Biography

Novelist and award-winning science writer Carl A. Posey is the author of eight published novels, a number of non-fiction books, and dozens of magazine articles, most of them about science and aviation. He has also dabbled in documentary films. When asked what he does for a living, he likes to use the Victorian term: writer of all work.

Born in the Panama Canal Zone, he spent much of his youth in Latin America. After a year at Texas A&M University, he joined the U.S. Army, then returned to complete his bachelor’s degree in English.

He has worked as a newspaper artist/​copywriter and as a technical writer and editor in the aerospace industry. At what is now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), he developed a series of prize-winning publications describing NOAA’s research on severe storms, hurricanes, and other natural phenomena, and implemented workshops for television meteorologists and science reporters. His work there earned him the U. S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal “for outstanding achievement in creating national awareness of vital research programs through expert reporting and writing.”

He left government to head the Office of Communications at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), an east-west think tank near Vienna, Austria. Returning to the U.S., he joined the National Optical Astronomy Observatories in Tucson, Ariz., as public information officer, covering research at large telescopes in Arizona and northern Chile.

In 1988 he moved to Time-Life Books in Alexandria, Va., where he spent almost a decade as an editor on such series as Voyage Through the Universe and True Crime, and as series editor of The Library of Curious and Unusual Facts. He left Time-Life Books to pursue a freelance career and continue with his novels.

His first, Kiev Footprint, had been published in the U.S. and U.K. Prospero Drill, a thriller built around a hurricane-seeding project, appeared in the U.K., the U.S., and Japan. His first Vienna novel was Red Danube (Dead Issue in the U.K.). Benchley’s Chip, which unfolds mainly in Vienna and Communist Bulgaria, was “One of the most readable, and ambitious, thrillers of the year—Dostoevsky in the Balkans,” according to the Times of London review. Bushmaster Fall, a thriller set in the coca-growing region of Bolivia, came out in the U.S. and U.K. to good reviews. Red Man’s Will, set mainly in Chile and Arizona, followed. Shot@​Dawn, a noir comedy about the dying book arm of the Dawn magazine media empire, appeared in 2014. Last of the April Ten, published in 2015, follows a former RAF squadron leader and Russian nuclear safeguards inspector as they strive to prevent the revival of smallpox in a world with little immunity from the ancient scourge. Their odyssey begins in a mysterious radioactive cave in northern Iraq, and moves toward a deadly confrontation in the winter marshes north of St. Petersburg.

Posey’s articles have appeared in Smithsonian, The Atlantic, Time, and other national magazines. His Science 85 article on nuclear safeguards shared a National Magazine Award. An article for Omni on the world’s new nuclear geography received New York University’s Olive Branch Award. Not surprisingly, nuclear safeguards inspectors star in several of his novels.

As a natural cartoonist, he expected as a young man to make his way by writing and drawing comic strips, but instead turned to the novel and magazine journalism. But he did not quite abandon the graphic form. In 1995 DC Comics brought out The Big Book of Weirdos, “by Carl Posey and 67 of the World’s Top Comic Artists.”

A licensed pilot with a life-long association with aviation, he has been a regular contributor to Air & Space/​Smithsonian magazine since its second issue.

He is married to Ann Wadia, a Londoner he met in Vienna, and has four grown children from a first marriage. He is also Dad to Freki of Midgard, a Norwegian elkhound.

Selected Works

Fiction
A former RAF squadron leader and Russian nuclear safeguards inspector try to thwart a decades-old Iraqi scheme to re-infect the world with smallpox.
An editor named Randall strives to succeed at Dawn Books, part of Dawn magazine’s media empire.
An international thriller, a moving tale of love and deception, beautifully told.
A mysterious rain of radioactive material poisons Bolivia’s coca crop. “Outstanding thriller.”
Publishers Weekly
American operatives stalk the world’s first molecular microchip in communist Bulgaria. “Extraordinary on every level.”
London Daily Telegraph

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