Return to Atlantis

A lot of developers my age who grew up in the states probably, like me, grew up with the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books of R.A. Montgomery. As I learned how to program games using BASIC, Mr. Montgomery's special blend of mind-expanding interactive fiction made a priceless impression on my youthful mind and found their way into my first subjects for games. Programming languages seemed like an obvious choice for expressing forking paths, multiple realities, and imaginative expression.

When I learned this weekend that R.A. Montgomery had passed on last week, it was a sad moment. Later that same day, I happened to be with my son at the local public library. He happened to pick out a copy of Mr. Montgomery's "Return to Atlantis". It happened to be slightly damaged (a couple of pages were falling out). The librarian happened to notice this.

As the librarian checked out the other books that my son had chosen, he picked up a black marker and scribbled through the library bar-code on "Return to Atlantis". He handed it to us with a smile, and said not to worry about it. And just like that, a few days after it's author had passed on, a book found a new home.

I want to keep in touch with this kind of inspiration. Even as I work with programming languages to fulfill the business and editorial needs of the digital publishing world, I think it is vital to keep the play and imagination that R.A. Montgomery's books ignited in a young programmer's mind ever present, and remember that every forking path is the key to endless adventure.