I’ve been reading science fiction since I was a kid. Started with Arthur C Clark, Rice Burroughs and, I think, Patrick Moore. TV was Star Trek and Dr. Who, complete with a cushion to hide behind. I was just the right age for Star Wars at 10.
Then I was supposed to grow up. Exams and all that. Test of memory are not my thing, so a drawing office beckoned. I programmed computers at school, but never took it further until I discovered the early days of digital mapping (now GIS) and how it made my job easier. I’ve worked (and played) with data and computers ever since, mainly in the water industry.
I never stopped with the SF though. Too much commuting and plenty of time to read, sometimes crime novels. Scouring the second-hand bookshops for anything I could find. Asimov (could tick the crime story box too), Heinlein, Simak, ‘Doc’ Smith (from Dad), Foster and Harrison. Shelves of them. Some dire, some I read again and again. Sundog by B N Ball is a favourite, along with David Palmer’s Emergence.
I picked up the hobby of scuba diving along the way, seeing many strange animals. Hamilton, Gibson, Niven and Brin filled the flights of holidays, ebooks now essential to save weight. Then a diving mate kept wittering on; blah blah Keech or something. So I borrowed it. I was hooked on the Polity. I’ve read them all. The drones Sniper and Amistad are favourite characters. So much so that I have a large print of Jon Sullivan’s cover for the Shadow of the Scorpion hang on my wall. Apart from a few days a year, I’m waiting for Neal’s new tales from the Polity.
So keep it up Neal. Please.