News Story

August 22, 2017

La Roche English Professor to Release New Young Adult Novel

PITTSBURGH, August 22, 2017 – Author and La Roche College English Professor Joshua David Bellin, Ph.D., will release his third science fiction novel, “Freefall,” on Sept. 26.

In this thrilling outer space adventure, the fate of the human race rests in the hands of two teens from very different backgrounds. Cam is from the Upperworld, where the privileged one percent are set to abandon a devastated planet earth. Cam can’t wait to leave, until he meets Sofie, who opens his eyes to the unfairness of what’s happening in her world, the Lowerworld. Cam joins Sofie’s cause for Lowerworld rights, but when it’s time to board the spaceships, Cam is alone. Waking up 1,000 years later, Cam discovers that he and his shipmates have gone off course, trapped on an unknown and hostile planet, and he needs to find who or what sabotaged their trip.

“Like a lot of science fiction, ‘Freefall’ contains elements of satire and social commentary that extrapolate from current events,” Dr. Bellin explained. “For instance, in my novel, the world is physically divided into the one percent who possess wealth, and the 99 percent who possess next to nothing. Balancing the political aspects of the book with the adventure elements wasn’t easy, but I think the end result is a book with more layers, more depth, than if it were a straight action story.”

A launch party for “Freefall” will be held at Classic Lines Bookstore in Squirrel Hill on Sept. 24 between 2 and 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Signed copies of “Freefall” and Dr. Bellin’s other novels will be available for purchase at this event.

“The idea of writing a young adult novel that was part outer space adventure and part romance really appealed to me,” Dr. Bellin said. “I read a lot of space operas when I was a kid and was enthralled by movies like ‘Star Wars.’”

Dr. Bellin graduated from Wesleyan University and earned his Ph.D. in English at the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches college English at La Roche, has published three nonfiction books and has taken part in the movement to protect the environment. He lives with his wife and two children in the Frick Park area of Pittsburgh. 

“I’ve always had a love for the imaginative, the otherworldly, the not-yet-possible. So that made sci-fi a natural for me,” he said. “For the same reason, I’m a big fan of monsters, and sci-fi gives me free rein to envision alien creatures.” 

“Freefall” can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and local, independent booksellers. The novel is available as a hardcover book and an e-book. For more information about Dr. Bellin or “Freefall,” please visit

About La Roche College: A private liberal arts college in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, La Roche College offers more than 50 undergraduate majors, six graduate degree programs and one doctoral program, with particular strengths in education, business, criminal justice, psychology, and health and medical sciences as well as interior design and graphic design. This residential college provides a vibrant campus community for more than 1,500 men and women enjoying 30-plus student organizations and an exciting NCAA Div. III athletics program. Founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche College embraces its Catholic heritage while welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds. With a legacy of social justice and a commitment to international exchange, La Roche College educates students to be lifelong learners and achievers in an increasingly diverse and global society.