Contact: Robert E. Vardeman  
Robert E. Vardeman
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Stories from Desert Bob's Reptile ranch, Robert E Vardeman collection, artist: Terry Halladay A friend said this was the page where enough information should appear to do a typical book report/biography for a high school senior project. Of all the books I have written, Cliff's Notes of My Life was not one I had ever considered before.

Q: How long have you been writing?
A: Full-time since 1975. Before that, I wrote mostly fanzine material and was nominated for a Hugo as best fanwriter in 1972.

Q:How did you get started writing?
A: It is all Geo. W. Proctor's fault. He was a reporter for a Dallas newspaper at the time and had published several short stories. "It's easy," he said. "It's fun." I was unconvinced. "We can make a few bucks." We co-authored a story and voila! it sold. Payment on publication. The magazine folded before it was printed. The story sold again. And again and again, all payment on publication, all dying before we saw print or long green. The story title? "A Killing in the Market."

Q: What was your first novel?
A: I sold a fantasy novel to Dell Publishing 6 months after writing the story with Geo. A change in editors and it was taken off the pub schedule, doomed forever to tearful oblivion. My next novel, an action adventure spy book in the Baroness series, suffered a similar fate. It was not until Sandcats of Rhyl that I saw something on the stands.

Q: Background?
A: Yes. Oh, sorry. I worked at Sandia National Laboratories for 4 years in the solid state physics department, doing a variety of stuff. In those years I got a master of science in engineering, had been accepted to go to UC Berkeley to work on a Ph.D. but ended up writing full-time instead. I've never looked back.

Q:What is your preferred type of fiction?
A: Definitely science fiction. I grew up reading the Tom Swift Jr. books, went crazy for Poul Anderson and Asimov and Heinlein and...you get the picture. But for "fun" I read mysteries, as well as the older Tom Swift books and nonfiction on modern physics.

 

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