Michael A. Banks
Michael A. Banks (born 1951) is a writer and editor of science fiction and non-fiction. In the science fiction field he is perhaps best known for nonfiction works about the genre (including "Understanding Science Fiction," 1980) and collaborations with Mack Reynolds. Banks has several other novels to his credit, (including The Odysseus Solution, with Dean R. Lambe), and has been a frequent contributor to Analog, Asimov's SF, and other publications.
A former columnist for Windows Magazine and Computer Shopper, Banks was early on the scene as an Internet journalist, documenting the growth of online services and, later, the Internet and Web from the early 1980s onward. His The Modem Reference (Brady/Simon & Schuster) was a standard guide to the online world throughout the 1980s, selling more than 200,000 copies.
Banks explored Internet crime and computer privacy with books such as Web Psychos, Stalkers and Pranksters (Coriolis) and PC Confidential (Sybex).
He also served as a freelance acquisitions editor for Baen Books, and associate editor for Baen's quarterly "book-a-zine," New Destinies, in the 1980s.
Banks has lately turned to the biography field, writing about noted aviators, inventors, and other figures for magazines. A recent book, CROSLEY: is the story of inventor Powel Crosley, Jr., whose low-cost radios touched off the broadacsting industry in 1921. (Crosley also founded WLW, the world's most powerful radio station, built the Crosley automobile and Moonbeam aircraft, and was involved in a number of other high-tech ventures during the first half of the 20th Century.)
Banks more recently wrote On the Way to the Web: The Secret History of the Internet (APress, 2008), Before Oprah: Ruth Lyons, the Woman Who Created Talk TV (Orange Frazer, 2009). On the Way to the Web carries special appeal in that it tells the complete story of what was happening online before the Web—including the histories of Videotex and online services such as CompuServe, The Source, PlayNET, AOL, Q-Link, Viewdata, Prestel,
His most recent book. Crosley and Crosley Motors (Iconografix, 2012) presents the real history of the Crosley automobile, and biographical details of Powel Crosley. Many previously unpublished photos and details about the man and the car unavailable elsewhere round out the story of the car, America's first compact.
- The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, pages 88–89
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