Eric Choi is one of three actual rocket scientists in Rocket Science and provides one of the five non-fiction pieces – it’s about the Mars of fact and fiction.
Eric Choi is an aerospace engineer, writer and editor in Toronto, Canada. His undergraduate degree was in Engineering Science at the University of Toronto, where he did his bachelor’s thesis under the supervision of Professor James Drummond working on scripts for the environmental testing of the MOPITT (Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere) instrument aboard the NASA Terra (EOS AM-1) environmental satellite. He then went to the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) for his graduate studies, working under the supervision of Professor Peter Hughes on actuator and sensor models for a proposed Space Shuttle middeck experiment.
Following graduation, his first job was as orbit dynamics analyst on the RADARSAT-1 flight operations team at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). He then worked briefly for a NASA contractor but was forced to leave the United States due to American technology export control regulations. Upon his return to Canada, he worked on a number of space projects including the Canadarm2 on the International Space Station (ISS) and the meteorology payload on the Phoenix Mars Lander. His experience with the political challenges of working on American-led space missions motivated him to conduct research on the impact of U.S. export controls on the Canadian space industry, which resulted in a peer reviewed paper in the journal Space Policy that was cited in the 21 August 2008 edition of The Economist.
After earning an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, he joined Bombardier Aerospace and was responsible for marketing commercial aircraft in the Mediterranean and Africa, contributing to successful sales campaigns to Olympic Air (Greece), Ethiopian Airlines and Smart Aviation (Egypt). He is also a graduate of the International Space University and is currently serving as adjunct faculty and as the alumni representative on the ISU Board of Trustees. In 2009, he was one of the Top 40 finalists (out of 5,351 applicants) in the Canadian Space Agency’s astronaut recruitment campaign. Currently, he is the business development manager for the microsatellite missions group at the Canadian aerospace company COM DEV.
As a writer and editor, he was the first recipient of the Isaac Asimov Award (now the Dell Magazines Award) for his novelette “Dedication”, which was published in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine and was recently reprinted in Japanese translation for The Astronaut From Wyoming and Other Stories (Hayakawa) edited by Toru Nakamura. His other short fiction has appeared in Footprints (Hadley Rille), Northwest Passages (Windstorm), Space Inc. (DAW), Tales from the Wonder Zone (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), Northern Suns (Tor), Tesseracts6 (Edge) and Arrowdreams (Signature Editions) as well as Science Fiction Age magazine. With Derwin Mak, he co-edited The Dragon and the Stars (DAW), the first anthology of speculative fiction by authors of the Chinese diaspora that recently won an Aurora Award, Canada’s top honour for speculative fiction.
Please visit his website at www.aerospacewriter.ca.