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(February 2010)

About Me

1. The Mundane Facts
2. A Concise History of Me and Fandom
3. The Books I Like
4. The TV Shows I Like
5. The Music I Like
6. My Writing

1. The Mundane Facts

Slightly dodgy-looking bloke with a short beard and unfashionable sunglasses

Me in 2003

I am Michael Frederick Green.

I was born in Morwell in eastern Victoria in 1963, and was educated there and in Traralgon.

I went to La Trobe University between 1982 and 1984, and gained a Bachelor of Science Degree with majors in Biochemistry and Genetics.

I undertook a Graduate Diploma of Library and Information Studies in 1988.

I have done short courses on computer applications, the Internet, Business Writing, and HTML.

In 2003 I completed a Certificate IV in Technology (Computing) at Holmesglen Institute of TAFE.

In 2004 I completed a Certificate in Dynamic Website Design at Swinburne University of Technology.

In 2008 I completed a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment.

I have worked at the Monash University Centre for Molecular Biology and Medicine (as it was then called), and at the Australian Bureau of Statistics. I have held a wide range of short-term freelance library and information management jobs, and have also developed databases and provided tutoring.

From July 2000 to July 2002 I was webmaster at the Victorian Education Department for a five year research project on teaching online in the vocational education area. (You can check out flexiblelearning.net.au if you like - I won't be writing about it here!)

I still do freelance library work, but in July 2002 I set myself up as a Sole Trader. (Since then I've done some website development work for the Flexible Learning Toolboxes Project, created and managed websites for non-profit organisations through VicNet, and had some paid work developing business websites.)

I did some records management work for the VERNet project, and worked at the Department of Primary Industries book repository in Werribee until late in 2007.

At some moment I do occasional library cataloguing work for the Salvation Army Crisis Centre in St. Kilda, and work-part time at the Municipal Association of Victoria as an Electronic Documents Officer.

My interests are eclectic. They include science, sociology, futurology, computers, psychology, SF, and politics.

My politics is a little left-of-centre, and I have a keen interest in human rights issues - but I don't write about politics all the time! I'd like us all to live in a better society - and I believe the best way to achieve this is through an increase in democratic participation and a striving to ensure everyone on the planet will be able to achieve their dreams.

I enjoy SF, but prefer to write fantasy!

My musical tastes extend from grunge to folk music, and from Gregorian chants to modern electronica - whatever suits my mood at the time.

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2. A Concise History of Me and Fandom

[Sections 2 - 6 are an updated version of an essay I wrote to introduce myself in the "Reality Module - Preliminary Issue" ("RM0") of October 1997.]

The first SF book I read was "Round Trip, Space Ship" by Louis Slobodkin when I was eight.

I was already a "media fan" - my favourite TV shows at the time were Lost In Space, My Favorite Martian and Doctor Who.

I really got into SF books in my early teens. My local library didn't have much SF in those days and after I'd read what they had, I found myself having to buy lots of books. A journey to Melbourne to visit Space Age Books was a real treat!

At La Trobe University in 1983 I found out about and joined the La Trobe University Science Fiction Club a.k.a. The Followers of the Leather Winged Space Gannet! I was surrounded at last by fellow fans. I no longer felt alone in my interests.

I got a job at Monash University in 1985 and met other fans. I joined the Fellowship of Middle Earth (FOME) and Monash University Role Players (MURP). I also became a member of the Dandenong Valley Science Fiction and Futurist Society.

I went to my first science-fiction convention Aussiecon II in 1985.

I joined the Melbourne Science Fiction Club (MSFC) in 1987. I am still a member.

I was on the editorial committee of the SF/Fantasy literary magazine Starkindler in its last days.

These are the science-fiction conventions I've been to: Aussiecon II (1985), KinKon III (1988) , Octocon 1 (in Ireland in 1990), ConCave i (1993), ARCon (1995), Basicon II (1997), Multiverse III (1997), Aussiecon III (1999), ConVergence 2002, Continuum (2003), Continuum 3 (2005), Convergence 2 (2007), Nullus Anxietus 2 - The Second Australian Discworld Convention (2009), and Continuum V - Galaxies By Gaslight (2009).

I enjoy reading fanzines and grab them whenever I can.

In 2010 I occasionally read SF novels, watch some of the TV shows, sometimes go to MSFC meetings, write creative fiction, prepare a bimonthly fanzine for ANZAPA, and think wishfully about attending one of the big US conventions.

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3. The Books I Like

My first interest was children's fantasy - especially the works of Enid Blyton. I also have a continuing fondness for fairy-tales.

