A little background on my novel The Steel Eye

Originally to have been published by Borgo Press, my novel languished there a number of years till it was eventually dropped. A year or so later, Gordon Linzner decided to start a book line to complement his long-running SF magazine Space and Time, and so The Steel Eye became its first book (in 1984). (And Borgo made up for its earlier oversight -- somewhat! -- by rebinding a number of copies for the library trade.) Unfortunately, at that time, small press meant tight finance, and affordable composition meant something which looked okay but nothing in comparison with what's possible today. Some reviewers, though, let appearance influence them -- I felt -- unduly. But I got some good reviews too, so perhaps it all balances out.

About the title

In the early 1970s, when I first began writing Steel Eye stories, the title Steel Eye was originally a pun upon Asimov's I Robot (I = "eye" and robot = "steel"). Asimov's three laws of robotics are not laws as much as moral principles, which are easy to cite but very subjective. I thought it more fun to go into the gutter than have the prissy approach of keeping humans safe.

Later on (though it probably preceded my own usage), I came across the folk-rock group Steeleye Span, which has nothing to do with robots or science fiction but which has produced absolutely incredible music. A happy memory of Manhattan was hearing Maddy Prior (of the Steeleye Span) sing at the Bottom Line.

Enter DTP

When DTP came along, I switched from editorial to production freelancing. Aside from jobs for professional publishers in which standards are kind of dictated ahead of time, I had the opportunity to do the design and composition for S&T. For several years, while the technology behind DTP improved, so did the appearance of S&T, allowing me to play with fonts I've designed and trying different approaches for a digest-sized, two-column magazine. That was fun, and I had a sense of vindication when various authors in S&T began to be noticed more.

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