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December 2020 Notable Author: Jack Campbell

The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword, but the Wise Person Carries Both. SFWA Motto

Jack Campbell is the pen name of John G. Hemry, a retired U.S. Navy officer, who draws on his military career to write military science fiction novels. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling Lost Fleet novels as well as the Stark's War and Paul Sinclair series.

John grew up everywhere from Pensacola, Florida to San Diego, California and Midway Island due to his father’s military career. He graduated from Lyons High School in Lyons, Kansas in 1974, then attended the U.S. Naval Academy (Class of '78), where he was labeled "the un-Midshipman" by his roommates. 

As far back as he can recall, John read and tried to write. He gave it a go at Lyons High School (without selling any fiction), but then the U.S. Navy intervened. His active duty career included: shipboard, intelligence, staff, and anti-terrorism assignments. It didn’t leave much time for writing, but exposed him to diverse peoples,  different experiences, varied locations, and new things to learn. “My career gave me a lot of tools and a lot to work with when I retired from the Navy and decided to try writing seriously,” Henry said. “Not simply just the engineering background, travel, ship experience, and leadership, but also experience writing professionally and editing my own work and others. 

“The most important element in my decision to write,” he said, “was my wife who said to try it now, or I might never give it a strong effort. I listened to  her and it worked.” John lives in Maryland with his wife who is too good for him and three great kids. The two eldest children are diagnosed as autistic but are slowly improving with therapies, education and medications.

His best selling Lost Fleet novels are an action-packed military science fiction series that explores the time when the earth is no longer the center of the universe due to the invention of a faster-than-light jump drive which has allowed the rapid creation of new colonies. As a result the vast distances of space mean that the old order of protection and interstellar law offered by Earth has ceased to exist.


Science fiction (sci-fi) is speculative fiction that focuses on futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, extraterrestrial life, and parallel universes and often explores potential consequences of scientific, social, and technological innovations.

Sample Reading List: Genesis Fleet series, Lost Fleet series, Legacy of Dragon series, Lost Stars series, Pillars of Reality series. JAG in Space series, Stark’s War series.

Writer's Prompt - Fun With Words

Maryland Writers’ Association (MWA) invites you to have fun writing sci-fi like Jack Campbell. Using up to 100 words start with a flight instructor living on a future planet at harvest time and incorporate a holographic reality, an overpopulated city, and an alien attack in your piece.

Submit your 100 words by the 25th of the month and receive an MWA Fun With Words Submission Certificate.  

Submit Your FUN WITH WORDS Prompt

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