Back in 1993-1995 I worked for Brazos Valley Community Action Agency in Bryan, TX as their “Associate for Data Services” (what most companies call Manager of Information Systems, MIS). I was the third person to hold the position, and during the time that I worked there I got to “know” my predecessors really well just by the code they’d written, how the networks were laid out, what sorts of maintenance routines were in use and how they interacted, and of course the notes, files, and memos stashed around the office I had inherited from them. Oh, and from comments that people in the company would make while I was working on their systems. The original guy to have the job was Steven Gould, and he’d left the job to become an author.
When I left that job, I went to work for Real Time Internet Services (an Internet startup now known as ClickFind). When Jeff and I moved to Portland a couple of years later, the woman they hired to take over part of my job was a budding author named Martha Wells. She took the job on the strict condition that it would be part time only, so she’d have time to work on her writing. (She’s published a number of fantasy novels since then, and they’re great.)
Soon after we moved to Portland, I saw an ad at Powell’s Books (our awesome local bookstore that’s so big they give you a map at the door so you don’t get lost and starve to death somewhere among the racks) that Steven Gould was coming to do a book signing, so Jeff and I went to it. He and his wife (Laura Mixon) were promoting a book they’d co-written (Greenwar). After the reading I went up and told him who I was and how I’d gotten to “know” him, and we reminisced about the good old days at BVCAA and I got him caught up on all the gossip. We had a great time, and I left with autographed copies of a couple of his books. (During the course of the conversation I discovered that Steve was Martha’s mentor — small world!)
Okay, I’m finally getting to the point here… one of the books I got that night went on to become a favorite in our household. The name of the novel was Jumper.
Steve has several qualities that I highly admire. One, he’s an Aggie (whoop!). Two, he’s a geek who had the courage to leave a cushy job/career and chase his dreams. Three, he’s a geek who can actually communicate intelligibly with non-geek human beings. And four, he writes great books.
Way to go, Steve!