So— Who Are You Guys?

by wjw on December 16, 2007

I’m going to be out of town for several days, having an intense series of meetings about the Reely Good News item I mentioned last week, and which I still can’t tell you about. (Honestly, if I’d known it would have gone on this long, I wouldn’t have mentioned it.)

I doubt I’ll be able to spend much time amusing myself (or you) online while I’m gone, so why don’t you all pull up a chair and introduce yourselves?

I know some of you personally, and some I know only through this forum. Tell us a bit about yourself. If you wish to remain anonymous then do so by all means; but staying within the limits of your own comfort zone, tell us all about you.

Paul W December 16, 2007 at 3:51 pm

Paul “Jvstin” Weimer. SWM, Mid 30’s, I live up in the Great White North of the Twin Cities of Minnesota. I’ve been reading WJW for several years, having come across Metropolitan on a list of Nebula nominees, reading that and City on Fire.

When a friend told me about the Dread Empire Trilogy, I grabbed and devoured those too.

I’ve been reading F/SF for most of my life, and also enjoy computer strategy games, role playing games, and very amateur photography. (I would love to visit New Mexico someday just because of the gorgeous visuals). I’ve also been exploring Second Life lately, too.

Michael Grosberg December 16, 2007 at 4:16 pm

Well, Here goes.
I’ve been a fan of Mr. Williams’ writing for the last fifteen years or so, having first encountered “Facets” and bought it on the strength of the cool looking suit on the front cover. I then went on to read just about everything he’s written (not including the early maritime adventure novels).
I’m also heavily into 3D graphics, illustration and painting. Some day when I’m less ashamed of how it came out, I may show my aborted attempt at a comics based on the short story “Wolf Time”. The hardware came out nicely, the characters, less so.
Oh, yeah – I live in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Brian Borchers December 16, 2007 at 5:00 pm

Brian Borchers. I live in Socorro New Mexico. I also work with Kathy. I mostly follow this blog because of the postings on life in the middle Rio Grande.

Zora December 17, 2007 at 1:29 am

In real life, Zora is Karen Lofstrom, who lives in Honolulu. Fat, crippled, sixty, reading SF for 52 years. I still remember my first SF novel (Star Guard, Andre Norton).

Aborted academic career, now working (sporadically) as researcher, writer, editor, proofreader. Specializing in Hawaiiana and cookbooks (

I think I first met WJM on the SFRT, on GEnie, where we argued politely about Murasaki Shikibu. I met him online before I read anything he’d published, I think — the first book that comes clearly to mind is Angel Station. WJW is always literate and entertaining, but my favorite so far is the DE trilogy.

Anonymous December 17, 2007 at 5:27 am

SWM, 36, Atlanta, GA. Software Developer. Long time fan. I first read Voice of the Whirlwind way back in 1992.

I remember very clearly: I picked it up at the university book store to have something to read while I was waiting for the bus. I’d skipped over it several times because I didn’t like the look of the cover art, BUT, there were slim pickings that day, and I was desperate for something to read, so I bought it. AND, it made quite an impact on my impressionable young mind!

It turned out to be my favorite book for years, and is still on my Top 10 list, 15 years later. In fact, I just picked it up at the public library this summer and read it again, and it has held up amazingly well.

I check on this blog a couple of times a week, just out of curiousity as to what you’re up to. I occasionally do a google search on all my favorite authors to keep tabs on them, but your having the blog saves me the effort. I also check up on Iain Banks, Greg Egan, Tony Daniels, Alistair Reynolds, and that crowd periodically.

Ken December 18, 2007 at 5:57 am

The name is Ken. Frequent reader of the blog, infrequent commenter. I’m 39 years old, live in the mountains of western NC, work in occupational safety and health and occasionally disaster response. Typically hillbilly/redneck, I suppose. I hunt a lot, fish a lot, do a little photography here and there, own a large collection of firearms and drive a 4×4 pick-up that’s so large an environmentalist cries every time I start the engine. Online I’m a frequent wargamer, and I contribute pretty heavily (work – not money) to Wikipedia and whatever open source software project has attracted my interest.

I guess I’ve been a WJW fan since Hardwired. I bought it in 1986, the year I graduated from High School and joined the Army – probably because the cover art was cool and the chick was hot. The aerial fight scenes are what I remember making the biggest impression on me back then, and I’ll never forget reading the line “Pony Express arcs over California, riding into the darkening face of a Mach-three sky.” and literally having to put the book down, and get up and pace restlessly around the room, just overcome by how amazingly cool it was.

I read Voice of the Whirlwind about a year later, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I like to think I’ve tracked down and read everything WJW has written, although I’ve probably missed a short story or two in an anthology somewhere. I even read the Star Wars book, although I have to confess I had no idea who any of the characters were or what the hell was going on. My favorites are probably Hardwired (still), Metropolitan, Aristoi, and Prayers on the Wind – although I also have a real soft spot for Knight Moves and House of Shards.

