Forced to Choose
University of Oklahoma assistant dean of engineering and former
manager of the Mars Exploration Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Science-fiction books were very influential for me as a teenager.
Although I read some early fantasy (like Bradbury's Martian
Chronicles), my real love was hard science fiction,
especially books by Arthur C. Clarke, Issac Asimov, Andre Norton (a
pseudonym for a woman writer) and Robert Heinlein. Their books
inspired me to go into aerospace engineering, leading at last to
being part of the team that built Sojourner Truth, the Mars rover
that was landed by the Pathfinder mission in 1997, and, finally, to
leadership of the U. S. Mars Exploration Program.