Desert Stars Publishing   3 comments

Tucson, AZ readers please note: paperback copies of my books can be obtained directly through Mostly Books, an independent bookseller.


Three short stories for 99¢ (e-book version). A great way to sample my writing and see if it suits you.

Short Trio 2.0 copy

An unexpected event can change everything, especially when things are not as they first appear. This has always been true, and will remain true in the future. Here are three tales of chance encounters and the changes they bring, set sometime beyond the day after tomorrow.

“Swept Away” – All Richard wanted to do was relax and read a book. Unfortunately, Avi is out and on his own on this dark and stormy day, and his response to a sudden crisis will change Richard’s life forever.

“Second Chance” – The warship Richmond has accidentally released a new life form into Jan Costa’s space station. Costa must find the creature, and do so quickly, but as he and his crew search, it becomes clear to them that they have not been told all of the truth. What they seek is not what they were told to find.

“Long Time Passing” –  The Commonwealth’s grand star liner Edwin Teale has entered Leyra’an space on a mission of cultural exchange. Among the ship’s passengers is Martin Russman, a man scarred by memories he has tried very hard to erase. But can he hide from his own past if history repeats itself?

Please note: “Second Chance” and “Long Time Passing” were previously published separately. Please check your library before downloading.


This is my first book, written originally for the amateur astronomy niche market. It’s a short memoir of how I came to be an amateur astronomer myself and, for a new self-published author, provided a valuable learning experience that paved the way for future projects. To my surprise, Mr. Olcott’s Skies has reached beyond the target audience. I’m not sure why this has happened, but it certainly is gratifying!

Olcott Cover V2.1jpg

Mr. Olcott’s Skies: An Old Book and a Youthful Obsession

We were all young once upon a time, and in our youth found something special
that captured our hearts and minds.

A passion for star-gazing often starts in a modest way, with a small telescope.
For some, that modest beginning becomes a theme that resonates through a
lifetime. Mr. Olcott’s Skies is the story of one such beginning, and of how a
small telescope and an old book set the author on a long and often indirect road
to the stars. It’s the tale of a journey that has only just begun, and of the
discovery that you really do need to look back the way you’ve come, to
understand where you are.

Available as an ebook for $1.99 from Amazon:


In paperback for $6.99 from: Amazon and Barnes & Noble



The Commonwealth of Humanity has quietly explored their region of the galaxy for almost four hundred years. They have built a vast, prosperous, and peaceful civilization. Star systems have been colonized, worlds terraformed, and life in a variety of forms undreamt of by their ancestors has been found, studied, and cherished. But in all this time they have found no other people, no sign of another intelligent life form among the stars.

When at last they meet the Leyra’an, everything changes; for these alien beings are so much like Humanity it defies both science and belief. It cannot be a coincidence. In seeking answers to this riddle, Robert and Alicia MacGregor will ultimately confront a universe more complicated and perilous than they could ever have imagined. A universe that will soon threaten everything that matters and everyone they love.

The Luck of Han'anga

Book One – The Luck of Han’anga

For Robert MacGregor and the crew of the probeship William Bartram, it’s a dream come true. Theirs will be the mission that makes the long awaited First Contact with an intelligent nonhuman species, a race of humanoid beings called the Leyra’an. But the dream soon becomes something very different when the Leyra’an prove to be more than just humanoid. They are like us to a degree that cannot be explained by chance alone. As if that isn’t complicated enough, the Leyra’an are at war, locked in a conflict that soon threatens the safety of the William Bartram and its crew. First Contact was sure to be a challenge, but no one could have expected this!


In paperback for $13.99 from: Amazon and Barnes & Noble



Founders' Effect ebook cover Nook


Book Two – Founders’ Effect

While Robert and Alicia MacGregor, survivors of the ill-fated probeship William Bartram, work to rebuild their lives, the Commonwealth seeks a way to end the long, bitter conflict between the Republic and the Leyra’an. But the leaders of the Republic, suspicious of the motives that drive their long-sundered kin and faced with unrest among their own people, resist the changes that must come for peace to exist. And all the while, forces unseen by either side are at work, determined to force Humanity and the Leyra’an down the road to war.


In paperback for $13.99 from  Amazon and Barnes & Noble



POTE background and letters copy D2D

Book Three – The Plight of the Eli’ahtna

On a mission to bring aid to a beleaguered star system, John Knowles and Eb’shra Wirolen have been hurled by a freak accident across countless light years, and are marooned in uncharted space. As they work to repair their damaged ship, the Eli’ahtna, and the friends they’ve left behind launch a desperate rescue mission to bring them home, the castaways discover that although they are truly lost, they are not alone.


In paperback for $13.99 from Amazon and Barnes & Noble



CTA 1 Nook copy

Book Four – The Courage to Accept

Four years of research, using the combined resources of five species of sentient beings, have brought Alicia MacGregor no closer to understanding how Humanity’s sibling species came into existence. Who was responsible for redirecting the natural course of evolution on four living worlds? Why did they do it? And can she find the answer before the Faceless render all such questions moot? For the Faceless are back with a vengeance, and as implacable as ever.

The Commonwealth has known nothing but peace for almost four hundred years. Now, war is upon them. How do you prepare for something no one alive has ever seen?





Setha'im Prosh KDP











Book Five – Setha’im Prosh

The conclusion of the War of the Second Iteration.

The Faceless have come, waging total war against the Republic and the Confederation of Clans. As star systems fall and a desperate effort is made to find out who and what the Faceless really are, foes must become allies against the common threat. If their defenses do not hold, nothing will prevent the Faceless from invading the Commonwealth. And with the resources of the Commonwealth under their control, no power in the galaxy, not even the strange and alien T’lack, will be able to stop the Faceless from exterminating Humanity and its allies.

Robert MacGregor and his family prepare for the worst, both hoping and fearing that this will be the end of the madness. Hoping and fearing, for all wars eventually end – one way or another.




Posted December 26, 2012 by underdesertstars

3 responses to “Desert Stars Publishing

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  1. I hope you are the Thomas Watson who wrote “With My Own Eyes” in the May 2012 issue of Sky & Telescope. Thank you for such a wonderful article that also expressed my feelings. From the time I first saw Saturn’s rings almost 40 years ago until now, I still want to see the rings myself. Those have been amply documented, yet still find themselves talked about and seen in various publications. And no matter how many times I view them, it’s still wondrous.

    BTW, this post is a bit late, having found the May 2012 issue mis-filed in my son’s stack of S&T 2013 issues. Good for me that I found it and your article.

  2. Yes, I’m the author of that essay, one of three I’ve managed to publish on S&T’s Focal Point page. Very glad you enjoyed it. Seems a great many amateur astronomers feel the same way, from the feedback I received for that essay. Seeing things with your own eyes is what visual observing is all about. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Pingback: New Release – Setha’im Prosh by Thomas Watson | Ch'kara SilverWolf

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