John Allen Small - Biographical Information
I was born in 1963 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and grew up in the Bradley-Kankakee-Bourbonnais area of Illinois (about an hour south of Chicago); Bradley was my dad's home town and we moved there after he was discharged from the Air Force when I was a baby. I graduated from Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in 1981, over the next few years I worked a number of odd jobs and lived for brief periods of time in Texas and Athens, Greece, before coming home in the summer of 1985. I married my high school sweetheart Melissa in April of 1986, then finally started going to college full time the following year to obtain my journalism degree. I graduated from Olivet Nazarene University in May of 1991; our first son Joshua was born in June of that year, and in July we moved to Tishomingo where I took the job as reporter and columnist at the Johnston County Capital-Democrat, where I still work today as News Editor and still write a weekly column. Our younger son William was born here in 1996.
Thanks to my parents - both avid readers themselves - I learned to read at an earlier age than most of the kids I went to school with. Dad introduced me to his Edgar Rice Burroughs collection when I was in the third grade, and by the time I finished the fourth grade I'd read his entire collection. I was introduced to the character of Doc Savage shortly before my 12th birthday, and that led directly into my discovery of Phil Farmer when I found a copy of "Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life" shortly after my 12th birthday. Over the years I picked up all of Phil's books I could get my hands on, and because of my love of the ERB and Doc books was especially enamored of the Wold Newton concepts. I think it was back in the late 1990s when I first became aware of Win Eckert's WNU website and struck up a friendship with Win, which in turn led to my being invited to join his New Wold Newton Meteorics Society and having one of my essays included in Win's book "Myths For The Modern Age." My participation in that project enabled me to take part in a discussion of the book at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con, and to take part in the FarmerCon events in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
I also sneaked in a few WNU references in my own collection of Western short stories, "Days Gone By: Legends And Tales Of Sipokni West," which was first published in 2007 and can still be ordered through Amazon.com. I've also had several WNU and ERB-related essays and articles published at such websites as ERB-Zine, and contributed an essay about Doc Savage that was published in the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con program. I've also written and published articles and essays focusing on other aspects of pop culture, ranging from comic books and movies to music, and at some point plan to work on a book with the working title "An Opinionated Fan's Guide To Science Fiction Cinema."