman’s books are marvelously over the top vehicles for his trained view of science fiction.

 

Almost back-to-back are titillating stories he tells — in books titled “Parkers Folly and Peggy Sue.” On her return to earth Peggy Sue tells of the many new worlds and alien races encountered.

Hoffman has been delving into the bizarre, the alien stories, since he was a youngster, fascinated with outer space. It is no wonder that this large, robust fellow of 60, adorned with a silver haired mop and a tidy white beard, would explore accounts of the cosmos. The vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets on their courses and fragile mother earth are the things he dwells on.

His essence seems fit for science - he is a mathematician, a computer programmer, an engineer, and a college professor with tenure at Hendrix College and the University of Central Arkansas. He is on the staff of Acxiom in Conway where he puts his learning of computer science into play. He has taught computer science at the University of North Carolina. The reputation of Acxiom and the urging of a friend he knew in graduate school brought him to Conway, he said.

“It was a great choice,” he adds, describing Conway as the ‘biggest little town’ he’s ever seen. “It’s a marvelous place. I’ve enjoyed my 13 years here.”

His vita lists hydro-acoustic work for the U. S. Navy, plus helping develop environmental models for the Saudi Arabian government.

Hoffman was vocal on this day sitting in the local library, expounding on diverse topics but coming back to science fiction stories during a discourse that gave cognizance to his background

His tone was warm and inviting as he attempted to define who he was. Even though he worked at his best to clarify his stories - some being non-fiction - he sounded nothing like those awkward dweebs of academic psychology.

He has written books on the science behind global warming and about the energy gap.

“But I decided to try my hand at fiction and this is the result,” he said, pointing to copies of his newest efforts — “Peggy Sue and Parker’s Folly.” “I call them ‘heroic romantic science fiction.”

“Certainly, there is some romance here — the relationship between the ship’s captain and a Russian cosmonaut. And there’s what we in the sci-fi trade call ‘techno-babble’ which is essential since you have to throw in some hard-core science fiction stuff. A lot of readers skip over that but there are others who read it and you’ve got to get it right. If you don’t, they write you about it. But I research everything.”

Hoffman says his books are available through Amazon and on Kindle. They are doing well. He said he was “shocked” by the success of the books’ sales.

When the conversation turned to personal accounts, his remarks about relationships involved little time for romance. For example, his extensive travels around the world and his various academic employments took him out of the romantic loop, so to speak. “So I’m a single guy,” he said, “The timing never seemed to work out so I’ve more or less given up on the idea.”

He laughed uproariously when his interviewer suggested that love might find him as he walked though the library on his way out.

“Incidentally, let me say that my books suggest a slight hint of longing on the author’s part,” he admitted.

 

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