see what I can tell you about my life:
up by the sea in Northern Germany.
in England and Japan, working in communities for people with learning
disabilities (having objected to military service).
in Germany. Studied psychology, worked in psychiatry, discovered that I
would never be a good psychotherapist. Went on a two-month solo trip to
Iceland, striking precarious friendships with a number of trolls.
to London to study social research methods & statistics, and have worked as
a university researcher and lecturer since. Also did a PhD in social
science. My thesis took slightly longer to write than my Santharian
masterwork, but will be read by fewer people. Live with my lover, advisor
and companion (one person!). She and I both dream of getting out of London’s
cacophony and malodorousness.
When I was
eight or so, I drew a comic strip about a football team. The players were
all animals, and in fact were caricatures of my favourite stuffed toys. My
best joke was that halfway through one match the ball started to talk and
try influencing the run of the game. I consider myself fortunate
that, at the time, I had not realized my complete lack of talent in the
realm of drawing or painting, and thus was free to make the comic
regardless. It’s even more fortunate that I still haven’t realized my lack
of talent in the realm of jokes.
My fantasy roleplaying friends and I were in our mid-teens when we founded a
“fanzine”, producing about fifty copies per issue on photocopiers. Here we
published out scholarly contributions: descriptions of dragons and monsters,
of poisons and weapons, of schools of magickal learning, and of other
fascinating discoveries. I believe we managed to make four issues. I wonder
what we’d have done if we’d had the internet then.
Twenty years later I found Santharia, and felt like someone who climbs up to
the long-neglected cobwebby attic of his house. Up there, he hits upon the
secret door that he’d often used as a child, but had since forgotten about.
I crawled through – awkwardly at first, hitting my head against the frame –
and have not regretted it one bit.