Desert Stars Publishing   3 comments

Signed paperback copies of my books can be obtained directly through Mostly Books, an independent bookseller in Tucson, AZ. They  ship books out of town, so if you live outside of Tucson and want a signed copy of something, it can be arranged. Just give them a call or send an email.



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.

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, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, and Apple   Kindle  

Also in paperback for $6.99 from: Amazon and Barnes & Noble




A sequel, of sorts, to Mr. Olcott’s Skies.

Tales of a Three-legged Newt: Essays and Anecdotes for Amateur Astronomers

In Mr. Olcott’s Skies: An Old Book and a Youthful Obsession, I explored the origins of my love for the night sky, and how after a nearly thirty year hiatus I returned to the pursuit of amateur astronomy. Tales of a Three-legged Newt is in part the rest of that story, recounting the acquisition of the telescope of my boyhood dreams and sharing some of the experiences it brought in the years that followed. It’s also a collection of ideas and opinions written for the entertainment of those who share a love for the night sky. This is not a book about how to observe the stars and planets. It’s a book about why people do so, from the perspective one amateur star gazer.

Available as an ebook for $1.99 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, and Apple.

Also in paperback for $7.99 from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


The Autobiography of Colonel David K. Render, UNMS, Retired


The Gryphon Stone

Of all the worlds in the multiverse, Adrathea is the last David Render would willingly revisit. What happened there broke his heart and drove him to retire from the UN Multiverse Survey. To hang up his sword forever.

Then Treyvar of the Alvehn brings disturbing news. Adrathea is in peril, and David’s old comrade needs his help to stop a rogue Alvehn from usurping the throne and ruling the planet forever as an immortal tyrant. To set things right, David must return to the one place he never wants to see again.

But Adrathea is a world to which David’s fate is bound by the most intimate of ties. He has no choice. Adrathea calls, and he must answer.

Available as an ebook for $3.99 from Amazon , Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, and Apple.

In paperback for $14.99 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.


Book One – The Luck of Han’anga

An age of peaceful exploration has ended.

The centuries old dream of meeting an intelligent, nonhuman species has finally come true, in the form of the people known as the Leyra’an. But the dream soon becomes something darker 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. The search for the answer to this mystery will reveal a universe stranger and more dangerous than the crew of the probeship William Bartram could have imagined, and expose both Humanity and the Leyra’an to the threat of extinction.

For better or worse, that search has begun.

Available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Scribd

In paperback for $13.99 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most independent booksellers.



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 to walk the path of war.

Available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Scribd

In paperback for $13.99 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most independent booksellers.




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.

Available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Scribd

In paperback for $13.99 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most independent booksellers.



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?

Available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Scribd

In paperback for $13.99 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most independent bookstores.




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.

Available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Scribd

In paperback for $15.99 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most independent booksellers.



All That Bedevils Us: A Tale of the Second Iteration

All That Bedevils Us FL resize

If not for the intervention of the insectoid beings called the T’lack, the Faceless War would have ended with the extinction of Humanity and its Sibling Species. That intervention came at a great cost for the T’lack. No one knows or understands Humanity’s debt to the T’lack better than Jan Costa, who paid his own terrible price at the end of that war.

Now the T’lack are themselves in grave danger, facing a devastating civil war between rival factions and threatened by a mysterious race of beings on the far side of T’lack space.

Jan Costa leads a multi-species expeditionary force into the unknown, seeking to save his alien friends both from themselves and the new threat they have aroused. What he discovers out beyond the frontier will change everything, with the very existence of the T’lack hanging in the balance.

Available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, and Apple.

In paperback for $14.99 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most independent booksellers.



Something  different. A novella about a boy and his dog. Except, he’s too old to be a boy, and it isn’t really his dog.


Paul Ford is a man on the road, seeking to put distance and time between himself and events that turned his life inside out – and not for the better. Toby is a big dog, lost and far from home. A chance encounter brings them together and sends them on a journey to reunite the dog with his family, a trip that just might help Paul find his own way home as well. But this will be no ordinary road trip, and when it’s done, Paul’s life will never be the same.

Available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, and Scribd

Available in paperback for $9.99 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most independent booksellers.

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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