I am a semi-nomadic author, journalist, and presenter hatched in Saaf London, and warped by a steady diet of sherbet lemons, medically prescribed comic books (absolutely true—ask me in person), dirty grey rain, and chips.
But where did it all begin? As a child, I was obsessed with books, comics, films, and TV; particularly the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. I played video games on the Binatone TV Master (possibly a clone), the Sega Mega Drive, the original beige Nintendo Gameboy, and the breadbox Commodore 64 (the system on which I first started programming). My parents shared with me their keen sense of history and I constantly scribbled stories, doodled, and snapped away with a series of film cameras. These early interests led to an education and career in science, technology, heritage, and finally media.
During an eternity in UK higher education, I cobbled together a peculiar mixture of skills and a bewildering array of impressive certificates, diplomas, and licenses. I eventually left with a Masters degree in computery related stuff, and transferable credits and research experience in robotics, natural science, archaeology, and... let's just say that it's the tip of an iceberg size mound of certification I keep in a steel filing cabinet to prevent conflagration. Quite honestly, we'd be here all night if I listed the bizarre mixture of things I can do. In fact, you could write an academic paper about my spaghetti-like educational trajectory.
My first career was a longish stint in the UK IT industry, before it went phut, thanks to the bosses, the bubble, and IR35. I started as a proper "have you tried turning it off and on again?" techie Morlock and ended running my own consultancy. With numerous years of extramural studies, volunteering, and post-graduate research under my belt, I shifted sideways into the heritage sector and ended up in Canada running an archaeology practice and later even managing a museum. However, even from the time I first entered the workforce, employment was never contiguous, (thank you very much late 20th/21st century economic chaos), but sandwiched between working in every conceivable job you care to mention, and quite a few you really would not, except astronaut, as my application was rejected by NASA. Damn it.
Let's talk about writing and media, which are what I do now. I started as a freelance technology and culture columnist; writing a weekly column in an English language national broadsheet newspaper in Mauritius called the Independent Daily (closed in 2013). Later, I returned home to the UK and, as a freelance journalist, wrote features, news articles, and opinion pieces for other print publications. I am also an author, but that predates every other thing I have ever done by many, many years. Ouroboros style career planning or wot? Other creative things I can do, have done, or continue to do, include scriptwriting, copywriting, developing text based computer games, presenting, and podcasting.
As well indulging my extremely eclectic, esoteric, and eccentric tastes in art and culture, my spare time is spent attempting the ascension to rock stardom, technological tinkering, and on, or under, the big blue H2O.
A Scanner Nerdly / FAQ
Behold! Here are a few of my favourite things. (Oh yes, I did sing that out loud):
Toob?Star Trek, Blake's 7, Doctor Who, Babylon 5, Thunderbirds.
Flicks?2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Blade Runner (1982), Big Trouble in Little China (1986), Inception (2010).
Lit?The Lord of the Rings, Dune, The Stars My Destination, Neuromancer, The Man Who Japed.
Tunes? I'm fairly eclectic, but tend to favour the loud, punky, sinister, or all three, and, of course, Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor—the admittedly clichéd choice of the discerning supervillain.
Jedi or Sith? Hmmm... I enjoy limbs, thus prefer blasters to sabres, so probably Solo, but without the smugness.
Empire or Republic? Republic!
Kirk or Picard? Kirk!
Doctor and Companion? Doctor? Tom Baker. Companion? Ace or... Leela? Hmmm... I'm conflicted, but I'll say Ace, after all who can argue with Nitro 9?
Time Lord or...? Timelord? Pah! Let's just leave it at "or" puny humans.
Sartorial Ins/Aspirations? Throw Marc Bolan, Jon Finch's Jerry Cornelius, and Boba Fett into a washing machine and spin. Vigorously.
Self? "A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma", encased in a conundrum, stuffed into a walnut. (Shut it, Churchill).
Superheroes? Spider-Man, Batman, Indiana Jones, Han Solo, The Question, Green Arrow, Garth, Vanth Dreadstar, Flash Gordon, and Dazzler (shut your face, she's brilliant).
Supervillains? The Penguin, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Ming the Merciless, The Mekon.
Anti-Heroes? Kerr Avon, Catwoman, Captain Nemo, Kane the Mystic Swordsman, Mister X, Elektra, Harry Palmer.
Tech? The PC is the best invention since the wheel.
Code? Loads, but right now C, Lua/LÖVE.
Martial Arts? Many, though currently Grand Ultimate Fist, and the terribly effective Way of the Spider. My special move is running away.
HQs? An unnamed castle on the summit of Hell Mountain, in the Himalayan Kingdom of Garudastan (a peripatetic micronation, with a highly temporally and spatially challenged embassy located at the same xyzt coordinates as my spectacles), a ruined mansion in Grand Cabaret, Mauritius, and a series of vessels all named Utopia.
Descent Diabolic? I was born in England of Indo-Mauritian, Hindu Brahmin parents. I've also moved around a bit and have accumulated extra citizen ships in Mauritius and Canada. Mars next?
The Name of the Roy? But why, pray tell, does a Hindu chap possess the Anglo-Gaelic-Frankish-Norman derived forename Roy? Dad's given name was supposed to be a "Rohit", but the British colonial registrar's ears couldn't cope with something quite so Indian and wrote "Roy" on the birth certificate. Thus, when I was born, Mum and Dad simply named me after Dad.
Regarding my surname, "Mathur"? Although not an English name, it is made up of two syllables very common to the English language, and it is spelled phonetically, so if you mispronounce it, that's your problem. Don't expect me to help you with the pronunciation either, because I so like watching people squirm. Go on worm! Squirm, squirm, squuuiiirrrm! Hahahahahahahahaha!
Is that it? That is as much as I can tell you without boring your pants off, but buy me a Betelgeusian Brain Buster and I'll talk the hind pods off an Arcturan zingbat. If you can't wait that long, feel free to rummage, but beware of the cabling, the carnivorous plants, and the giant wingèd thing. Araaaaaak!
You actually read all the way down to here? Congratulations! May I offer you a scrumptious sherbet lemon?
About This Site
This cerebrally concocted and cleverly crafted grimoire is inspired by the foul delvish shadow scripts of Far Below (take the elevator down at Far Away). The spells within cast mightily by the hand of sorcery, wielding accursèd instruments cunningly wrought by dwarven-kind (fountain pen, voice recorder, and mechanical keyboard). Acknowledgements are grudgingly granted to the diverse legion of humans, gnomes, trolls, ogres, giants, the great and terrible Roc, rakshasa, satyrs, nymphs, djinn, skin walkers, centaurs, other magical creatures and cryptids too numerous to mention, who have, under a terrible geas, unwillingly toiled in this villainous endeavour, and shall continue to do so, if they know what's good for them, unto the end of time! Aha. Hahahahahahahahaha. Ha. Look, I write... a lot, and I am a geek, so what did you expect? I mean, really...