Livermore's John G. Bluck, who just released his first novel, "The Ship Finder," in February, has lived quite a storied life.

His book is about a man who stumbles upon astounding technology that changes his outlook on life. In the book, the technology is extraterrestrial in origin. In real life, however, Bluck has been able to witness human feats that have left him in awe.

As a photographer and news videographer, he has recorded many historic events, including shooting antiwar demonstrations in the 1970s and President Nixon's resignation.

Bluck later went on to work as the Chief of Imaging Technology at NASA Ames Research Center. When he retired from NASA recently, he was a public affairs officer and had produced multiple NASA documentaries for television. Bluck attended college at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where in 1970 he earned a bachelor's of science in communications and a master's degree in radio and television in 1971.

Bluck started writing when he was taking journalism courses in college. When he was drafted into the Army after college, he became an Army journalist at Ft. Lewis, Wash., and he wrote newspaper articles and hosted Army radio news programs. After serving his time in the Army, he worked for local television news.

"I covered Watergate, bank robberies, homicides, bombings, plane crashes, politics, sports and entertainment, among other things," said Bluck. "I spent more than 15 years writing news releases and articles about science and engineering. Practically every day I went to work, I was fascinated by what I saw at NASA. These experiences led to my current interest, science fiction."

Bluck says he was motivated to write a science fiction novel to help present some of the amazing science and engineering feats he learned about while working for NASA.

"The main character is Dr. William Wilson, a physician who finds a wounded extraterrestrial man along a park pathway," said Bluck. "After treating alien Richard Raven, Wilson's adventure begins."

Mixed in with purely fictional technology is some amazing technology that exists on earth today or might in the near future. A "ship finder," which looks like a silver pocket watch, leads Wilson to Raven's ship. The world Wilson enters is chock-full of advanced technology, machines and weapons. The main character learns about medicine that has enabled the aliens to live greatly extended lives. As he learns more about their society, he begins to question its values and government. After interplanetary war erupts. Wilson must decide if he should become involved, and if so, which side to join.

Bluck's novel is available at most major online bookstores.

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@bayareanewsgroup.com.