Friends & Family
(Or the Neighborhood of Make Believe )
Ken Ficara—Ken and I go back to the Journalism program at Brooklyn College. He's scary-smart, a talented musician and writer, and deeply committed to progressive causes. He knows more about the history of New York City than anyone I've ever met. Ken has a lamentably bad sense of direction, but makes up for it with a derring-do ability to make U-turns.
William Howe—My little brother. He's talented, funny, well-traveled, speaks several languages, and is a brilliant photographer. Evidence that my parents did something right. He's both insightful and warm-hearted: if you want to find Bill in a crowded room, look for the knot of people having the best time, and he'll be at the middle of it. If he acquires one more cat he can open the Howe Home for Wayward Pets.
Kij Johnson—Kij has a gift for lyrical fiction that fuses animal and human sensibilities in a way that pierces your heart with empathy for both. She's also a biker (not to be confused with a "biker chick"), and a collector of very odd objets d'art. I met her in 1988, and there hasn't been a quiet moment since.
Geoffrey A. Landis—Geoff is a NASA scientist and award-winning science fiction writer. We've known each other since 1985, when we attended the Clarion Writer's Workshop in Science Fiction and Fantasy at Michigan State University. He has his fingers in a lot of pies, including Mars Lander experiments, satellite design, and Practical Neo-Egyptian Theology. He is easygoing, funny and shockingly prone to sunburn.
Resa Nelson—Resa is another of the science fiction writers I met at at Clarion in 1985. She's also a filmmaker, swordfighter, and all-around athlete. She also fills out a black trenchcoat in a very pleasing way. Resa's work is offbeat, even by the inclusive standards of speculative fiction, and often autobiographical (which is both highly entertaining and unnerving). Don't ask her about the pineapple: she's very touchy about that.
William Shunn—Not my little brother, but he could be. Bill and I met at the Clarion Writer's Workshop at Michigan State in 1985. Bill is a highly-regarded writer of science fiction and fantasy, a talented programmer and Web designer, and unbelievably knowledgeable about single malt scotch. He is married to the delightful Laura Chavoen—an unerring judge of character, she. Bill has an almost Peter Sellers-like ability to change his appearance by growing facial hair (seemingly on command).
Mary A. Turzillo—Mary Godzilla is also an award-winning science fiction writer who I met at Clarion in 1985. She hides her huge brains behind a self-deprecating and slightly ditzy facade. She is a warm heart, an impressive talent and a fast friend. She can also cook like hell, and has an almost hypnotic way with the opposite sex (and Mothra). Mary looks fabulous in a burka!