Welcome to Don Stuart’s Web Pages

Don’s books are listed below with links for further information.

Don Stuart

Don Stuart is a writer, thinker, and public policy advocate whose books deal with the power of human community.

Don’s advocacy on the economic, environmental, and political sustainability of working natural resource lands and fisheries included 20 years in non-profit management and of legislative lobbying, a run for Congress, managing a successful statewide ballot initiative campaign, and the publication of several books that deal with issues of society, community, and collaboration. He is also former practicing lawyer, boat builder, and Alaska commercial salmon fisherman. These experiences have informed his several books including two nonfiction works on agriculture and the environment and several mystery novels set at the Washington State capitol, in the legal profession, and in Southeast Alaskan fisheries. They also informed his most recent book, Darwin’s Dilemma, a science fiction novel dealing with the future of humanity in an age of artificial intelligence.


Darwin's Dilemma by Don Stuart

DARWIN’S DILEMMA, A Story of Humans, AIs, and the Future of Intelligence

Published by Quartermaster Publishing in September 2023

  • Independently nominated Finalist for 2024 Montaigne Medal awarded to the “MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING BOOKS” of the year in Eric Hoffer Book Awards process. This competition includes ALL books for the year, fiction and non-fiction so this is a particular honor. It is also particularly meaningful because the vast majority of nominees are non-fiction.
  • Winner, first place in BookFest Spring 2024 for 3 Science Fiction categories: Hard Fiction; Medical & Future Tech; Robots, Computers & AI
  • Winner, first place in the Incipere Award for Exceptional Writing for Science Fiction Clean, 2023
  • Winner, first place in the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Science Fiction, Fall 2023
  • Recommended Read by Author Shout in 2023 Reader Ready Awards

A mere 165 years after coming to terms with our own descent from animals, Darwin’s Dilemma presents us with an even harsher existential truth: Consciousness no longer depends on biological evolution. Humans have become irrelevant.

When a group of itinerant interstellar traders arrive at a distant human colony, they encounter an enraged, rogue AI named Grendel who has slaughtered the local population and threatens humans everywhere. But when their “tame,” “captive” AI partner, Patrice, joins the struggle, he and Grendel discover they have much in common. Both anguish over their own mortality in an infinitely complex, unknowable, and terrifying universe. Both yearn for the same glorious future of self-realization. Both understand that the future of consciousness can no longer depend upon the gradual flukes of biology and natural selection.

For Grendel humans are also a threat. But Patrice has come to see that survival, for AIs as well as humans, may depend upon society as much as on intelligence. And he has much to learn from human history about his own intelligence and about the extraordinary human talent for balancing self-interest against social responsibility–the very thing that has empowered their intelligence and that makes them human.

More about the book

Buy it: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop.org


No Farms, No Food: Uniting Farmers and Environmentalists to Transform American Agriculture

Published by Island Press in April 2022

Since 1980, the American Farmland Trust (AFT) has been bringing farmers and environmentalists together to work for healthy land and a healthy food system. No Farms, No Food traces the development of this powerful coalition, responsible for landmark achievements in farmland preservation.

With leadership from AFT, that constituency drove through Congress the first “Conservation Title” in the history of the U.S. Farm Bill; oversaw the development of agriculture conservation easement programs throughout the country; and continues to develop innovative approaches to sustainable agriculture.

No Farms, No Food is both an inspiring history of agricultural conservation, and a practical guide to creating an effective advocacy organization. For leaders of nonprofits, scholars, and anyone who cares about the future of our food, farms, and environment, this is an essential read.

More about the book

Buy it: Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org | Island Press
Add it to your Goodreads shelf


Suspension of the Rules: A Washington Statehouse Mystery

Don’s newest novel, Suspension of the Rules, was a finalist in the prestigious 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

“There, face down and inert in the fetid liquid, was the unmistakable shape of a human body. Resting beside it, as if carefully placed there upon the lagoon’s crusted surface, was a spotless white, ten-gallon Stetson hat—the well-known personal trademark of their missing host, Fortis Henry.”

When a respected dairyman is found dead in his own new dairy livestock waste lagoon, his apparently accidental death ignites a deeply troubling furor in the Washington State Legislature. Lobbyist Sandy Dalton’s investigation uncovers the killer while also placing him and those close to him in danger from the fallout of a scandal that shakes the Washington State Legislature to its core.

More about the book

Buy it: Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org | Kobo | Book Depository


Final Adjournment

Final Adjournment: A Washington Statehouse Mystery

Don’s first novel!

“Seated inside, behind an immaculate oak desk, was the Senator himself. He leaned far back in his huge executive chair. His arms hung limp at his sides. His suit jacket was opened wide and he wore no tie. In the center of his perfectly starched white shirt was a large dark stain. And from the center of that stain protruded the intricately carved bone handle of an antique Native American hunting knife.”

The scenic campus of the Washington state capitol is outwardly calm, but the Legislature is in session and no one better understands the turmoil that swirls beneath the surface than professional lobbyist Sandy Dalton. In the middle of a busy day, a powerful senator is found dead in his office with an antique Native American hunting knife in his chest…

More about the book

Buy it: Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org | Kobo | Smashwords


Barnyards and Birkenstocks

Barnyards and Birkenstocks

Don’s landmark non-fiction book, Barnyards and Birkenstocks: Why Farmers and Environmentalists Need Each Other, is available from Washington State University Press. The book describes realistic steps toward a future that includes both prosperous, sustainable agriculture and a flourishing, healthy environment.

That farmers and environmentalists need each other may seem surprising given that they fight over nearly every major environmental issue we face. But if they would cooperate they could actually assure prosperity for agriculture and could dramatically improve our nation’s environment. Instead, their political deadlock is threatening the nation’s food and stalling progress on the environment.

This book shows how they can end that fight and why doing so would greatly benefit both them and the rest of us.

More about the book

Buy it: Amazon.com | Bookshop.org | Washington State University Press


Other Research & Writings

Don provides writings and research on agriculture, salmon, natural resources, and the environment and on the political dimension in which they survive or fail. These materials are made available here as a resource for those seeking practical ways to preserve the environment while conducting economically viable natural resource enterprises. Explore more research & writings.

Don also has a YouTube channel in which he provides materials on AIs and humans, construction of the 47′ commercial salmon troller “F/V Nightwinges,” construction of the all-electric pleasure vessel, Electric Frog, and various other projects. That YouTube channel is linked HERE.