In the twenty years I've been working on these projects, I've received quite a lot of help and encouragement. This writing was started on several BBSs (computer bulletin boards, all now gone), and I'd like to give special thanks to the following people:
Walter Tsin (sysop of AMI BBS), for offering this project a home at the very beginning, when neither he nor I was really sure what I was doing.
Joe Negron (sysop of Programmer's Mark BBS), for offering me a second home at his BBS, and for a very thorough and exacting reading of an early version of U-town. Programmers often make very careful readers.
Mark Reichenbach (sysop of Suzy's Creamcheeze BBS), for his enthusiasm, and for broadcasting me out onto the AlterNet.
Bill (sysop of Dream World BBS), for having only one restriction on his BBS: no conventional writing allowed. I'd be a different writer if not for him. If he's still around, have him shoot me an email.
Jim Henderson (sysop of Double Helix BBS), for offering my writing its final home in BBS-land.
I'd also like to thank the following people:
Bob Bernstein, for giving me the key into starling, and into her relationship with Pete.
Dr. Arnold Asrelsky, for many thoughtful diagnoses and suggested cures over the years.
Bethany Rose, for suggestions, encouragement, and a whole lot more.
My father, for all the times he sat at his typewriter, laughing immoderately at something he'd just written. It made writing seem like a really good thing to do.
And to Astoria, of course.
More recently, I'd also like to thank:
My friend Cyndi, who has given me a lot of helpful comments and suggestions.
Don Everett Pearce, who has also offered much help and encouragement over the years.