Hello, and welcome to my Web site. I hope the information you'll find here will let you learn more about both me and my writing.
Despite its spelling, my first name is pronounced "Steven," not "Steffen." And my last name is spelled with an "i" instead of an "e." If you keep those simple facts in mind, you're halfway on the road to being my friend.
A Bit About Me
I was born in the city of Philadelphia. When I was 13, my parents moved to California and, upon reflection, I decided to accompany them. It was a lucky thing I did, too; otherwise, the commute to UCLA would have been quite difficult. I eventually graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor's degree in Astronomy.
My first short story appeared in 1965, when I was 18 and still in college. Over the next few years more stories appeared. My first job out of college was as a civilian space scientist for the U.S. Navy, but after several years I left to try writing full time. I only regretted the move every other Thursday, when I would have gotten paid.
After several years of genteel poverty, I took a job as writer/editor for a pornographic humor paper, the San Francisco Ball. In retrospect, this was a great crucible; deadline pressure forced me to learn to make my writing dirty, funny, and one draft. Nowadays the dirty is no longer a priority, the funny is more occasional, and I do more drafts, but that great practice taught me invaluable lessons.
At about this time, too, I began selling novels on a regular basis. While I have, from time to time, held down other full-time employment (I helped design the Star Trek: The Next Generation computer game "A Final Unity" for Spectrum HoloByte and have also written manuals and game design documents for Maxis), my real love is fiction writing.
My first wife was fellow author Kathleen Sky. Our medieval-style wedding was a Saturday morning program item at the 1972 World Science Fiction Convention in Los Angeles. In the 10+ years of our marriage, in addition to our individual works, we collaborated on a pair of stories ("Painting the Roses Red" and "The Devil Behind the Leaves") about the diMedicis, a family of interstellar swindlers. We also co-authored the first edition of the highly successful nonfiction book, The Business of Being a Writer, based on a class we'd taught at California State University at Northridge.
My current wife is fellow author Mary Mason. Our wedding took place the night before EclectiCon 1 in Sacramento, at which I was the Guest of Honor. We currently live east of Oakland, California. So far we've co-authored two books in the Rehumanization of Jade Darcy series: Jade Darcy and the Affair of Honor and Jade Darcy and the Zen Pirates. More books in this series are planned.
I've lived with cats all my adult life. Intellectually, I enjoy Broadway musical albums and surrealist art. I'm also proud to declare myself an atheist.
I served the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America as editor of the SFWA Bulletin and as SFWA's Western Regional Director.
Into the Out
Tamara Ruben and ten of her high school classmates are on a field trip in the California desert when they stumble across a long-dormant spaceship. Without warning, the ship takes off with them aboard, stranding them alone in interstellar space with no idea where they're going or what they must do when they get there.
Now they must figure out the ship's workings to keep themselves alive... and Tamara realizes her mind is being taken over by a set of alien Voices that may or may not be trying to help her. Can the inexperienced teenage crew learn to cooperate to solve the unprecedented challenges they'll face on their historic journey?
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Marion Zimmer Bradley's complicity in child sexual abuse: My stepson, Kenneth Smith, was sexually molested in the 1980s by Walter Breen, Marion Zimmer Bradley's husband. As we have since learned, Marion knew about Walter's activities, did nothing to stop him, and lied to protect him. I've set up a Web site where you can read her sworn testimony. Visit Marion Zimmer Bradley: In Her Own Words to learn the depths of this noted writer's moral bankruptcy.
As for Ken himself, he is currently alive and well, and living in San Francisco.
Visit Goldin Rules to view some aphorisms and uncommon wisdom, or pomposity (possibly both).
In 1985, I wrote an article for the Westercon Program Book that explained to neofans how to act around pros. I offer this article free to any convention that wants to reprint it. See Pro Etiquette.