The Greeks have a saying, “Well begun is half done” (Aristotle). I have “well begun” quite a variety of different things during my life, so I suppose I can count them as half done.
I studied at Christ Church, Oxford, but didn’t complete a degree. Since then, I have worked as juke box repairman, salesman, lorry driver, civil servant, English teacher, musician, translator, and computer programmer—among other things—until carving out the somewhat unusual professional niche I now occupy, which fits me as snugly as the mud around a puddle fits the water within it (Douglas Adams fans may recognise the reference).
In fact, Douglas Adams and I have several things in common, one of which is that we both made our first short fiction sale to Eagle comic in the mid 1960s. The prominence of the Dan Dare spaceman character in that discerning publication is an indication that my fascination with science fiction goes a long way back. I also remember the very first episode of the Doctor Who TV series (the longest-running science fiction television show in the world) from about the same time. The Daleks were among the best awful aliens of all time and their cry, “You will be exterminated!”, was recycled many years later by the Star Trek Borg (as was Adams’ Vogon minion’s admonition that “Resistance is useless!”).
But I digress. … Next