About the Author
Not wishing to pursue the route traced out for him by grammar school and university as a mathematician, Alan McCluskey turned to English, which he taught to foreign language students in France and Switzerland on a part-time basis for many years. His favourite teaching method was role-playing often with quite unexpected and not so catastrophic results. One pupil once confessed, with typical candour and ambiguity, that he had taught her the creative value of madness. He attended fine arts school for a while as he continued to teach, studying cinema and video. He went on to make a number of works of video art shown in different festivals around Europe and directed some ten short television programmes about artists. He was one of the three organisers of an international video festival in Geneva, he founded a video art association and created a short-lived European bilingual magazine about electronic arts. He enjoyed the challenge of organising large-scale networks, coordinating a worldwide network of companies selling Internet domain names, for example. In a quite different sphere, he created "The Hundred Venues" with friends: a network of a hundred screening venues for electronic arts across Europe. For a year he played at being the CEO of an Internet start up. Apart from drafting business plans and convincing investors to give them five million, it was one of those rare times in his life that he systematically wore a suit and a tie in a vain attempt to appear different from the geeks who went about the office barefoot. Almost all of his activities have involved writing. Although professionally he mostly had to write reports and studies, he tried to create occasions to adopt what he called the Martian perspective, which entailed questioning the self-evident. He has brought that questioning perspective, along with a passion for images and what they can reveal, to novel writing and artwork together with a long-standing fascination for the dream world and the magic of fantasy.