Donald Firesmith is an award-winning author of speculative fiction including science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy novels as well as seven software/system engineering books.
A computer geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He is also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat worrying whether the term “distinguished” makes him sound more like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still more red than gray.
By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs and cats.
His magical wands and autographed copies of his books are available at Firesmith’s Wand Shoppe.
- Hell Holes: What Lurks Below
- “I nearly said something, but then thought better of it. It doesn’t pay to publicly point out the failings of the person providing your paycheck.”
- “Woe to any climate denier who called climate change a hoax when she was nearby.”
- “We spent a few hours struggling to come up with better explanations, but each suggestion was shot down almost as soon as it was made. The suggestions became wilder, eventually to the point of silliness.”
- “Nothing prepared me for the unbelievably loud sound made by firing the shotgun inside that confined space. My ears were ringing, and my face was splattered by black blood and bits of things I shuddered to consider. I cried out in pain as the thick black ichor dripped into my eyes, where it burned like acid.”
- “Low demons, like hellhounds and gargoyles, are merely the mindless beasts of Hell. Far deadlier are the high demons, such as imps, fiends, and devils. High demons are humanoids, thinking beings with the ability to use dark magic.”
- Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton
- “He leaned towards me, and I did what any reasonable person would do when facing imminent death by being eaten alive. I screamed.”
- “As long as we’re comparing analogies,” Jack added, “how about this one? A person being chased by a bear doesn’t have to be able to run faster than the bear. He only has to be faster than his slowest companion. Driver picks. I’m going to catch up with the convoy, find a way to pass several of the cars, and not be last in line.”
- “They prefer their meals alive and terrified, for fear is their favorite sauce.”
- “Nothing seems to tempt fate more than mentioning the possibility of something bad happening.”
- Software and System Engineering:
- “Software bugs are like cockroaches; there are probably dozens hiding in difficult to reach places for every one you find and fix.”
Five Fun Facts
- I was a student member of the American Nuclear Society, operated a Triga Mark III pool reactor, and once stood INSIDE a nuclear reactor core, specifically the core of the Zero Power Plutonium Reactor (ZPPR).
- I stood at the snow line of Mount St. Helens three days before it blew.
- I spent 90 days on a bicycle riding 5,000 kilometers across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
- I have lived overseas for several years, living in Germany twice and Switzerland once. I have also traveled to 32 countries.
- In 1974, I traveled to the Soviet Union where I visited Moscow and Leningrad. On the way, I stopped by at West Berlin and went through the Berlin wall at Checkpoint Charlie.
- In India, I once had a dancing blind-folded man with a sword slice a watermelon in two on my naked stomach.
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Reviewers of the Hell Holes series have compared my writing to that of the following famous authors. If you like their books, you might also like mine:
|Dan Brown (Thriller)||1|
|Michael Crichton (Science Fiction, Thriller)||3|
|Clive Cussler (Thriller)||1|
|Rider Haggard (Adventure)||1|
|Stephen King (Horror)||2|
|Dean R. Koontz (Suspense, Thriller)||2|
|Mathew Reilly (Action, Thriller)||1|
|James Rollins (Action, Mystery, Thriller)||1|
|J.K. Rowling (Fantasy)||4|