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Mark T. Skarstedt spent his childhood and undergraduate years in California. After graduation from UCLA with a B.Sc. in chemistry, he joined the army as an infantry lieutenant, and while serving as a platoon leader in the 101st Airborne Division in Viet Nam, was twice decorated for valor, once by the U.S. Army, and once by the South Vietnamese government (which insisted on using the word 'gallantry' rather than 'valor' in its citation). He also received the purple heart, having unfortunately been trapped by a booby-trap, which would seem to make him a booby. Sorry about that.
Upon returning home, he earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry (cellular and molecular biology) and, as an unrepentant Viet Nam veteran and fan of the hard-fighting South Vietnamese people, was probably the most unpopular graduate student in the Western Hemisphere. He followed up with a pair of two-year post-doctoral fellowships, one at Imperial College in London (H.G. Wells's old alma mater), and one at the State University of New York in Brooklyn. He then took up a research career in the medical diagnostics industry, managing to develop some products and bring his paper trail in the scientific literature up to 23 patents and publications. In his sparse spare time he worked on honing skills in a lifelong love: the crafting of hard science fiction.
Mark and his gorgeous wife Decia, married now for some 43 years, have brought up three magnificent boys, all of whom have established independent households with children of their own. He now teaches college chemistry, an occasional class in securities licensing, and continues to pound away at science fiction. He will soon have more of his books and stories available on Smashwords.