Charles Platt (science-fiction author)


Charles Platt (science-fiction author)

Charles Platt (born in London, England, 1945) is the author of 41 fiction and nonfiction books, including science-fiction novels such as "The Silicon Man" and "Protektor" (published in paperback by Avon Books). He has also written non-fiction, particularly on the subjects of computer technology and cryonics, as well as teaching and working in these fields. Platt relocated from England to the United States in 1970 and is a naturalized U. S. citizen. He has one daughter, Rose Fox.

Fiction

"The Silicon Man" has been endorsed by William Gibson as "A plausible, well-crafted narrative exploring cyberspace in a wholly new and very refreshing way". Platt was nominated for Hugo awards and received a Locus Award for his two books of profiles of science-fiction writers, "Dream Makers" (1980) and "Dream Makers II" (1983).

As a fiction writer, Charles Platt has also used pen-names: Aston Cantwell (1983), Robert Clarke ("Less Than Human", a science-fiction comedy, in 1986) and Charlotte Prentiss (historical and prehistory novels, between 1981 and 1999). He contributed to the series of Playboy Press erotic novels under the house pseudonym Blakely St. James that was shared by many other writers during the 1970s.

Although Platt ceased much of his activity as a writer after 2001, in 2005 he was offered a contract for a new picaresque black comedy about a teenage female serial killer.

Platt is also known for writing "The Gas (novel)" in 1970 for the Ophelia Press (OPH-216), an imprint of notorious publisher Maurice Girodias's Olympia Press. (Girodias also published several of Barry N. Malzberg's early novels.) When Platt's novel was published in the United Kingdom by Savoy Books in 1980, copies were seized by the UK's Director of Public Prosecutions.

Non-Fiction

From 1980 to 1987, Platt interviewed about forty major science-fiction writers such as Philip K. Dick, J.G. Ballard, Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr, Ray Bradbury, John Brunner [cite web | title = The Website of Charles Platt | publisher = David Pascal | url = http://www.davidpascal.com/charlesplatt/interviews.html | accessdate = 2007-01-06 ] .

In a review of a book by David Drake, Platt asserted that Drake wouldn't write such "queasy voyeurism" if he had really seen war. Drake, a Vietnam veteran, has since taken to including despicable characters named "Platt" in his writings [cite web | last = Drake | first = David | title = Dave Answers Some Frequently Asked Questions | publisher = David Drake's website | url = http://david-drake.com/faq.html | accessdate = 2007-01-06 ] .

Platt began writing for Wired magazine in its third issue, and ultimately became one of its senior writers, contributing more than thirty full-length features. He was an early and prominent user of MindVox and wrote five books on computers and computer programming during that period. His nonfiction has appeared in publications such as Omni, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times.

Character in a book by former wife Nancy Weber titled "Lily Where's Your Daddy".

Computer Programming

Platt acquired an early desktop computer, an Ohio Scientific C4P, and learned to write game programs for it which were distributed as shareware. Subsequently he wrote educational software published by Trillium Press, and participated in the first conference on cellular automata at MIT, where he demonstrated MS-DOS software that he wrote himself and sold subsequently by mail order. His program to generate the Mandelbrot Set was also self-published and sold primary to university mathematical departments. He is the author of six computer books, from the satirical "Micro-Mania" to the instructional "Graphics Guide to the Commodore 64." For many years he taught computer graphics classes in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop at The New School for Social Research in New York City.

Editor/Publisher

In 1970 Charles Platt became a consulting editor for Avon Books, acquiring work for their science-fiction list. Subsequently he performed a similar role for the short-lived paperback imprint Condor Publishing, and was science-fiction editor for Franklin Watts, Inc.

During the 1980s Platt self-published "The Patchin Review," a little magazine of literary criticism and commentary centered on the science-fiction field. Although each issue sold only 1,000 copies, the venture acquired notoriety for its edgy attitude and attracted contributions from many then-well-known editors and authors in the field, including Philip K. Dick, Gregory Benford, Brian W. Aldiss, David Hartwell, and others.

In 2007 Platt became a section editor for "Make" magazine, for which he had already been a frequent contributor.

Cryonics

Platt became interested in cryonics in 1990 after visiting Alcor. He wrote a book on the subject, "Life Unlimited," for which a contract was issued by Wired Books; the publisher ceased doing business, and the text remains unpublished. Platt became President of CryoCare Foundation, which he co-founded in 1993. He worked for Alcor, a company which may be best known for cryopreserving Ted Williams' head and body after he died. In 2004 Platt became a director of a company named "Suspended Animation, Inc.", based in Boynton Beach, Florida. Suspended Animation pursues R&D to develop equipment and procedures for use in mitigating ischemic injury immediately after cardiac arrest, in terminal patients who have made arrangements for cryopreservation at cryonics organizations such as the American Cryonics Society and the Cryonics Institute. Platt resigned his positions at the company at the end of 2006 but continues to design equipment for it as an independent contractor.

References

External links

* [http://www.davidpascal.com/charlesplatt/index.html The Web Site of Charles Platt]
* [http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/authors/Charles_Platt.htm Charles Platt bibliography (fiction) - Fantastic Fiction (UK)]
* [http://www.suspendedinc.com/ Suspended Animation] Official corporate site


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