Rusty Williamson first took an interest in science fiction in 1968 after seeing 2001 A Space Odyssey. The next year he joined the US Army and, while in Vietnam, had his own sci-fi-like adventure when an unknown species of spider bit him on the right leg–an injury that would haunt him the rest of his life. He was medivac’d back to the ‘States’ and, after his release from the hospital at Fort Ord, CA, Stayed with friends in Long Beach, CA for a couple of months. There he turned on the TV and happened to land on the original Star Trek which sealed his dedication to sci-fi.
His first idea for a sci-fi story (Net-World) came to him in 1978. In it, he foresaw the Internet and virtual reality (which he called an ‘Interaction Enhancement’ or IE system) in a story about remote access and virtual worlds for the disabled or bedridden patients, which allowed them to become a useful member of society, earn a living and interact with others.
Between ’78 and ’92 he came up with twelve ideas for sci-fi stories, most of them outer space adventures. He also began reading and watching everything sci-fi to track what was happening in this genre. The idea for his first publication, and what he considers to be his best story, The Spiral Slayers, came to him in 1992 and evolved over the next ten years. It’s a four-part series and the first part has been well received with many five-star reviews and an awesome review from Kirkus. He also created an animated book trailer for book one that is considered by some to be one of the best book trailers ever made.
In 2002, after he retired, he put all of his efforts towards the one of many ‘million dollar’ ideas he had: book trailers created using 3D animation. He founded Virtualmedia Studios, got the http://www.virtualmediastudios.com/ URL and had a web site created. He’d been doing mechanical 3D modeling, texturing and animation since 1992, creating introductions to conventions, parties and various promotional and educational videos. In 1995 he helped with a web based project on nanite technology for the Canadian Discovery Channel. In 2002 book trailers was a revolutionary idea.
Rusty had no idea what publishers or authors would pay, but he knew it was not going to be what the industry currently charged. Computer animation takes a lot of time and training and is very expensive, so his main goal was finding ways to bring the cost down. He also went back to college to learn the vast number of disciplines needed to create short animations. These included storyboarding, animatic development, 3D organic (character) modeling, advanced texturing, character rigging and animation, cinematography, staging, lighting, camera and shot techniques, writing musical scores, acting, lip sync, audio and sound mechanics and, the list goes on. He also had to master all of the related software applications which included Animation Master, Maya, Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects and ACID Pro, to name a few.
Rusty Williamson lives in San Diego, CA with his wife Denise and their dog. The two celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary in Nov 2013. They have both been retired since 2002. They have two children. Besides writing science fiction, he also owns and operates a 3D animation studio. At a layman’s level, he has studied quantum physics (superstring and LQG) and cosmology since 1980. His other hobbies include archeology, hiking, biking, RC airplanes and playing guitar. Almost every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you can find him and his wife dancing to a live band at some San Diego club.
Before retiring in 2002, he worked as a computer programmer and he and his wife flipped houses in their spare time. In the mid-eighties, he published a series of technical articles for Computerworld. Between 1983 and 1992, he explored the Anza Borrego desert and acted as a guide for 4×4 caravans through the region. He served in the US Army in Vietnam in 1970.