Jeff Hecht is a freelance science and technology writer who covers topics from planetary science and lasers to dinosaurs. He writes regularly for magazines including New Scientist, Laser Focus World, Nature, IEEE Spectrum, Sky & Telescope, and Optics & Photonics News. When inspiration strikes, he writes the occasional short fiction. His most recent fiction has been on the "Futures" page in Nature and Nature Physics and in the anthologies Impossible Futures, Extreme Planets, and Conspiracy. Earlier stories have appeared in Analog, Asimov's, Daily Science Fiction, Interzone, and Twilight Zone. Earlier anthologies include New Dimensions 8 and 9 (HarperCollins Publishers, 1978-9), The Year's Best Horror Stories: Series X (DAW Books, 1981), Great American Ghost Stories (Rutledge Hill Press, 1991), Alien Pregnant by Elvis (DAW Books, 1994), Vampires (HarperCollins, 2002), Futures from Nature (Tor Books, 2007), and Visions of Tomorrow (Skyhorse, 2010). His favorite Readercon memory was interviewing Guest of Honor Brian Aldiss on stage.
His most recent book is Lasers, Death Rays, and the Long, Strange Quest for the Ultimate Weapon (Prometheus Books, 2019). It tells the history of efforts to make energy weapons, from Archimedes and Nikola Tesla to Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars," program and the new generation of weaponized industrial lasers. He enjoys writing about the history of technology; some events that really happen are things you would never believe in fiction. He also has written about the histories of lasers and fiber optics, and his tutorial book Understanding Lasers: An Entry-Level Guide (Wiley-IEEE Press, 1988) is now in its fourth edition. He holds a B.S. in electronic engineering from Caltech and an M.Ed. in higher education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He lives in Auburndale, Massachusetts with his wife, Lois.