I’m a computer scientist, web and game developer, writer, speaker, teacher, space settlement researcher, and investor. I was born in Melbourne but consider myself to be from Brisbane, Australia.
My interests include space colonisation, planetary engineering, mental and physical health, fitness, veganism, animal welfare, environment, travel, photography, and music.
Currently I’m working on a web- and mobile-based computer game called Solarian, which will enable players to build colonies throughout the Solar System and trade with each other. The initial, very basic version of the game will be online in 2018. I’m also working on a board game version.
As for writing, I’ve decided to focus more on science fiction rather than non-fiction from now on, mainly because it’s more fun and lucrative. I hope to have some new books to share with you soon.
Due to mental illness (see below) I’ve never had a long-term relationship but I have a romantic heart and I hope one day to meet the “right girl” and start a family. I’m dreaming of the day when I will build my own sustainable, steel-frame, smart home, probably in or near Brisbane, my favourite city.
I love acting, and have acted on stage in several amateur theatre productions, and in several shorts. To the best of my knowledge, no photographs of video exist on the internet. My extremely brief IMDB page.
My most recent book was published in 2015 and is called The International Mars Research Station. You can read it online for free, or you can buy a printed copy. In 2014 I gave a TEDx talk about this idea. The original architecture that I designed, which preceded the IMRS book, was called Blue Dragon; you can read it here.
My friend and legend space writer Leonard David kindly reviewed my book here.
I’m a member of the Space Development Steering Committee. They published a brief article about my book.
I’ve also thought about rotating space stations, built in free space or from asteroids. Here, my friend Frans Blok references an idea I developed for turning the asteroid 16 Psyche into a space station.
Papers, presentations, and interviews
In 2006 I wrote two papers, which I presented at the Mars Society convention in Washington, DC. They were:
I’ve been interviewed about Mars by ABC radio 3 times.
- ABC Northern Territory, about my Mars One application.
- ABC Sunshine Coast, before my TEDx talk.
- ABC Brisbane (audio has been archived, I will try to get a copy from them).
Several other presentations and interviews about Mars colonisation can be found at my YouTube channel.
In 2017 I was invited to speak at the Mars Summit in Bangalore, India. During that trip I was able to visit numerous schools and universities in south India, to give presentations about colonising Mars, and answer questions from students. Here is an article from that trip plus a couple of minor mentions here, here and here. In this video you can see me introducing myself at one of the schools.
One of my interests is calendar design, which I find to be a fun and interesting fusion of mathematics, computing, astronomy, psychology, history, and sociology. I’ve created a superior calendar for Earth called the Earthian Calendar, and possibly the best calendar ever designed for Mars, called the Utopian Calendar.
My Mars time-keeping work is mentioned here and here. The original version of the calendar was published on the Virtual Mars website (precursor to Martians and Solarian), and has kindly been archived by my friend Tom Gangale here and here.
Health and fitness
I’ve suffered from chronic mental illness from most of my life, including depression, generalised anxiety, social anxiety, borderline personality disorder, substance-abuse disorder, and schizoaffective disorder. I experience thought insertion almost constantly. Even though this problem has significantly affected my life, I don’t talk about it much, and I spend a lot of time alone. However, I have developed a variety of coping mechanisms and I like helping people with similar problems.
I’m also a health and fitness enthusiast and a qualified personal trainer. I exercise most days, I eat a strict vegan diet high in raw, whole foods and low in sugar and grains, and I frequently fast (water only) for periods from 16 hours up to 3 or 4 days. My longest fast so far is 8 days.
I meditate, practice gratitude, and visualise daily.
I love to travel and can barely go three months without a trip somewhere. I went to 5 continents (all except Africa and Antarctica) in both 2016 and 2017, and have visited around 40 countries so far. My favourites include Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Colombia, England, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Monaco, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, the United States, and Canada.
By the end of the decade I hope to have visited every continent in the world, and by the end of my life, every country in the world, as well as the Moon and Mars.
I have sponsored from 1 to 3 kids at a time through World Vision for many years. However, these days a more important activity for me is sponsoring orphans in Africa. This gives me much greater bang for my buck because I can deal with them directly. I currently provide funds for food, clothing, and school fees to 38 kids in Kenya and 25 in Sierra Leone. When I do finally travel to Africa, I hope to meet them.
I’ve made a lot of websites over the years, starting in about 1995. I wish they were all still online, but sadly many have been lost. Here at least are a few.
AscensionTek — my plan for a property development company, developed in 2007.
Silvergreen — concept for an ecovillage I want to build in the Samford Valley region west of Brisbane.
Mars Engineering — old bis-and-pieces website from 2001.
Martians — computer game concept now re-imagined as Solarian.