Author William Ledbetter

William Ledbetter is a Nebula Award winning author with two novels and more than seventy speculative fiction stories and non-fiction articles published in five languages, in markets such as Asimov's, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, Escape Pod, the SFWA blog, and Ad Astra.

He's been a space and technology geek since childhood and spent most of his non-writing career in the aerospace and defense industry. He is a member of SFWA, the National Space Society of North Texas, and a Launch Pad Astronomy workshop graduate. He lives near Dallas with his wife, a needy dog and four spoiled cats.

"Level Five" and "Level Six" the first two novels in his Killday Series are available from Audible Originals.

William is represented by David Hale Smith, with the InkWell Management Literary Agency.

Publisher's Summary

Fifteen years after warring artificial intelligences nearly destroyed Earth, a young woman finds an artifact from that struggle, upsetting a delicate balance of power and dragging her into the middle of a new fight for humanity's survival.

With a significant portion of the planet covered in heat-absorbing black dust, Earth's biosphere teeters on the edge of collapse. One AI faction is attempting to fix the damage, with huge machines trundling across the countryside sucking up dust and planting grass, while another faction cares only about elevating itself to a higher plane of intelligence and will destroy anyone who gets in the way.

As the only humans still not controlled by AIs race to build huge orbital habitats so some humans will survive should temperatures continue to rise, a more secretive organization grows in the shadows and idolizes the man who triggered the nano-replicator attacks that nearly destroyed the world. They, too, believe the only way to stop the AIs is to annihilate everything.

In Nebula Award winner William Ledbetter’s Level Six, one woman has the power to save humanity - if she can survive long enough to use it.
©2020 William Ledbetter (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

Book 2 of the Killday series.

Level Five

Publisher's Summary

In the mountains of Pakistan, a high-tech mission aimed at preventing another nuke on US soil goes off the rails - with deadly results. At a Wall Street investment firm, a computer intelligence takes the first tentative steps to free itself from its digital restraints. In a basement workshop, an engineer sees visions of a god who instructs him to defend the human race - by any means necessary. In Level Five, the debut near-future thriller by Nebula Award winner William Ledbetter, AIs battle for dominance, and nanotechnology is on the loose. And all that stands in the way of the coming apocalypse is a starry-eyed inventor who dreams of building a revolutionary new spacecraft and an intelligence agency desk jockey faced with the impossible choice of saving her daughter - or saving the world.

Book 1 of the Killday series.


  • I sold my novelette "The Short Path to Light" to Asimov's science fiction magazine.
    This story is the sequel to my Nebula winning story "The Long Fall Up."
  • My story "Moonlet Sonata" has been translated into Chinese and is available in the May issue of Science Fiction World magazine.
  • My new novel "Level Six," the second book in the Killday series is available from Audible Originals (Dec, 2020.)
  • My stories "The Long Fall Up" and "Broken Wings" are now published in the Czech magazine XB-1.
  • My story "In a Wide Sky, Hidden" is now available in audio format at Escape Pod.

Cons, Appearances & Events