2077: author Q&A

Have you always been interested in science fiction?
Since the age of 13 but I had long periods over which I didn’t read any at all. Looking back I would say that Jules Verne, H.G.Wells, Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Azimov were the main influences.  The total range of authors and works is probably much smaller than that of the average science fiction fan but I have always thought a lot about how man’s destiny  might be determined by future science and technology. I am currently reading We by the Russian author Y.Zamyatin, about a  dystopia and set 600 years in the future. This was written before Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell, both of which I read decades ago. Zamyatin's novel is thought to have influenced both Huxley and Orwell, although I am not sure there is any real evidence for this. 

You retired in 2002. What was your career?
In academic publishing with the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the IET)  apart from a short period in the Meteorological Office plotting weather charts.  The last 20 years was spent trying to get research scientists to pool knowledge in a continuously updated electronic database (EMIS, Electronic Materials Information Service) but this was ahead of the world wide web and economics dictated that it become a series of books on semiconductors. Each book involved  hundreds of authors working on one substance,  e.g. silicon or gallium arsenide.

Do you have a family?
A daughter Melanie, a son Daniel and a granddaughter Lucy. I married Pamela in 1974. She had a brain tumour in 2010 but was basically at peace with God until she died three years later.

When did you become a Christian believer?
I was confirmed with the Church of England in 2009 after a year of interaction with kind Christians from several different denominations and discussions with atheists. 

How did this come about?
The influence that set me off on a long path towards God and Christ was a book by Richard Dawkins which I read in 1995. It asserted that life was totally meaningless and this seemed inherently paradoxical, because if it was meaningless we would not even have the concept of meaninglessness. So that started me on a long journey until in the end logic taught that a single Creator existed with the attributes of personhood and that it was only by the incarnation of the Creator into humanity and the Resurrection that humanity could be sanctified and taken forward with hope.  Once I accepted the logic the Holy Spirit was able to do its job. It just needed the door to be unlocked from the inside.

What other interests and hobbies do you have ?
Walking, simple gardening, following science at a popular level, writing this blog, reading, occasional drawing and playing the guitar. I also do a small amount of voluntary work for the church, attend bible groups and help a local charity in combating human trafficking.   I attend  reading groups for Russian and Koine Greek, a couple of times a month for each .


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