Ok so I finally got my thumb out of my bum and wrote something coherent (well almost) for you, Neal…
My name is Dan and I am 31 years old, married with a 2 1/2 year old son who I named Gaius after Gaius Baltar in new Battlestar Galactica (hopefully he won’t grow up and destroy our society, though)
I am currently an Export Manager at a small fuel company, after doing stints working in IT for HSBC and then the MET/Essex Police as a project manager, before coming to my senses and getting out of the latter before the bureaucracy and political meddling drove me completely insane. I did actually come from a science background, my youthful obsession with dinosaurs turning into a Degree in Palaeobiology and Evolution after University, but sadly there are no jobs in hard science fields these days not already taken by entrenched minds and beings…
I guess I have my mother to thanks for my interest in Science Fiction – she is a big Alan Dean Foster fan – so I read a lot of his stuff from a young age (Cachalot and Sentenced to Prism being ones I remember). I never really left science fiction, though my continued interest in hard science meant most of my time was spent reading journals throughout my teens and 20s, so I dropped a lot of literature, coming back to it eventually several years ago.
I am also a keen gamer – rarely watching TV these days (since BSG went down the tube in season 3 I haven’t watched anything except The Shield and the odd Fringe episode), but thankfully there are plenty of science fiction games to be had these days – Mass Effect 2 being a standout for any science fiction nut.
As for Neal’s stuff, well I often looked at the cover of Line of Polity in my local Waterstones not long after it came out, but it was actually after I read Peter Hamilton’s awesome Pandora’s Star that I actually snatched up Gridlinked looking in desperation for something similar, and never looked back. Reading Gridlinked I was blown away by the quality of the writing and science fiction and I immediately went back and bought as many as I could in the same shop (including that copy of Line of Polity which I enjoyed even more).
After that, well there’s no looking back I guess – found Neal’s site, went to his signing in Lakeside (which he probably remembers as I dragged my wife and son along and we were the first ones there) and then went out for beers with the man himself at the next signing in London.
To date my favourite book is still probably Prador Moon, closely followed by all of the Polity series – it really defines how I think about science fiction now, the fact that I’ve met Neal and discussed it all in person is the absolute awesome sauce on top.
Well finally I guess, I do run a blog: http://jebelkrong.blogspot.com/ which focuses a lot on gaming, but I do post the occasional bit of Asher news and the odd review (but nothing like Walker of Worlds site, which is awesome, btw) – just something to keep me sane at work more than anything, but I like it!
If anyone games on XBL, my gamertag is, yep: Jebel Krong; and you will currently find me playing the hell out of Mass effect 2 most nights!
p.s. I can’t submit a photo of my book collection because I still don’t have a bookcase. I keep them all in boxes, as between kids and life, a nice bookcase is always at the bottom of the priority list… *sigh* maybe this year…