Look! We're becoming a vacation destination!
A hypothetical, apocolyptic, science fiction vacation that is. ;-)
Ben is a dear friend from my university days at Brown. He's morphed from a brilliant tender-hearted long-haired computer programming theologizing kid, to a brilliant tender-hearted short-haired computer programming theologizing husband, father, and internationally known science fiction writer.
Ben, our friend Ila, and I were housemates in 1990/91 while we were students at Brown. Our house was a happy place to be, filled with the yummy smells of creative vegetarian cooking. We decorated with fourth-hand furniture, books and papers galore, a goofy black lab puppy named Lucy, and chore charts in which we rotated turns at being characters from the TV show Twin Peaks. You can see that Ben's experience creating alternate universes began early.
Ben has awed me by his decision to return to writing. He has been very dedicated and intentional about it: he prioritizes writing and regularly makes time for it in his schedule. After all, the guy has a full time programming job and a busy family with two young children. Yet he finds time to write well enough to be published all over the place and earn nominations for the Hugo and Nebula awards.
Of course, if he is helping build a stockade on our farm (see the "vacation" itinerary referenced in the above interview), heavens only knows in what state we might end up. Will we find ourselves "falling straight into the beam of the strange pulsar Yoruba-7, into its great burst, not only of electromagnetic radiation, but also of chronons, the quantum particles of time" like the peaceful folk of Ylla's Choice? Or will he succumb to a mixture of my Christian mysticism and Stephen's pragmatic environmentalism and join us in praying over the zombies as we stand on a wall of recycled aluminum cans?
Either way I know we'll all laugh a lot.