Bio: Jeff Hecht is a veteran science and technology writer who sometimes ventures into the world of short science fiction. Often his inspiration comes from science stories he covers, such as the causes of mass extinctions (see "Extinction Theory"), global warming (see "The Greenhouse Papers"), prehistoric mysteries (see "The Rumor of the Ruined City") or the hunt for dangerous asteroids (see "Rehearsals for Retirement"). He approaches some topics with tongue firmly in cheek (see "A Life of Its Own," "By the Lake," "Squirrels," and "Engineering Reality"), and has contributed to Analog's "Probability Zero" column. And once in a while he has some weird ideas, and writes stories like "The Saucer Man," "The Crystal Highway," "The Number of the Beast," "Draft Dodger's Rag," and "Aunt Horrible's Last Visit."
In the world of nonfiction, Hecht is a correspondent for New Scientist magazine and a contributing editor to Laser Focus World. He has written eleven books on science, technology, and the history of technology. The most recent, Beam: The Race to Make the Laser, is just out from Oxford University Press. Others include Understanding Fiber Optics, Understanding Lasers, and City of Light: The Story of Fiber Optics.
Hecht graduated from Caltech with a degree in electronic engineering, and worked as a tax preparer and data technician before turning to writing. His first writing job was computer manuals, but he quickly escaped that to work for a laser magazine, which was much more fun. He lives in the Boston area where has been a full-time freelance science writer for over 20 years.