Computers and Spies

It should come as no surprise that I'm a Nick Temple fan. After all, I created the guy. He is what I made him, and I made him someone I like. I hope others feel the same way. I first started writing snippets of  Nick Temple stories back in the early 1980s when I was stationed in Berlin listening in on what the Soviet Army was doing. (By the way, they spent most of their time demonstrating their collective incompetence.) I'd write a couple of action-packed paragraphs, share them with my colleagues, have some laughs, and forget about them. They were all written in the present, 1985 at the time. Nick was driving fast cars, wearing expensive watches, and dazzling beautiful women. Pretty standard stuff. When I came back to the character more than 25 years later, rather than writing stories in the present I decided to send Nick back to the 1950s. While there are characters like Nick Temple fictionally operating in the present, an era which seems dominated by ridiculously powerful computers, satellites, and all manner of flying craft, my choice reflected a desire to create a character who has to rely on his training, wits, and strength; a character who can't ask some supercomputer to identify the villain from a digital image taken by a satellite that just happens to take pictures of damn near everything everywhere; a character who can't fall back on some fictitious database that contains all of the information he happens to need for victory. You'll see some gadgets in the Nick Temple files, but more than anything else you'll see men and women battling each other on a human level. And it should also come as no surprise that Nick usually fares pretty well in those contests.