In the vein of THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT, ARRIVAL and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, Robert Ian Simpson's debut novella signals a poignant entry in the canon of humanist science fiction.

Reed Faraday lives to advance science that can make a difference for all. Seduced by the lure of working as a high-level geneticist for a mysterious company, the past ten years have seen her talent wasted—a victim of manipulative bureaucratic agendas.

Night after night, she sits in her house alone, mulling over where she went wrong, and struggling to find a way out. Popping too many pills and drowning herself in too many glasses of wine, her mind edges toward a final act of true self-destruction.

Suddenly, something intercedes.

A glowing red dot materializes on the back of her hand and overrides her actions. Before long, she discovers that the dot is connected to an invisible band of energy that emanates from across the cosmos. And it can control her like a puppet on a string.

In the grip of some unknown extra-terrestrial entity, Reed's life is simultaneously saved and set on a perilous new course. Now she must use her abilities for their intended purpose, uncover a startling network of corruption, and eventually come face-to-face with a being that's thoroughly alien, defying everything she thought she knew as a scientist.

Ian holds BAs in both Psychology and Film from Vassar College. He earned his MFA from The American Film Institute, where he received the William J. Fadiman Prize for his feature screenplay about Mary Shelley’s impetus for writing Frankenstein. (That script gained recognition from The Black List, which produced “The Monsters of Mary Shelley” as an EarMovie for The Black List Table Reads podcast starring Joanne Froggatt.)

He wrote/produced/co-directed the short film “Lightning Bugs in a Jar,” which played at TIFF and Cannes, among other festivals, and stars Tony nominee Ethan Slater.

His screenplay “Looking for Nirvana” was optioned in 2018 and is currently in development.

Ian is a WGA/W Member and lives in West Hollywood, California.