Robert Campbell hails from the east coast of Canada and is currently living in Toronto. An early love of astronomy and technology led him to a career in software engineering. After 20 years in aerospace, government and open source, he has written his first science fiction novel.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I like reading on my Kindle Paperwhite as a pure reading device. The e-ink display is comfortable and works well in low-light. I have a lot of devices and read on all of them, including my laptop – anything with a screen, though most of them are too distracting to read anything serious. Airplane mode should be renamed to "get off the internet". iPads have great displays and font rendering and are pretty comfortable. My Android phone is fine on the go and sort of utilitarian. But really, you can't beat good ol' books for comfort.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in small-towns in the east coast of Canada. Pre-internet, so I really had to work to get a hold of books about science or computers. Magazine shops with copies of Astronomy and libraries were havens for me. There was also this great comic shop I used to hang out in. I probably spent most of my allowance there for a few years. That stuff's all gone now, of course, replaced by Tim Hortonses and Starbuckses. The magazine shop did reopen though a few years ago.
I think it's given me an appreciation for the incredible access we have to knowledge with resources like Wikipedia and the Internet Archive, and of course digital books delivered right to your device. In a way it makes research too easy, though. You can go to any page, find the References section and come out with a really solid list of further reading. It's ridiculous.