Bob's Life


Objective facts: I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a BMath in Computer Science in 1980, shortly after the advent of computers. I promptly re-enrolled and completed a B.A. in English because that's where I figured the money was. After briefly toying with the idea of gainful employment, I enrolled in the M.A. program in English, also at Waterloo. When I ran out of money and could no longer afford school, I reluctantly worked for a few years at IBM while completing my M.A. thesis. Then I went back to school. I enrolled in the PhD program at the University of Toronto. While there I started working part-time for Seneca College. When it came time to prepare for the my comprehensive exams, I bailed out of the PhD program and took a full time job at Seneca. I am now the coordinator for the Informatics and Security Degree Program, and have taught in several other degree and diploma programs at the college, usually in programming, sometimes in networking/data communication. Occasionally I teach a science fiction elective course for our English department.

Subjective impressions: I'm sure my perception of myself is as contradictory and confusing (and deluded) as yours is of you, so I will defer to the people who know me. Ask them. They will provide you with equally contradictory and confusing impressions of me. Oh, and I like long walks on the beach.

My Job

Yes, I'm a college teacher. I currently coordinate the Informatics and Security Degree Program at Seneca College. It's a good job. Most days.

My Writing

Creative Commons License

Having a child is an excellent excuse not to write. Alas, he's growing up fast and I find myself with more and more time on my hands. So I suppose I have to ramp up the writing again - or have another kid. Think I'll go with the writing.

I write a mix of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and (for want of a better term) literary fiction. I've also tried my hand at a couple of TV sitcom spec scripts and four screenplays. In June/July of 1993 I attended the Clarion West Writer's Workshop. For that session the workshop leaders were Lucius Shepard, Pat Murphy, Geoff Ryman, Connie Willis, Greg Bear, and Alice K. Turner. I'm not sure you can teach writing, but if it's possible, then Clarion is the place to go if you want to write SF/F/H. I've also attended workshops run by Cynthia Holz at Ryerson University (highly recommended) and Peter Carey and Lorne Frohman at Humber College. A collection of my short stories, Horror Story and Other Horror Stories, was published in 2008, followed by a novel, Nexus: Ascension, in 2010.

The full-text of most of my work is available - or soon will be - under a Creative Commons licence. You can find it under The Collected Works of Bob.

Other Stuff I Do

I am a fervent open source, open content advocate. The last few years I've chaired our Free Software and Open Source Symposium. And, after years or gentle arm-twisting, I finally convinced my wife to switch to Linux - no mean feat!

I also just stepped-down as co-chair of the college's Great Teaching Seminar, a very cool three day retreat for teachers.

Recently I joined the organizing committee for the Conference on Digital Forensics, Security and Law (CDFSL). Did I mention I'm a Certified Computer Examiner (CCE)?

Grants and Awards


1994 Toronto Arts Council Grant
1994 Honorable Mention, "Falling", Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 1993
1995 Canada Council Explorations Grant
1995 First Prize, Prairie Fire, Speculative Fiction Writing Contest, "Assassination and the New World Order"
1996 Honorable Mention, "Assassination and the New World Order", Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 1995
1998 Toronto Arts Council Grant
2000 Toronto Arts Council Grant
2001 Honorable Mention, "Tabula Rasa", Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 2000
2003 Honorable Mention, "Gaytown", Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 2002