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Biology Professor Publishes Science Fiction Novel

Stars of Eridani_hi res coverCONWAY, Ark. (February 13, 2017) – Hendrix College biology professor Dr. Matthew D. Moran recently published The Stars of Eridani , his first science fiction novel.

“It is my first attempt at a fictional book,” said Moran. “My goal was to write a story of humans expanding into the galaxy but without impossible technologies (like warp drive). So I tried to write a hard science fiction story that would be plausible in the future.”

“I also have a focus on the biology of the world they are trying colonize and how it would conflict with our biology, which I believe will actually be the biggest challenge to this endeavor,” Moran added. “And of course, like any good science fiction, the story is symbolic of the current human condition, in particular, what we are doing to our planet.”

Moran’s favorite science fiction author is Isaac Asimov, and he is a fan of the author’s The Foundation series. 

“Asimov argued that humans will be human regardless of our technological advances and will continue to have the same social issues and conflicts,” Moran said. “I am also a fan of Joe Haldeman, especially the book Forever War, which I think is just beautifully written, and I am also a Star Trek fan, in particular for the way in which that series developed complex characters (e.g. Spock) who have made us think about who we are.”

The book is available for sale on Amazon.

About the Book

After a multi-generational journey, the first interplanetary colonization vessel christened The Pythias is approaching the star Eridani. On the third planet in the system, Elpis, a contingent from the ship will land and start a new society. However, there is trouble brewing on the ship as the societal change caused by the imminent departure of a portion of the crew is too much for some to bear. The planet will also have surprises for the colonizers when the biology of the ship and this new world clash. Events soon spiral out of control and the survival of both the colony and the ship are in doubt. The captain of the ship, Jerome Gates, and the commander of the colony, Dr. Laura Hansen, will need all their intellect and skill to try to save their people and salvage this most audacious human undertaking.

About the Author

Matthew D. Moran joined the Hendrix Biology Department in 1996. His research has resulted in publications in grassland ecology, plant and animal interactions, paleoecology of the Pleistocene, and conservation biology. In 2014, he published  Guide to the Trails of Petit Jean State Park , the first comprehensive educational guidebook for the state park’s hiking trail system. His guidebook  Exploring the Big Woods: A Guide to the Last Great Forest of the Arkansas Delta was published in the fall by the University of Arkansas Press.

About Hendrix College

Hendrix College is a private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas. Founded in 1876 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884, Hendrix is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges and is nationally recognized in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings for academic quality, community, innovation, and value. For more information, visit