Biographical Timeline

  • 1953

    Born in 1953 in the Boston, Massachusetts area. My father was an active duty Air Force officer at the time.

  • 1958

    The family (my parents, brother - born 1955 - and I) moved to Minnesota in 1958, after Dad's enlistment was over. (He joined the marketing department at Sperry.) We started out in an apartment in Minneapolis. (I called the apartment building a "little castle." It was a brick building.)

    Not long after that, we moved to a new house in Minnetonka, a western suburb of Minneapolis. I had started kindergarten in Minneapolis at age 4, and transferred to Clear Springs Elementary in Minnetonka after the move.

  • 1960

    In the 1960 presidential election, I was definitely for JFK, who I had seen on TV (we watched the news during dinner every night). I decided then that I was going to be a Democrat.

  • My second grade teacher put up a bulletin board showing the solar system, and I was immediately fascinated by astronomy. I checked out every book I could from the local library about astronomy and read it. My interest in science fiction grew from my interest in astronomy.

  • 1962

    Around 1962, my food allergies were finally diagnosed. I had avoided all the foods I was allergic to before being officially diagnosed, since they all smelled bad to me. My feeling is that I had food allergies almost from birth. (I had asthma and eczema as a baby.)

  • My maternal grandmother died in the early 1960s, from complications (stroke) from diabetes.

  • 1965

    My paternal grandmother died in 1965, of cancer. My Dad went from Sperry to Control Data Corporation, here he was, again, marketing mainframe computers.

  • 1966

    Star Trek came along in 1966. I was an instant fan. (I also watched other 1960s shows, such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. I belonged to the David McCallum Fan Club for many years.)

    My sister was born in 1966.

  • 1967

    In 1967, my family moved about a mile away from our first house in Minnetonka to another (newly built) house in Minnetonka.

  • 1968

    I had grown up in the Methodist Church. At the age of 14, I was baptized at my own request, and confirmed after that.

  • 1969

    In 1969, when I was in high school, I was introduced to fandom by Anthony Tollin, who I met at a high school speech festival. He gave me Ruth Berman's phone number, and as a result, I subscribed to T-Negative and was introduced to the world of Star Trek fanzines.

  • 1971

    When I was a senior in high school, my high school German class went to Europe. I graduated from high school in June 1971, and started college at the University of Chicago in September 1971.

  • 1972

    I traveled to my first convention, the Detroit Triple Fan Fair, from the University of Chicago. At the convention, I met Gene and Majel Roddenberry in an elevator (we were the only 3 there) and got their autographs.

  • 1973

    I completed my sophomore year at the University of Chicago, and transferred to the University of Minnesota for my junior and senior years.

    I joined the Minnesota Science Fiction Society and became a regular contributor to MINNEAPA.

    I met Helen Young at StarCon, Detroit's convention that year, and joined the Star Trek Welcommittee as a result of that meeting.

  • 1974

    I attended my first World Science Fiction Convention, Discon II, in 1974.

  • 1975

    I graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in physics (with distinction) in 1975. In August, I started studying at the graduate school of astronomy at Indiana University.

  • 1976

    I went to the World Science Fiction Convention (MidAmeriCon), where I saw an ad for the Mythopoeic Society in the program book and promptly joined. I also joined the Rivendell Discussion Group of the Mythopoeic Society.

  • 1977

    I completed my second year of graduate school, where I had been an associate instructor of astronomy, and left Indiana University without getting a master's degree. In the fall, I started taking graduate level courses in computer programming at the University of Minnesota.

  • 1978

    In 1978, I was hired as a FORTRAN progammer at Sperry/Unisys, writing software for airlines (flight schedules and hotel reservations). UNISYS sent me to Frankfurt, Germany, twice and Madrid, Spain, once, which were great experiences.

  • 1979

    I moved into an apartment in early 1979.

    I drove to Winnipeg with other members of Minn-stf to see the solar eclipse there in February.

    In the spring, I joined Weight Watchers and lost the weight I had gained in graduate school.

    I went to the World Science Fiction Convention in England in August.

    In December, Star Trek: The Motion Picture premiered, and as a result, I met even more local Star Trek fans.

  • 1982

    In December, I left UNISYS for Republic Airlines, a job which lasted less than six months.

  • 1983

    Started work at Control Data Corportation.

  • 1984

    In 1984, my professional writing career started with the publication of my first professional short story and first magazine article.

  • 1985

    Laid off from Control Data, went back to Unisys for a year.

  • 1986

    Laid off from Unisys.

  • 1987

    Got a job at a tech startup.

    Had a health crisis which permanently affected my health for the worse. I lost my job, and had to move back with my parents.

    Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered. I was an instant fan. I joined the Patrick Stewart fan club as a result and was a member for many years.

  • 1989

    In 1989, I got a job with Lerner Publications in Minneapolis, where I acquired a lot of publishing knowledge.

  • 1991

    Lerner Publications published my first book, Voyager: Exploring the Outer Planets. (It eventually went out of print, I got the rights back, and republished it in 2013.)

  • 1993

    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine premiered. I was an instant fan, especially of the Dr. Julian Bashir character. I was co-coordinator of the actor's fan club and published the club newsletter for many years.

  • 1994

    I founded my own press, FTL Publications.

    The Star Trek Welcommittee disbanded. I had been a member for over 20 years.

  • 1995

    I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and wore wrist braces for about a year. After that I was able to avoid a recurrence with ergonomic keyboards.

    I left Lerner Publications. I interned as an editorial assistant at Computer User magazine.

  • 1996

    Became a quality editor at TIPS/BestMark.

    Around 1993, I gathered my fanzines and began to write a Star Trek fan history. I had thought it would take me a summer, but it turned out to take me about 3 years. Boldly Writing was published in 1996, the first FTL Publications book.

  • During the 1990s, I had additional health crises, and developed a number of additional food allergies.

  • 2000

    I and others in my writing workshop had worked together on a science fiction novel, Autumn World. This was published in 2000.

    I got a job at Weight Watchers (I had been a lifetime member since 1979).

  • 2004

    In 2004, I went to the San Diego Comic Con. This was my last airplane trip, and the last time I left the state. I have not been able to travel more than a few hours drive away from home since (due to my health problems).

    From 2004 to 2007, I called Granada Ventures/ITV regularly for the purposes of acquiring a license to produce novels based on the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson production, Thunderbirds. The license became effective in November 2007. I wrote six novels in the franchise, published seven (the seventh written by someone else). [Seven novels was the limit I could publish under the license terms.]

  • 2008

    My mother passed away in December.

  • 2009

    I left Weight Watchers (as an employee, I'm still a lifetime member) in December.

  • 2010

    My father passed away in July.

  • 2012

    The year 2012 was the start (actually, it offically started in December 2011, but I did not begin to participate until January 2012) of the "ebook gold rush," which, for me, lasted until June 2013. During this time, FTL Publications had its best sales ever, and published a number of books.

  • 2016

    In 2016, I completed a Front End Engineering coding bootcamp from The Iron Yard. I had been using html to build websites since the late 1990s, and built websites with WordPress since 2010, but I felt I needed to learn more about web development, and I did.

  • 2017

    I was hired by a company as an Application Development Associate.

    I sold the house I inherited from my parents (and which my family had moved into in 1967), and moved to a smaller house.

  • 2018

    I felt I needed more education in web development, so I took a Full Stack Web Development Bootcamp at the University of Minnesota and graduated in July.

    The company which hired me the previous year laid me off in March.