Meet the Webmaster
Originally posted July 27, 2000
Hello, my name is Galen Strickland, and I post on the Templeton Gate Forums (and in the past at other places across the net) as "ecgordon." I've lived in various places over the years: Venice, California; Raleigh, North Carolina; San Antonio and Austin, Texas…but now back in my hometown of Waco, Texas. I have worked in a variety of fields too, off and on in construction related trades, as well as with building supply retailers, and for a few years I was self-employed. I grew up helping my father in his garage door installation/repair business, and with my brother after Dad retired, off and on over quite a few years. In between that I worked as a video operator for Waco's Cablevision franchise, and this was before HBO and other cable networks. From the late '70s through 1990 I was a film projectionist, and am now receiving small pensions from both one of the theater chains I worked for as well as the union of which I was a member. At the current time I am not working, so I hope to devote more time to reading and reviewing. I am an SF fanatic, primarily of the classic authors, but of films and television as well. I am not that proficient with computers, and have been using fairly old software to build this site, but my emphasis will always be on the content rather than the style or look of the place, although I've recently upgraded some things and have had help from my son to hopefully make this a better looking site.
When I first got on the net back in late '99, some of the first searches I made were for sites devoted to my favorite SF authors, number one being Robert A. Heinlein. On a site that no longer exists, called "wegrokit.com," there was a bulletin board where I encountered several other RAH fans who I have remained in contact with, some of whom were active on our forums. I frequented quite a few other bulletin board sites, posting under a different "handle" on each, one I felt appropriate for that particular site. My original ISP was Prodigy, and for the most part I was satisfied with their service, and one aspect I enjoyed a lot was the different "Community" bulletin boards they sponsored. The ones I frequented the most were the Books and Writing, Films, Music, TV & Video, and until it was dismantled, the Science Fiction Community. Those are all gone now, victims of Prodigy's merge with SBC, and later with Yahoo. But I must credit another b-board as generating the impetus for the creation of this site, that being the board (formerly known as The Dominion) at scifi.com (and now that message board no longer exists either). When it was around, I posted with the user name "easygordon," which is a variation of "ecgordon." Both refer to the main character in Heinlein's Glory Road.
Naturally there were discussions of books as well as TV and movies, and I posted several things about Heinlein. I was perplexed when some of the responses were "I don't know who Heinlein is!" and "I've only read Stranger in a Strange Land but nothing else." I am afraid I came close to alienating several on that board when I went into several diatribes about why I felt RAH was a great writer, and while I am still a fan of parts of his career, I have moved on to many other writers, including more women and people of color. Someone else at the Dominion, known as PsychicWarrior (Hi, PW, and thanks again!), made a comment about whether or not I had written the Great American Novel yet since she thought I had a good writing style. To tell you the truth that surprised me, since I have always been disappointed that I was NOT a good writer. I've rarely finished a story, and those I did were weak and derivative. But it got me to thinking that even though I might not have the imaginative spark necessary to create good fiction, my long time reading and enjoyment of SF might enable me to be a good reviewer. I'll leave it to others to judge whether I am or not, but there are times I doubt it myself. Shortly thereafter, I began posting articles on the Prodigy Books and Writing Board, the majority of which you can see here on this site, although most have been edited and/or expanded from the version originally posted there. I started with a general history of the genre (Science Fiction: A Primer), gave some reading recommendations (Science Fiction: Where to Start), then began a series of author profiles. I decided to create this site when my posts there did not generate much response. I am hoping here will be different. ?? *crickets*
I hope that I will be able to inform you about a lot of great writers, films, and TV shows, even ones you thought you already knew everything about. I would be happy to discuss any aspect of SF with other fans, so please do not hesitate to email me. Also, please visit the Templeton Gate Forums and let everyone know what you think. I would like for this site to be a forum for serious discussion of all aspects of speculative fiction.
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