Barbara  Friend Ish

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After earning a B.A. in English from Rice U., I divided my time among instructional design and other communication methodologies, assisting groups of entrepreneurs in high-tech (notably computing) industries with refining and communicating their visions, and exploring story development and publishing. I've been riding the rollercoaster of start-up businesses (not all of them mine, thank goodness) since the 80s and never developed the sense to go get a real job. Along the way my husband and I raised the two most brilliant and beautiful children in history. No really.

In 2007 I founded Mercury Retrograde Press, a small press with a wild gleam in its eye that publishes fantasy, science fiction and interstitial fiction with a literary edge. Curation and emerging technologies are my two most consuming responsibilities. My debut novel (published this year) has been nominated for next year's Compton Crook Award. I'm getting obsessed with alternate and collaborative storytelling methods, notably alternate-reality gaming, and I want to make it possible for writers whose work we publish to create stories too big to fit inside books, to take their stories into places their audience doesn't even know they want them yet. I'm trying to learn to spend part of each day unplugged. And my cats are hopelessly spoiled.

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