Marianne J. Dyson

School/Library/Museum Programs

Marianne Dyson addresses Briargrove Elementary students.Marianne Dyson at Briargrove Elementary.

Invite Golden Kite and American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award winner and former NASA flight controller MARIANNE DYSON to share her enthusiasm for space and writing.

How Space Can Save the World

Learn why the space station falls & never lands;
vacuums are so clean;
space is empty yet also full;
asteroid miners will be trillionaires; and
we'll all be saved from extinction!

Dyson adjusts the level of subject detail and type of interactive demonstrations to match the age/grade level of the audience. For Houston-area events, author will bring a scale model of the International Space Station for display. Speech takes 20-45 minutes. Appropriate for grades K and up.

Welcome to Mars!

What will it be like to live on the planet Mars? Why will people go there? How will they get there? Where is Mars anyway?! These questions and more are answered by Marianne Dyson through visuals and interactive demonstrations. Presentation includes history of science, gravity, scale modeling, solar system dynamics, and current space events. Length is 30 to 45 minutes for grades K-8.

Programs for (mostly) adult Audiences

A Passion for Space. Marianne Dyson relates how a girl from Ohio was inspired by Apollo and science fiction to earn a degree in physics and became one of the first female flight controllers for NASA in Houston at the Johnson Space Center. She shares historical anecdotes that exemplify both the humorous and serious aspects of space operations up through the Challenger disaster, including training astronauts, fighting the “glass ceiling” at NASA, working through a fire in Mission Control during STS-5, and juggling work and family. Length is adjustable to suit venue.

Stories of the Stars. Take a tour of the current night sky, learn to find Polaris, identify constellations (and learn their stories), find the Milky Way, planets, lunar features, and where the Apollo astronauts landed. This presentation takes 20-60 minutes, and can be done indoors (20 minutes) followed by a trip outdoors (after sunset!) to observe the night sky. Ideal for library audiences of adults and kids and "after hours" at space or science fiction conventions.

Space Scientists of the 20th Century. Many people know that Percival Lowell believed he saw canals on Mars. But not many people realize that in his quest to prove it, he invented new methods of measuring the elements in planetary atmospheres, pushed the cutting edge in photographic techniques, and seeded many of the concepts included in classic science fiction. Dyson shares stories of ten fascinating scientists (see list) in her tour of the history of the 20th century of space and astronomy. 60-120 minutes. Presentation can be broken into 2 parts, either by time (1900-1950/1950-2000) or subject (astronomy/space). Grades 8 and up.

Please see my Author Visit Checklist prior to a scheduled presentation.

Book Sales

Hosts are encouraged to offer Dyson's books for sale in conjunction with their event. Please see Books for Author Visit for ordering information. Hosting organizations can earn 20 to 50 percent profit from book sales if they do the ordering, selling, and take care of sales taxes. If Dyson is in charge of her book inventory and sales, she will donate up to 10 percent of proceeds to the hosting organization.


NOTE: Fees valid for 2015-16 school year.

$900/day for 4 presentations. Travel expenses are in addition to this fee.

$500/half day for 2 presentations. Travel expenses are in addition to this fee.

$300 for after school/evening/weekend presentation. Half price for public libraries and churches.

Ask about Skype interviews or Twitter/Facebook chats.

Expenses. Travel expenses are in addition to honorarium. Local visits are $1/mile from Author's home up to about 60 miles. For non-local visits, host must cover airfare, airport parking fees ($10/day from Hobby), hotel, and taxi/rental car if needed to reach final location. Coordinate details with Author.

To Book an Appearance, fill out (as much as you can) and email/mail Appearance Agreement to Marianne Dyson.

Visit Photos

If you want a high-resolution photo, please send email. More photos are available in my Appearances Gallery.


First copy of Welcome to Mars arrived while I was at ApolloCon in Houston in June.


Authors & Ice Cream event at Evelyn Meador Library in Seabrook, July 2013.I sold my first copy of The Callahan Kids (left) at the Seabrook Library's Authors & Ice Cream event, July 2013.


E Texas Book Fest in Tyler, Texas, Sept. 2012.I was a featured author at the East Texas Book Festival in Tyler, Texas, September 2012.


Freeman Library visit in July 2011.I toured the solar system with a capacity crowd at Freeman Memorial Library in Clear Lake, July 2011.


With Bay City librarian Andrea Savage.
Bay City librarian Andrea Savage poses with me and (L to R) DeAsia Abbott, Jynesis Battle, Taniya Abbott, Sami Simons, and Kati Simons after my "Tour the Solar System" presentation.


Harvard Elementary third graders. Harvard Elementary third graders compare the sizes of the planets. Photo by Marianne Dyson, 12-7-09.

Other photos are in the ARCHIVE.

More Information

Columbia Quotes - Quotes from the Columbia crew, families, VIPs, kids, and an explanation of what happened.

Remember Columbia - photos & information.
- Space timeline, chapter stories (by Dyson, though no byline given), & teacher resources. - Astronaut bios and photos by name. - Encyclopedia facts and photos about space vehicles, missions, people. - Look for a local chapter and join the National Space Society. - Find books, collectibles, interest groups, all kinds of space hobbies.

Nonfiction Book Reviews - children's space books reviewed for science accuracy.

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