My name is Will Bassett and I’m a 25 year old Sci Fi fan from down under. I’ve been a big reader ever since my early teens when my father found a box of his old books and let me take a look through them. I grew up reading through the works of Richard Adams and Aldous Huxley and as I grew older I continued reading and stumbled across an expanding range of genres and really started to enjoy science fiction after coming across some Philip K Dick collections in my local library.
I left my small coastal town in the Australian state of Victoria after graduating high school in 2002 to join the Army and a few years in I was sent to Sydney on a mine warfare course where on the few days we were granted leave from base I went in search of an author I had heard great things about from a fellow digger. “You should really give it a go, if you like your cyperpunkish space opera.” Cyberpunk? Space Opera? How intriguing. So off I went and searched the city bookstores to no avail. Being Australia, often when you go looking for something even in the larger bookstores all that meets your questions are blank looks and “how do you spell the authors name again?”. Eventually I was able to pry the copy of Brass Man from my friend, and looking back at that moment he did me a great favour by introducing me to the world of the Polity. After reading Brass Man over the course of about a week in my spare time at base I was captivated. Being Australia though, I did have to wait a few weeks until I was off base and back in my home city, then another few weeks patiently waiting for Gridlinked and the Line of Polity to arrive in my local bookstore from overseas.
In the last few years since leaving the Army I have read many authors, many due to stumbling across them in anthologies such as The New Space Opera, and the New Space Opera 2 which I was very pleased to see an Asher appearance in. I now work in Air Traffic Control training, helping run the simulator that students are trained on at Melbourne International Airport, and I can safely say that I am always prepared for any downtime at work, with no less that two Neal Asher books sitting in my locker, just waiting for a re-reading.
Living in Melbourne is an experience of it’s own, a typical day here contains all four seasons, waking up to frost on the grass and ice on the car windows, to a hot and dry 36 degrees Celsius after lunch, only to be followed by high winds and rain. Luckily for those of us not too adverse to sitting down with a good book, we live in a city where even though you can be sunning yourself at the beach in the early afternoon, you’ll be rugged up with some great space opera as it pours down outside with the wind roaring. That’s if your local bookstore hasn’t forgotten to order in that Orbus book you keep ringing up about!