Later I got into mainstream SF. Novels by Isaac Asimov, Harry Harrison, and lots and lots of anthologies of short fiction.

In time I read more and more exotic authors like Ursula Le Guin, Philip José Farmer, and Michael Moorcock. It was almost exclusively adult SF. I read very little fantasy.

A change occurred in 1982. Puffin brought out paperback editions of Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising sequence. I saw them and thought regretfully that they were just the sort of books I'd want to read if I still read children's books. Then I thought "stuff it!" - and bought and read them anyway! Nowadays I read books written for all age groups: a scattering of the more imaginative children's books, lots of young-adult novels (some fantasies, but lots of realistic "problem novels"), and lots of adult books (mostly SF, some of the more-imaginative fantasies, and a scattering of historical novels, mysteries, and romances.)

I have a taste for cyberpunk and tales of early next century (e.g. Greg Egan), like the occasional old-fashioned SF adventure story, enjoy time-travel and parallel-world stories, enjoy non-mainstream fantasy novels (e.g. not the run-of-the-mill heroic quests in medieval world - except in small doses), and enjoy on occasion wild, baroque or surreal invention. (Teenage "problem- novels" bring me down to earth. I need to touch, after wild-flights, genuine humanity.)

What I do not like are formula fantasy, mundane mainstream fiction, and blockbuster books about rich and beautiful people!

I also read non-fiction in the areas of physics, information technology, psychology, sociology, and history.

In the last few years I've also been getting into graphic novels like Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, and manga such as Ranma 1/2, Maison Ikkoku and Battle Angel Alita.

My favourite authors are probably Neil Gaiman, Diana Wynne Jones and Roger Zelazny.

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4. The TV Shows I Like

I don't watch much TV now. A lot of what I do watch is SF or fantasy.

I watch the Star Trek TV series but find I'm not often impressed by their stories. They amuse but don't inspire. I much preferred Babylon5.

I enjoyed Sliders but found the imagination and wry-humour draining away in the last seasons.

There are some excellent stories in the recent series of The Outer Limits, whereas Amazing Stories was often too cutesy for my tastes.

Other series I have enjoyed include Smallville, Heroes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who (both old and new!)

I really like Japanese animation (anime) - but not the action-packed "enough firepower to stir-fry Godzilla" stuff - I'm into strange fantasy, romance, and genuinely human characters. I find the Japanese stuff refreshingly honest - they admit that male and female characters can become interested in one another, the writers take time to show their characters histories and to flesh them out into real people. Pity they don't show much of this stuff on TV!

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5. The Music I Like

My tastes in music are eclectic, and what I fancy listening to depends very much on my mood. My music collection ranges from medieval dance music to avant- garde electronic stuff. I have classical, jazz, Blues, pop, rock, folk, techno, and stuff that can only be described as "weird."

But I'm usually in the mood for Baroque especially when I'm thinking, and I have a long term fondness for folk-music (but preferably with electric instrumentation.)

I can relax with jazz - but I find New Age stuff intensely boring.

Bands and artists I like are: Tori Amos, Kate Bush, The Church, Dead Can Dance, Enya, Marianne Faithfull, George, Golden Bough, Natalie Imbruglia, Jean-Michel Jarre, Jethro Tull, Jewel, Loreena McKennitt, Joy Division/New Order, Heather Nova, Wendy Rule, Single Gun Theory, Steeleye Span, 10,000 Maniacs, This Mortal Coil, Trees, and Suzanne Vega.

For many years I seemed to be the only person in Australia, apart from Elaine Boothroyd, who liked filk music! (I think about it as "listening to tomorrow's folk-songs today!") This was so isolating.

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6. My Writing

I've been inventing stories and characters since before I could read and write!

My earliest works were written as comics - one frame on each side of a small page, and stapled together into Little Books. They started out as Blytonesque fantasy, but the most successful series by far was about a family living in 2127 AD who are kidnapped by aliens and have a host of adventures on different alien planets.

In the early 1980s I got back into fantasy again (and started writing out stories), but I didn't want to leave all my SF behind. I started writing a strange sort of mutant fantasy with recognisable fantasy characters (wizards, princesses, etc.) but incorporating contemporary and even futuristic technology.

Being a great fan of parallel-world stories I would have my characters go off on all sorts of adventures and visit hosts of strange other worlds.

I have written many short stories, and one novel "Wizard For Hire" which is yet to find a publisher. I am currently working on a second novel.

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Last Updated: 17 February 2010