Other authors I get serious about would be Zelazny, Neal Stephenson, Steven Brust, Julian May, and William Gibson.

Dave Bishop December 18, 2007 at 12:02 pm

Dave Bishop. I live in Manchester, UK. I’m 59 years old and have been interested in SF since my teens. My top two favourite authors are Jack Vance and WJW (don’t ask me to choose!). I have to say that WJW is one of the few SF authors that I read regularly nowadays – his work comes closest to fulfilling the ‘promise’ that SF held for me in my youth.
I’m also interested in Folk Music and I sing English Traditional songs. I’m also an amateur botanist and a passionate conservationist. Since taking early retirement, a couple of years ago, I’ve been able to devote a lot more time to these particular interests and am working to improve, and draw attention to, the natural environment here in S. Manchester.

Pat December 18, 2007 at 2:58 pm

Aging fangirl, been hanging around Bubonicon since something like 1970. WJW favorites? Have to think about that, your body of work is so diverse. “Day of Atonement” for its purely Southwestern flavor. “Dread Empire’s Fall” for its riff on a period I’m already deeply into. Many, many others too numerous to mention.

Fred Kiesche December 18, 2007 at 4:07 pm

Fred Kiesche. Used to blog at blogger, now at TexasBestGrok:

General SF fan, past moderator of SF Lover’s Digest, current moderator of a couple of SF lists. Read books, books, books, shorts, shorts, shorts. Not too much into the media/gaming end of things.

qtera December 18, 2007 at 7:02 pm

Walter and Kathy know me well but just to introduce myself to everybody here…I have been part of SF fandom for over 30 years, have been on the con committee for Bubonicon (our Albuquerque SF convention) since 1983 and consider myself the luckiest girl ever to be able to call many of the authors here (especially Walter) friends. There is such a wonderful community of authors and fans here in New Mexico – we are very fortunate. Hey – and Walter – Fred that just introduced himself – is a good friend of mine.
-Patricia Rogers

Siristru December 18, 2007 at 8:52 pm

My code name is Project 2501… ups, it’s from another tale 😉

My name is Michał Dłużak(born 1981) from Polska/Poland. In web you’ll find me under the name “Siristru”. I’ve been reading F/SF since I was 13. My first fantasy book was Michael Scott Rohan “The Horns of Tartarus” (Polish title “Rogi Tartarusa”).

I’m Theravada Buddhism researcher ( and social activist. I’m working to create a REAL Slavonic Solidarity and unite all Slavs. Now supporting native Slavonic faith movements like “Rodzima Wiara” (Nativ Faith) and “Słowiańska Wiara” (Slavonic Faith):

My first Walters book was “Metropolitan” and I fell in love with this story.

I think that you have more luck than I have… because I must waiting for Polish editions of Walters books! I can read in English… but you know how it is 😉

I send greating to all! Slava!

Anonymous December 18, 2007 at 10:47 pm

Name’s Phil, Irish, 43. I’m living in Ireland since 2000 after living on the continent for a decade.I read Science Fiction voraciously as a child, especially space opera but pretty much anything I could get my hands on, which was difficult in rural Ireland in the 70’s.
In the mid 90’s I borrowed Dozois Year’s best#9 from the centraal biblioteek in Eindhoven and was bowled over by Prayers on the wind. Some months later I picked up “Facets” And then “Aristoi”, after that I was hooked. I’ve read about half of your science fiction novels and am gathering the older ones one by one.
I particularly enjoy the range and diversity of your work, and while I’d love another “Dread Empire” novel or two I’d hate to see you shackeled to a never ending series.

Anonymous December 18, 2007 at 11:12 pm

Mark Wise a.k.a. Devlin du GEnie

Like the handle says, I hung around GEnie’s SFRT beginning in the late 80s. I followed Walter’s topic then because I enjoyed one of his novels. I don’t remember which one I read first (maybe _Hardwired_?).

I’ve been involved in fandom off and on since my first con, Archon in 1984. I worked MARCON several years while I was living in Columbus. I think the Wild Cards-themed MARCON was the only time I’ve seen Walter face to face.

I follow the blog because Walter is at least as good at travel and food writing as he is at the sci-fi stuff. I also like to know what he’s working on.

Speaking of food … Walter, you really need to try the leek and sausage pie recipe that Teresa posted at Making Light. Yum!

Oh, and Tastespotting is a dangerous place for foodies.

Tumbleweed December 19, 2007 at 4:14 am

Lance ‘Tumbleweed’ Larka
Been reading WJW for… oh…wow. If memory serves my first exposure was Hardwired and in my opinion the most prescient example of the genre for the time. However horrifying that is.

