To Entertain, To Educate, To Inspire


Personal


Sirian relaxes with friends at a weekend party in Pittsburgh, summer of 1999

My name is Robert B. Thomas. My friends call me Bob.
On the internet, I am widely known as "Sirian".

I have always taken a road less traveled. How do I sum up my formal education? The last time I attended any kind of class, I was fifteen years old. My twenty year high school graduation reunion will be next year. The corporate world can be a wondrous place, but it can also suck the life right out of you. After early exposure to the business world (age twelve and thirteen) I made the decision that I would not commit my life to boring lines of work and I would never put myself into a place where some corporate yahoo can wipe out everything I have worked to create with a corrupt or foolish decision. Money is only a means to an end, and I do not place much priority on it. I only work on things that I believe in. I chart my own course and measure my progress by my own standards. God bless the USA and the degree of freedom we enjoy in this country. Maybe some day, I'll mellow out a bit and settle down, but for now, I'm happily single. I am not a member of any organized religion, yet I am a spiritual man. I own my home out in the country and life is sweet.
My interests include books, games, movies, gardening, news, politics, and religion. Can you say nerd? My passion lies with imagination. My favorite types of fiction are fantasy and science fiction. I enjoy visualizing alternate possibilities, alternate realities. I collect sci-fi and fantasy in many forms, chiefly novels, but also short stories, magazines, movies, television. Robert A. Heinlein, Orson Scott Card, and Gordon R. Dickson are among my favorite sci-fi authors. I enjoy the fantasy writings of many, but the shadow of J.R.R.Tolkien still hangs over the fantasy genre in ways I find lamentable. Too many writers simply clone his work, his vision. Some of these stories have been quite good, but I prefer to read authors who have managed to create truly original works. In my own writings, I also strive to produce an original vision. For a sample, visit my Fiction page.
I confess that the most influential television in my life was the original Star Trek, which I watched in reruns as a young child during the mid-1970s. My favorites through the years included Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Quantum Leap, Babylon 5, Stargate, and the various Star Treks. I don't relish every episode -- I can be critical of bad writing or overused plot devices -- but I collect all the sci-fi TV that I can, even the bad stuff. (Ever heard of Blake's 7? Whew, talk about BAD.) I'm looking forward to the new Battlestar Galactica series, the final installment of Star Wars, and I am always open to something new. My stack of novels to read grows by the year. I always buy more books than I have time to read, it seems.
I enjoy gaming of all stripes. As a teen, I did a lot of pen and paper role playing, though my imagination more often led me to be Game Master than Player. I enjoy crafting a fun and imaginative experience as much as I do playing through one. My passion for computer games is on display at my various game pages. Creating games is not unlike writing fiction, except that game players are more in charge of their experience, and game development has evolved into an ever-larger team effort. Writing is still a singular pursuit. I find that many of the qualities necessary for one fit well with the other. As the years have worn on, I have delved further into game design, creating my own levels, maps, scenarios, and mods. I have organized numerous online gaming communities. I have written about games enough that others have taken an interest. My talents have evolved to a point that I have added game making to my professional life. Visit my game development page for more information.
I love animals. I had dogs as a child. As a teen, I had parakeets and gerbils. As an adult, I have come to love housecats. I've had four cats in all. My third cat, George, I had for twelve years, most of my adult life. After three years without a pet, I finally got a new kitten this year, Max, and he's quite an energetic little furball.
Max loves to pounce from the corner of this chair onto his toys on the floor.
Max has grown nearly to full size, so he's a lot bigger now. As I write this, he's over in my office window climbing the window, chasing a fly, his rear claws scratching on the glass. What a character. He gets into everything. I have been amazed at what trouble he can get himself in to. He's a good little buddy, though. I had to nurse him back to health from a very poor state. Although not a stray, he had a rough start and needed some help from the vet just to survive. I also had to feed him for a week with a dropper, then teach him how to eat and drink, use the litter box, and so on. He hangs around as if tied to my apron strings. When I move from one room to the next, he follows. And wow, does he love to play games! Balls, strings, boxes, you name it. A cat who loves games? I wonder where he picked that up.
Max was a messy eater in his youth. He used to put his paws into the food bowl.
I should probably close this section by thanking my parents. Their values and views had the most influence on shaping my life, and I could not have achieved as much as I have without their love and support.

- Bob


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