General details

  • John_Brown

  • Pierre

  • St. Henry's Durban South Africa

  • English

In short

  • So what about me? I'm an old tosser standing about six foot three, a relic from the good old hippy days, when the world was filled with velveteen trousers, four inch high platform soled shoes and a haze of dope smoke, when the smoke that got in your eyes was the real stuff and when our world was still filled with hope for the future and a better way for all and your drug dealer was a good guy, even your friend.

    How that better way has fallen on hard times, Reagan, Clinton, Saint Obama and now  his new Muslim appointees, god help us all! Come back Frank Zappa, come back! Our music buzzed and so did our heads man. I'm straight now of course, have been for ages. I guess I'm just another failed dope smoking hippy bowing down to society's will.

    In a yet earlier incarnation I was a computer systems analyst in the good old mainframe days, when programmers coded in straight binary code and the IBM 1401 ruled and Bill Gates hadn't yet reached spotty teenagehood and subverted computing with bloated code forever, when programming was still a thing of beauty and elegance and the tightness of your code still mattered.

    I left all that to pursue my first love music and ran a small recording studio in Manchester UK during the seventies. The studio was singularly unsuccessful and though some albums came through it they were normally privately marketed albums and were normally to be seen in the sales bins. Still, it was great fun while it lasted. We really smoked it up. Purple Haze man!

    I returned once again to Apartheid South Africa to become an early day Al Bundy, which as a country incidentally was much misunderstood and wrongly maligned, to become a footwear rep. In Apartheid's forty year history Archbishop Tutu's  much touted Truth and Reconciliation Commission managed to prove only two hundred and sixty deaths, which translates to six and a half deaths a year, which by anyone's standards is hardly the mountain of deaths you would have expected from such monsters and pariahs. It was more dangerous crossing the pavement than being a black in South Africa.

    Ever heard the words bad press? The whites are losing three to four thousand lives a year to racial black on white violence now, but where are all you moral protesters? Yeah I thought so, back in the woodwork waiting on another populist issue. Get real guys.

    Anyway, unlike Al I loved shoes. I fancied Al's daughter as well, which hopefully he didn't do. So - footwear making, notice I say footwear instead of shoes, is a far more complex thing than most people realize. There are at least one hundred and fifty different operations involved in making a pair of shoes and I consider it an art form as much as anything else.

    It's such a pity that China has brought stifling sameness to what was once a vibrant marketplace, but the lowest common denominator wins out every time unfortunately and we are inevitably reduced to startling mediocrity, much like Bill Gates' code it seems.

    Why John Brown? Because I'm that old I'm ready to molder in my grave dummy. They say age is an attitude, but tell that to my bloody stomach in the mornings. You can bloody nip and tuck and Viagra all you like, but age is age is age and there ain't nuthin you can do about it except whine.

    But in the long run the measure of a man's life consists of two things, what contributions he has made to society, I haven't made squat, and how interesting his life was. Now there at least I have scored big. I have had an event filled life, filled with tragedies and laughter and oh yes, lets not forget the dope smoke! So all in all I'm happy and I've got my writing to keep me that way.

    Incidentally, as an aside, isn't it amazing when one considers occupations and how many self important jerks stride around, confident that if they bottled their urine they could market it as aftershave, that their livelihoods are by and large dedicated to producing trivia, to provide us all with little luxuries we could all do without.

    The fashion industry for example makes its living by persuading people to throw away perfectly serviceable clothing by claiming that puce or something else even more hideous is the new 'in' color and we idiots believe them, thereby guaranteeing overproduction and waste. What a load of crap. Mind you if they ever bring back flared velveteen trousers I'm there.

  • I bunked two full terms and still got A's. I played a mean game of tennis in my day. I wrote NCR's tax routine in the sixties and debugged IBM's. I modified the 360's operating system and I surfed at least four hours a day whatever the wind condition. I rolled a mean joint.

My Favorites: Reading and Writing

  • Fiction: Crime, Sci Fi/Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense, Western

    Non-Fiction: Computing & Internet, Humor, Music

    Screenplay: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Love/Romance, Sci-Fi, Western

    Poetry: Song Lyrics

  • Bedroom
  • I have completed an as yet unnamed sequel to Around the World in Eighty Days and am halfway through a romance from the male perspective. (Silly right!) But men can get soppy too.
    Many, many short stories varying in length from 1500 words to 20,000 greatly varying in style. I'm still trying to find my voice. I like humour and I like puns, which is probably why I like Piers Anthony.
  • John McEnroe in his prime for his sheer artistry with a racket.
  • P.G. Wodehouse (comedic genius)
    Charles Dickens (nuff said!)
    H.E. Bates (Darling Buds of May)
    Dylan Thomas (Under Milkwood)
    Chaim Potok (Jewish experience/angst)
    Jane Austen (Superlative dialogue/rom)
    David Eddings (Fantasy Supreme)
    David Gemmel (Great Fantasy)
    Piers Anthony (Puns Galore)
    L E Modesitt Jnr (Great Fantasy)
    Gordon R Dickson (Plain Good fun)
    Eric Frank Russel (Old School SF)
    Brian Aldiss (Ditto)
    Dick Francis (Characterisation Skills)
    Alan Dean Foster (Humorous Fantasy)
    Colin Wilson (Cos he tries + Spider World! It rocks!)
    L. Ron Hubbard (For Scientology. Sorry Tom, not really, Scientology sucks, for Planet Earth! Long overdue return of SF to the fold)