Stephen Ames Berry

Biography

Stephen Ames Berry is the author of four science fiction novels first published by Ace/Berkley and Tor/Macmillan, and of The Eldridge Conspiracy, a tale spun from his time at the Pentagon and the legend of the Navy's World War II ship invisibility project, the Philadelphia Experiment. A magna cum laude graduate of Boston University, Berry has a master's in information systems and was a systems analyst and data architect at the Pentagon and Harvard University. He's a veteran of the National Security Agency's US Army Security Agency, which sponsored his three-year stint in Tokyo. Post-Harvard, Berry taught and mentored wayward youth in Sarasota, Florida, from which his gritty novella "Crazy Boy: Marvey's Monkeys" is drawn. He now lives in the Mohawk Valley, slave to an entitled cat.

Smashwords Interview

You're a science fiction writer. Why did you write "Marvey's Monkeys"?
I wrote "Marvey's ’Monkeys" to capture the essence of my time as a behavior teacher at Sarasota Florida's Oak Park School. It's drawn from life and if anything is understated. Written as an autobiography it wouldn't have been believed. I wrote it for my students, who can't speak for themselves. I wrote it as the pseudonymous JJ Jolly while teaching so as not to get fired until I was ready to be fired.
Before Oak Park School, I worked at Harvard. "Monkeys" is the first part of a novel in progress that’s done in first draft and is finally slipping out of stasis.
Oak Park School’s long served as affluent Sarasota warehouse for kids it deems troublemakers, which Sarasota then recasts as Special Needs students. It’s a form of social control that has nothing to do with education and everything to do with racism and class prejudice. My rare student like Dee was an outlier, exiled from an upscale school like Rialto High after a lifetime’s abuse, burning with a cold rage and sustained by an unyielding personal integrity. And drop-dead brilliant.
It was a horrible job, that 9 year teaching job. And the best job I ever had—took down some sadistic staff, outed Sarasota’s institutional racism and saved a kid’s life. Which he then turned around. You can’t do that at Harvard.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Stephen Ames Berry online

Twitter: @writerredux

Books

Crazy Boy: Marvey's Monkeys
Price: Free! Words: 10,080. Language: American English. Published: June 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues, Fiction » Coming of age
Brilliant, angry Dee is wealthy Rialto’s demon child, a fallen angel still surprisingly walking the earth at 18—this despite a mother who connives for his destruction and a school that treats him as an escaped Ebola virus. One bright morning Dee is again betrayed, and his years of abuse, addiction and psychosis become a chisel of cold white rage that metes out an exquisite revenge on his betrayer.

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