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"Isn't it pretty to think so?"
Ernest Hemingway through Robert B. Parker
Poesys Associates
Portrait of author Robert J. Muller

Robert J. Muller

I stumbled into writing through technical documentation. I had just discovered the work of Robert B. Parker, the great detective novelist, and I wondered: could I write a detective story that helped somebody learn how to use regular expressions? It turned out I could, and that article was very popular. Years later, I had the opportunity to ghostwrite a technology book that conveyed database management system technology through a story about a nineteenth century farm ledger, which was a best seller. Why not inject technology into fiction?

Over the years, I developed many interests: science, technology, mathematics, ancient and modern history, archaeology, cooking, psychology, and classical literature. So many great writers, so many excellent books! I use the encyclopedia of knowledge I acquired over those many years to inform my fiction, written in the mystery, historical, and science fiction genres. I create alternate histories that upend the assumptions we make about our own history. I use language (ancient Egyptian and its hieroglyphs, slave dialect, and so on) to take people out of their own world and into somebody else's world. I use historical characters to explore both their moral character and their actual role in history, writing about themes like civil rights, political compromise, public and moral duty, and slavery. I use science and technology to inject reality into mysteries, thrillers, and science fiction, both to inform the reader on the subject and to show how the science and technology affects the world in which we live, or in which we could live.

I live in San Francisco, California, a thinly disguised version of Menmenet, with my wife and illustrator Mary L. Swanson and two hives of bees, who seem very happy about it all.