The first SF book I can recall reading was at the age of 10 or so, at summer camp: Have Spacesuit, Will Travel. And my wife claims to this day that I married her for her science fiction collection.
I’m a life-long Chicagoan. When I returned to Chicago from overseas to attend grad school, I fell into a regular D&D game with some world-class players. This led to meetings with other fen at the regular “Thursdays” in the Chicago area — and then started to attend cons and Worldcons. Eventually I became Phandemonium’s first Supreme Minister of Fun.
On the professional side, I have a Ph.D. in Physics. I joined Bell Labs, migrated to speech recognition, and eventually became an independent consultant. I write a regular industry column, have given any number of industry talks, and I’m the lowest-selling book author in my immediate family.