I’m a consultant working with biotech companies doing automation & engineering process development as well as a chef (I’m still waiting for the recipe for that Cioppino post from December 11) although I’m still learning a lot from my wife on that subject. She is an absolutely amazing chef. Ironically she’s a better technical engineer than I am 🙂

I’ve never had any real aspirations to write fiction beyond my own imagination dealing with situational conversation. However I do a lot of technical writing and I feel that my work quality has increased greatly by the indirect instruction from my reading of folks like Williams, Drake, or Morgan.

Originally I’m from California going to school at UC Davis. I’ve since lived in Germany, Maryland, and now in Alabama. I’m really looking forward to going back to somewhere with really good fresh produce. Ideally a place within driving distance of Zachary’s pizza.

Anyone else know them?


Aragos December 19, 2007 at 12:48 pm

Peter ‘Aragos’ Schmitt, 23, currently in Jena, Germany and going to work as software engineer in New York in a few months.

I came across WJW’s books on George RR Martin’s “What I’m reading” page, started out with the Dread Empire novels and was immediately hooked. So far I also read Hardwired and Voice of the Whirlwind and am looking forward to acquiring the other books once I arrived in the US.

I love all of WJW’s books I’ve read so far, but my favourite remains the DE series. Probably due to it’s references to the Roman empire, an era that I’m very interested in, but also because of the intriguing cast of characters.

I try to keep tabs on most of my favourite authors and subscribing to their blogs makes it very easy and fun, especially when there are also discussions and posts on some other topics I’m interested in – food, history and traveling.

Phy December 19, 2007 at 8:54 pm

I’m Johne Cook, 44, from southern Wisconsin.

I discovered WJW from “Ambassador of Progress” and have been hooked ever since. I initially read WJW as a protege of Roger Zelazny (see “Knight Moves”) but have stuck around to see him develop his own formidable voice.

We share an affection for space opera. I am founder / editor-in-chief (“Overlord”) of Ray Gun Revival magazine, a free bi-weekly e-zine dedicated to space opera and golden age sci-fi. I’m currently halfway through a pulpy serial novel, “The Adventures of the Sky Pirate.”

I have fond memories of New Mexico. I was there in ’84 and 85 and met my wife at the conference center east of Santa Fe. Her family is still in eastern NM, and we don’t get back nearly enough. I still pine for authentic NM sopapillas.

Synova December 22, 2007 at 9:11 pm

Hi, I’m Julie. Presently from New Mexico and I *think* I’ve met Mr. Williams at Bubonicon but I tend to chicken out and not say hello to authors there because when I do say hello I end up sounding stupid, mostly because I haven’t read their books or at least haven’t read any lately.

I’m just starting to read again after many toddler years of mostly re-reading favorites because trying to read a new novel with frequent interruptions was just too unpleasant, and then, now that my kids are older, realizing that I’d quit reading altogether because my eyesight had gone just enough that it was irritating to pick up a book and try to focus on the page. It just wasn’t obvious enough that I realized what was going on.

I have a funky pair of reading glasses now and am attempting to catch up. 🙂

All this non-reading time, though, I’ve been writing or trying to write science fiction and variously working on it or sort of not and not ever finishing much of anything. Writing science fiction is what I want to do and it’s time to get serious about it.

So I’ve been hanging around, trying to behave myself (and mostly failing), hoping to get some insight or motivation from published authors like Walter.

CKDerrick December 23, 2007 at 8:35 am

Christophher K. Derrick, 37, I am a Foreign Service officer currently serving as Consul in Cotonou, Benin. I’ve been reading WJW since whenever it was the first chapter of Hardwired ran as a story in Asimovs sometime in the mid 80s. I met WJW once at a christmas/new year’s party about ten years ago when my sister was attending New Mexico Tech and somehow got invited; I do recall the food being excellent. Here in Benin, I tend to read and sit around the house alot, but when I was stationed in Switzerland, I enjoyed hiking, bicycling, and photography.

logic3 December 23, 2007 at 4:35 pm

Jan Pedro, 34, lives in Oslo Norway. Got a recommendation to read Hardwired back in 90/91/92 by a friend and have been a fan since.
And I won the auction for “a character named after you”, so now I just have to read Implied Spaces.

And if there ever will be a movie, I want to play “me” to 😉

Valerie December 24, 2007 at 3:15 am

Late to the party, is who I am… but very delighted to find your blog. Big fan of Crown Jewels/House of Shards and your ’80s work, just waking up and realizing there’s twenty years of missed treats I can start sampling.

mdmnm February 6, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Later to the party, still. I’m afraid I don’t get by here all that often.
I’m Mike, live in NM and probably first read Hardwired, which I was fortunate enough to get signed at the “Very Large Array” signing at Page One in Abq. I’m a lawyer (and a whisker away from turning 40) who does outdoor stuff for fun.

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