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I am T. Gene Davis
My published works include a book of poetry, Interview with Chuck, a book of mating riddles for Japanese chess, two computer programming books, several short stories in the science fiction and fantasy genres, a few poems and some novel abridgments. I also published a science fiction and fantasy magazine, Of Unicorns and Space Stations for several years.
Currently, I am doing this speculative fiction blog and collections from this blog in book form.
I was born at the beginning of the 1970’s.
I grew up in a small town in Upstate New York. I always joke that an atlas I found mentioned the population as 2001, but I moved away, so now the population is only 2000.
When I grew up, there was only one stoplight in my town. They have since added another. I think that was just to make the town feel bigger, ’cause it ain’t.
Still, it is a beautiful town. It’s one of those towns that you would not be surprised to find in National Geographic some day. It’s got the clock tower. It’s got the churches. And of course, it has the obligatory pastoral scenes.
In the fall, the leaves turn in the glory that only the American north east can display. I grew up thinking that everywhere had displays like New England.
The winters were cold, but provided for plenty of ice skating and sledding. I remember walking to school in the second week of January in -40 degree wind chills. When it is that cold you step outside and can feel the inside of your nose freeze up instantly. If you haven’t experienced it, you just can’t appreciate it.
One year it was -40F degrees with -70F degree wind chills. I told a friend from Italy about that once, and he didn’t believe you could breath at those temperatures. You can. I did. I still remember walking to school in it.
I spent my time playing wiffle ball, hide and seek, climbing trees and fording streams when I was younger. I spent my time mountain biking, hiking and playing RPGs as a teenager. I cherish my childhood memories.
I graduated in a large class for my High School. I believe there were around 125 seniors in my graduating class. I moved to Utah to attend the University of Utah three days after I turned 18.
The Big Scary World
My first year of college was something magical. I was split between studying English and Computer Science. I actually had a very difficult time with this decision and eventually came to the conclusion that as a writer, I could potentially do more good and influence more people to make good decisions than as a computer programmer. I chose English with an emphasis in Creative Writing as my major, and thus turned my back on one of my greatest loves — computer programming.
I took classes that I had never dreamed of in my small High School, like Japanese and Swimming. I found in college, you decided whether or not to go to class. You picked when you wanted to study and when you wanted to have a class and what order the classes where in. You registered for your classes by touch phone, and a computer took care of signing you up for the classes that you chose.
I went to class out of the shear joy of learning. I found my grades were much better than they had been at High School even though the work was much more difficult. I think it was the pure joy of learning, the novelty of university life, and the extreme beauty of the campus that improved my grades.
I was impressed by the greenery and the wide opened garden like spaces on campus. I loved spending time by any of the several elegant water fountains on campus. My favorite feature of the huge University of Utah campus was the Marriott Library. Five temperature controlled floors of books and journals. I didn’t know any library existed that was so large. I spent more time in that library than anywhere else that year. If I could have lived in the library, I would have moved a bed in and taken up residence. Use of the library alone was worth the cost of tuition at the university.
After I had finished my first year of college, I decided to take two years off and serve as a Christian missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). That choice was hard, and some family members were not thrilled with me putting my education on hold. I decided to go ahead with it.
The first obstacle to becoming a Christian missionary was funding. Full time missionaries for The Church are not paid. You are expected to come up with your own funds. You might say that is your first act of faith, at least for me it was. I knew I would not receive the needed money from my parents. They did not have the money. So, I prayed and waited. Looking back, I think I should have taken a more pro-active approach and got a job. However, my mother’s parents were aware of my decision and decided to offer me the support I needed. It was a generous gift that only a parent or grandparent could give as freely as they did.
I am by nature an introspective quiet person. I enjoy people, but also enjoy a quiet house with a good book. As you can imagine, missionaries are expected to be out going extroverts. Two years of introducing myself to strangers, teaching people I hardly knew and sharing my inner feelings (often to people who were antagonistic) changed me. I guess you could say I came out of my shell, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. I learned to come out of my shell when desired. It was one of the most influential experiences of my life, and definitely changed me for the better.
When I came back home after my two years were complete, I decided that I was not ready for full time school again. I went part time and worked mostly full time. I decided I wanted to find a girl to marry. I started dating a lot of people. I counted once and realized to my amazement that I had dated over 30 women. I probably dated just as many more women before I went out with an unusual girl. I enjoyed our first date together. I never enjoyed the first date because they are always awkward, even when you know the person. I enjoyed our first date, though. A year later we were married in the Salt Lake City temple.
Years passed from the time I left for college. I married. I filled a house with children. I worked as a Graphic Designer and later as a Computer Programmer (funny that.) I also spent six years running my own small press magazine. It took me nearly twenty years to graduate with my English BA. I wasn’t in a hurry back then. Life seems long enough when you’re young. Still, it was a busy 20 years.
Utah is not like my childhood home. It isn’t as cold in Salt Lake. You can see for miles and miles, unlike the Taconic Hills of my childhood. The mountains are barren in comparison to New York’s mountains.
Still Utah has a beauty that grows on you. In some places in the Rocky Mountains, I’ve seen the Milky Way spread out like a cloud across the whole sky. I’ve seen dirt so red, the sunset bleached it out, instead of making it more red. I’ve seen vast tracks of sky and unpopulated valleys that I didn’t even dream of growing up.
Please enjoy looking around my site. Also, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @TGeneDavis