Robert A. Vella, an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church Monastery, was born and raised on the San Francisco Peninsula to a family of Sicilian immigrants. After an honorable discharge from the U. S. Army in the telecommunications field, he attended college and received a degree in data processing. A lengthy computer programming and consulting career ensued, in addition to gaining considerable experience as a professional bartender. He is now semi-retired writing science fiction stories and non-fiction essays on current events. He is the author of the science fiction novel The Martian Patriarch, several short stories, and numerous articles.
As a young child, Robert was instinctively drawn to the art of storytelling especially when it contained a powerfully ethical message. Television programs, such as Bonanza, influenced him greatly. He was intrigued by the brave and honorable characters who risked so much to right a wrong or to uphold a valued principle. He was also fascinated by how effectively these shows explored the dark realm of human weaknesses, both from a causative and consequential perspective. This use of fiction, as a purposeful reflection of humanity, was forever ingrained into his psyche.
When Robert grew into preadolescence, he began telling little scary conjured-up tales to his younger siblings and saw how captivated they were. At this time, he also developed a serious attraction for science and technology. The two interests converged, and led him into the science fiction genre. He began reading the fanciful works of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Heinlein, and Bradbury. Enthralling as these were, it wasn't until the original Star Trek series aired in 1966 that Robert began writing his own material. That iconic television program was the catalyst because it placed science fiction solidly on a platform where it had only casually stood previously -- that being a strong sense of moral virtue.
The years passed, and the banality of adult life interrupted Robert's writing pursuits. But as all things usually come back full circle, he is now fulfilling this dream -- and loving every moment of it.