Francis, MM

Growing up in the mid-60s midwest was easy for me—I just ignored all the baloney going on, and did my own thing. Cold winters inside messing with electronics; endless summers outside racing go-karts and mowing lawns to support my hobbies.

And reading. Reading all the time. My favorite saying was always, “If someone takes away my gadgets I’ll get mad, but if someone takes my books, I’ll get EVEN.” It still holds true.

I started my career at Digital Equipment Corporation after wangling a Computer Science degree out of Northwestern in 1976. Since then I’ve helped design spacecraft at JPL and, at Rockwell, written part of the flight software for the MX missile, our latest generation ICBM (which the Soviets never matched). Most recently, I’ve done testing on critical defense software.

I like to work with go-karts and electronics and hold radio amateur callsign KI0PF. (See my comm setup at By now you’ve probably guessed I’m an unrepentant gearhead. If it blinks, buzzes, produces RF, or goes preposterously fast, I like it. This probably also explains why I like to read (and write) science fiction. That is, fiction with SCIENCE in it. No spells, elves, magic swords, or suspension of the laws of physics. After I finished “Valkyrie’s Flight”, a hard sci-fi time travel novel for mature readers, Lindy kept yelling at me to tell her story. Since she can be one persistent teenager, I bowed to the inevitable…