The Smell of Space

John Oehler, author of the perfume thriller, Aphrodesia spoke on The Space Show website about The Smell of Space.

You can listen to the archived interview here.

Skip to 6 or 7 minutes to go straight to the interview.

Photo: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

Hubble Space Telescope – wide view of Mystic Mountain.
Photo: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

The Space Show interview with John Oehler on The Smell of Space is at:
Time is noon US Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Sunday, March 10, 2013.

NB: In the US there is a change to daylight savings time on Saturday.

There will also be an archive of the interview on The Space Show if the date and time does not suit your plans.

Aphrodesiabook review
John Oehler – author interview

The Space Show website, hosted by Dr David M Livingston has the following information:

Sunday, March 10, 2013 program from 9:30-11 AM PDT, (12:30-2 PM EDT)

We welcome JOHN OEHLER to discuss his book “Aphrodesia: A novel of Suspense” and the role of smell and its relationship to space. For more information, visit his website.

Listeners can talk with John Oehler or the host and express their views using toll free 1 (866) 687-7223, and by sending e-mail during the program using,, You can also use Skype from your computer with a headset. The I. D. is thespaceshow. Please note that Skype is only available when announced as such at the beginning of each program. Please note the toll free number is only available during a live Space Show program. At all other times, it is disconnected.

John Oehler says: I’ve spent much of my life overseas, beginning in 1966 with two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal. My time in the Himalayan kingdom immersed me in a culture of Hindu gods and Buddhist monks, gave me breathtaking opportunities to trek into the high mountains, and ignited my passion for foreign lands. On the last day of my service there, in a palace converted to a hotel, I married Dorothy Zeller, the lady who is still my wife.

After Nepal, Dorothy and I went to graduate school at UCLA, received Ph.D.’s in geology, and spent our next three years working in Australia. We traveled extensively by Land Cruiser through the harsh beauty of the Outback and, on occasion, spent hours winching or digging our vehicles out of “sticky” situations. Several Australian colleagues provided inspiration for characters in my books.

When we returned to the United States, Dorothy and I went to work for a major oil company, first in research, then in international exploration. The latter took me to about fifty countries and fueled my writing with quirky characters, exotic settings, and cultural contrasts.

Upon retiring from the oil business, Dorothy went to work at the Johnson Space Center where she studies Mars and is a member of the Science Team which analyzes data from the NASA’s Curiosity rover.

I took a different route and now devote myself to writing. I’ve written three novels so far: APHRODESIA, PAPYRUS, and TEPUI.

APHRODESIA is a mystery/suspense novel centered on the world of perfumes. It was a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (ABNA) competition and is my first novel to be published.

PAPYRUS is a thriller that ignites from the spark of discovering secret writing on Queen Tiye’s last message to her youngest son, Tutankhamun. It was a semi-finalist in the 2009 ABNA competition and will be my next published book.

TEPUI is an adventure/thriller starring a burn-scarred botanist who treks into the remote Venezuelan highlands in search of a living fossil but finds something far more wondrous — and dangerous. It was a quarter-finalist in the 2010 ABNA competition and won 1st Place in the 2004 Adult Genre Novel competition of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. It will be published in early 2013.

You can see more about each of these stories, including photographs and background details, at my website.

Readers will soon discover that I have an abiding love of animals, especially dogs. Daisy, a three-legged Bloodhound plays an important role in APHRODESIA. And Bentley, an Old English Sheepdog, adds humor to TEPUI. I have not yet reached the point that Dean Koontz has, where a dog is given its own point of view, but that might not be far off.

Besides animals, I have strong interests in art, history, and science, as well as a thirst for challenging experiences. Writing gives me a chance to combine all of these into page-turners that, I hope, will keep readers thinking long after they finish the final chapter.

14 responses to “The Smell of Space

  1. i will be keeping very busy this summer reading all of the books of these wonderful authors you have introduced me to, Jordan!
    And that photo….fantastic! One of my favorite ways to start the day is to stand on my outside deck with a cup of tea staring at the stars..pure magic and truly puts me in a meditative state.

  2. I missed it! But I look forward to listening to it as a podcast. Thanks for letting us know! I was reading something about how space smelled a while ago and I was a) surprised it had a smell, and b) didn’t think the smell sounded very nice . . .

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