This biography originally appeared on page 92 of the May ’94 issue of ANALOG
A beltway bandit for the past twelve years tangling with corporations, government,and the military, Bud Sparhawk joined the U.S. Air Force following graduation from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in theoretical mathematics. Trained in communications-electronics, he ran communications stations for some years and then transferred to intellegence work. He left the military as a captain directly after receiving an MBS in finance from Oklahoma City University. Bud went back to his native Maryland after having lived in France, England, Japan, and various American localities. Raised in Baltimore’s tough West End, he now resides outside of Annapolis, which he considers the sailing capital of the known universe.
As a communications and information systems architect, he does consulting for government, military, and corporate clients. Free days see him in his 23-foot sloop. He writes, or reads science fiction at night. Bud fell under the spell of SF in 1949, and has read every Analogdating back to 1938.
The urge to write came when reading Harlan Ellison’s story notes in Dangerous Visions . Bud wrote some 35 stories, with Analog , first publishing one in the August 1976 issue. A second story sold for the January 1977 issue. Graduate school and learning to survive in a ruthless business world made him stop writing until 1992, when a real-life story about Bud, his sailboat, and hurricane Hugo saw print. Ten SF stories got him back into practice, with the eleventh appearing in the May, 1993 Analog .
Ideas stike during sailing, while thinking about recent scientific articles. Writing furiously later, he often amalgamates several originally separate ideas. He reorganizes the text a dozen times until a coherent story emerges. Other writings are about sailing and computer systems. Bud feels that being too scientifically correct can be self-defeating. An interesting story is the main thing and scientific perceptions are subject to change when new data come to hand.
Writers weave stories out of the tangle skeins of experience and knowledge gained under tough or unusual circumstances. Bud populates his stories with characters based on persons he’s met from the Baltimore waterfront of his youth to the corporate and government types trying to cope with a computerized world they don’t understand. Off-world humans are not likely to be any less baffled in the future nor less likely to act in ways already well known in ancient Assyria.
Intracable people are notoriously harder to deal with than intracable technical problems. Bud claimns his boat is unsinkable, thanks to technology developed since 1912. Still, you have to be ready for the Universe to come up with bigger and meaner icebergs.