Gerald was born in Minneapolis MN in 1947 and was raised in suburban Golden Valley, MN attending Golden Valley High School. He originally intended to be an astronomer and majored in physics at Macalester College, in St. Paul, MN with that in mind. But after getting a preinduction notice for the Vietnam War era draft, he joined the US Air Force as an airman basic after graduation in 1969. He gained a reserve commission as a second lieutenant in 1970, and surprised himself by staying for a career.
In the Air Force,* he spent some time in radar intercept control and battle management, including tours in Alaska and Korea, but worked mainly as an astronautical engineer, managing satellite operations, engineering, and advanced propulsion research. In the midst of this, he obtained an MS in Systems Management from USC in 1981
While working in advanced space propulsion, he met and became inspired to write by physicist and author Dr. Robert L. Forward. He retired as a major at the end of 1989 and began submitting stories in 1990, using the "G. David" form of his name for fiction (though lately it has migrated to articles in science fiction related publications as well) and Gerald D. for technical papers, the intent being to separate the work in computer author searches. At age 74 (2021), Gerald D. Nordley has pretty much retired from active consulting, but may consider an occasional project if it is interesting enough.
"G. David Nordley" is a four-time winner of the AnLab, the Analog reader's award for best story or article of the year, and has also been a Hugo and Nebula award nominee. His main interest is the future of human exploration and settlement of space, and his stories typically focus on the dramatic aspects of individual lives within the broad sweep of a plausible human future. Trying to keep up with just what is plausible is a challenge, but he recycles his research for occasional nonfiction articles. He continues to write a few pieces of short fiction each year, but is currently concentrating on novels, with two published, two complete novels looking for publishers and two more in production.
At this writing, he has two novels and four single author collections available from Brief Candle Press: After the Vikings, A collection of linked Mars-related stories was published as an electronic book by Scorpius Digital in September 2001, with a print version appearing in 2003 (sold out). A second edition of this work was published by Variations on a Theme Publishing in 2013 along with The Black Hole Project, a novel written written with C. Sanford Lowe, that first appeared in Analog from June 2006 to September 2007 as a series of novellas. The novel, To Climb a Flat Mountain first appeared as a serial in Analog in 2009 and was first published (ebook and print-on-demand) by Variations in 2012. Variations closed and the books were moved to Brief Candle in 2015
Besides writing, Gerald has done some consulting work in astronautical engineering on tethers, advanced propulsion, and worldbuilding for other science fiction authors. He may have originated the idea that for spacecraft pushed by pellet streams, with advances in microtechnology, the pellets could steer themselves to the spacecraft. He also dabbles in real estate and other investment activity.
"Off duty," Gerald is the Treasurer of CONTACT, Cultures of the Imagination, an interdisciplinary educational group concerned with issues related to the development of intelligent life--from raw planets to expansion into space. He serves on the board of The Experimental Rocket Propulsion Society and was its chairman for 2017-2019. He is a fellow of the British Interplanetary Society; senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a signatory of the Invitation to ETI, and a life member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, the Air Force Association, and the USC Alumni Association. He lives in Sunnyvale CA with his wife of 42 years (2018) , Gayle Wiesner, a retired Apple Computer programmer, and sang with her in the choir of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Livermore until his time and voice gave out. Son Andrew is currently in the Army living at Fort Belvoir, VA and Daughter Sharon lives in France, coordinating translation work in francophone Africa. Stepson Jeffrey Goldberg is severely autistic and lives in a group home in Anaheim, CA.
*Air Force Assignments, PCSs and significant TDYs
--- Andrew Nordley (with assistance from his dad).