Terofil Gizelbach

Born in Austin, Texas in 1962 to Terofil and Nadea Gizelbach, Terofil Alexander Gizelbach grew up in the politically-charged climate of the 1960’s. With a brother serving in the Vietnam conflict, and Parents and a Sister closely linked to social services and the University of Texas, it is only natural that young Terofil—or Terry, as he is known to his friends—should attend the University with an eye towards public affairs. Following a youth spent reading, drawing, swimming, playing (and generally doing anything but his homework), Terry somehow managed to squeak out his undergraduate degree from UT in 1988, majoring in History. He then went on to shock everyone he knew by graduating with a Master’s degree from the LBJ school of public affairs in 1992. While studying at the LBJ school, Terry volunteered for then U.S. Congressman J. J. “Jake” Pickle, and later served as the school’s congressional intern for the Congressman in Washington D.C., where he had the distinction of being the only cowboy boot-wearing intern to go the entire summer without a haircut. Prized memories of Terry’s service in our nation’s capital include starving on an intern’s salary and seeing the President’s dog, Millie, fertilize the White House lawn. Terry’s grades were steady, if unspectacular, and he graduated with honors, carrying just above a 3.0 average.

After school, Terry worked for the City of Austin where he ultimately reached the semi-lofty position of Grant Coordinator for the City, before he left for the City of Round Rock to serve as that City’s Budget Manager—all the while, yes, still wearing his boots. (He did have a few haircuts now and again, though.)

The writing bug came late to Terry, when after reading a Dashiell Hammett omnibus at age 28, he decided that he too “could write this stuff.”

He couldn’t of course, but just enough promise glinted through the copious amounts of dreck that he was encouraged to continue. Finally, after long years of writing on weekends and in the wee hours of the morning, outside interest in his writing led him to quit his semi-comfortable, and relatively high-paying job in Round Rock for the low pay, humiliation, and grinding hours of a free lance writer. Strangely, far from having regrets, Terry has embraced his new life—which, on occasion (along with the fact that he still wears a mustache), has led others to question his sanity.

Terry’s stories have, in general, been extremely well-reviewed (see reviews), and he has built a reputation for robot stories, one of which won an editor’s choice award and was nominated for the 2005 Fountain Award. His writing style has been compared to William Tenn, though secretly he longs to write in the style of Ray Bradbury and Stephan King, and with the productivity of Isaac Azimov. He specializes in frequently humorous Science Fiction short stories written in the “Golden-Age” style, with an emphasis more on politics, social issues, and characterization, and less on hard science.

Terry’s life-long love of art and juvenile fiction also drove him to complete a Children’s book, which he has illustrated with his paintings, some of which can be found on this website. A full length science fiction novel is also nearing completion, an excerpt of which can also be found on this site.

At present, Terry resides with his family and his mustache in Austin Texas, where he still wears cowboy boots and Hawaiian shirts, and drives a convertible Mustang.