Michael W. Lucas
Plumbing the Depths of Lameness since 1967

Old site, no longer updated. You almost certainly want the new site.

Author Portrait.
Police artist sketch based upon eyewitness reports.
  • Personal
  • Why you shouldn't email me.
  • My blog, Facebook, etc.
  • Consulting
  • Nonexistent Books
  • Would you enjoy my books?
  • FAQ

    Assorted links:

  • News
  • My Resume
  • My Publishing Credits
  • Book Reviews
  • Now available:
    Network Flow Analysis.

    Order now!

    (Use coupon code ILUVMICHAEL
    for a 25% discount)

    The reviews are coming in, and they say:
    You need this book. You really do.


    My wife and I live near Detroit, Michigan. We have pet rats. I make my living as a network engineer and practice martial arts. You probably found this page because you read one of the books or articles I've written or because someone has suggested one of them to you.

    I am a senior engineer for Michigan Network Services in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

    Professionally, I use the name "Michael W. Lucas." Why? Well, there are several authors named "Michael Lucas" or "Mike Lucas." Most of them have written books that I haven't written, or are experts in fields that I know nothing about. I have no desire to be confused with them. The middle initial provides three bytes of differentiation (counting the surrounding whitespace, that is). Also, I also have no desire to be confused with the owner of michaellucas.com -- although I do find a certain irony in being an expert in something pronounced "eunuchs."

    Contacting me

    Before you reach out to me, please read Why I am a Bad Correspondent by the inimitable Neal Stephenson. As you read, strike out "novelist" and insert "author."

    You can email me at mwlucas at black helicopters dot org. But you probably shouldn't. I almost never answer email. Email from random readers sent to me frequently sits in my inbox for months before I consider answering it. I don't deliberately discard non-spam mail unread, but the phrase "Horrible Black Void" comes to mind.


  • Every word I put in an email is a word that isn't in a book.
  • Every email I write consumes my most valued resources: time and attention.
  • After spending all day working on computers and all evening writing books, the last thing I want to do is spend still more time in front of a blasted terminal.
  • I don't answer email from my own mother. Answering yours would hurt her feelings. You don't want me to do that, do you? (You say she wouldn't know. But she would. She would.)

    Please do not be offended by my failure to answer mail. Not answering your email is not a sign that I think you suck. It's a sign that I'm busy writing my next book.

    I'm very much aware that this is 21-st century heresy. I suggest that you get me banned from your favorite social networking site as punishment.

    My blog, Facebook, etc.

    You'll find my blog (such as it is) here.

    For years, people harrassed me to start a blog. I ignored them until they went away. Now that nobody's asked for one for years, I've decided to start one. This timing tells you everything you need to know about my character.

    If you're on Facebook, you can sign on as a fan. I'll announce anything of interest there, such as new books, progress on books, interesting reviews, etc. But eventually it'll just be a RSS feed from a blog category, once I figure out how to create said RSS feed.

    I try to preserve friends on my personal Facebook account to friends that I actually know. It's nothing against my readers, it's just that I'm interested in my meatspace friends and cannot possibly keep up if I friended everyone.

    Hiring Me to Consult

    People keep asking if I'm available to consult on some problem I've written on. It's true that it's nice to make a few extra bucks on the side. It's also true that I don't have the time to do extra jobs properly unless the compensation is sufficient to seize and hold my attention.

    I would rather write than consult. I discourage people from hiring me as a consultant as strongly as possible. If you absolutely, positively must have my time and attention, and nobody else will suffice, I will make a final, desperate attempt to discourage you by quoting an hourly rate I can only describe as "an obscene amount of money." I have extremely high standards for money -- and, come to think of it, for obscenity. I will bill you for travel time. I will bill you for time spent in the shower thinking about your problem. You have been warned.

    Nonexistent Books

    After Cisco Routers for the Desperate came out, I said several times in public that I would be writing a followup called LDAP for the Damned. This was a joke. Please do not ask me when L4tD is coming out, there is no such book. The damned aren't allowed hope, sorry.

    The number of people looking for this book really does astonish me, however. If you are one of the devils who use LDAP to inflict torment and terror, you should consider writing it.

    Would you enjoy my books?

    My reviews fall into two groups. One groups claims that my work is divinely inspired and should be made compulsory for preschoolers. The other group cannot understand why anyone would publish this unfiltered sewage. As far as I can tell, the differences come from my writing style.

    Many computer books are written in a dry, formal manner. I find that after reading a hundred pages or so, this dry text acts like sandpaper on my eyes. I imagine that many readers don't want to read these books either, but they need the information contained therein.

    I have a bachelor's degree in English, so my writing is frequently smoother than most technical books. I write my books in a looser, less formal style, with a sense of humor.

    If you enjoy reading books that make the Mojave look wet, you will not enjoy my work. As much as I'd like to claim you as a reader, I suggest you look elsewhere.

    The Thinly Disguised FAQ: A Typical Conversation between Me and Someone Over the Net

    By reading the below, you can probably save yourself the trouble of waiting for a reply email that will never arrive. If, of course, you have something different to say, please feel free to drop me a line! You probably won't get an answer, but if I hear it often enough, I'll add it to the list.

  • Them: You write good stuff.
    Me: Thank you, I appreciate it. It's awesome to know that my work helps other people. That thought is what keeps me going.

  • Them: What are you writing now?
    Me: Go look at the News page, or sign on as a fan on Facebook.

  • Them: When will your revise book X?
    Me: When I have sufficient time and attention. After the early announcement of my OpenBSD book resulted in several other publishers rushing their own OpenBSD books to print in an effort to be first to market, I no longer announce my writing schedule in advance.

  • Them: Will you write something on topic X?
    Me: Probably not. I can write one non-fiction book a year. I have a list of thirty-odd nonfiction books I want to write, plus revisions of existing ones.

  • Them: Are you available to speak about X at at event Y?
    Me: Unlikely, but possibly. It must be an event that interests me. I don't charge a speaking fee, but I do need expenses: lodging, food, and travel. I'm not going to fly to the middle of nowhere to talk at some group meeting unless I can break even on the thing.

  • Them:Can I have an account on blackhelicopters.org?
    Me:No. Blackhelicopters.org is my private playground and I make no guarantees about its uptime, downtime, or naptime.

  • Them: Do you believe in ghosts?
    Me: No.

  • Them: But you say elsewhere that you live in a haunted house!
    Me: That is correct. It is haunted. Exceedingly so.

  • Them: Will you write something about your haunted house?
    Me: No.

  • Them: But that's not fair!
    Me: Well, then, I guess it sucks to be you.

  • Them: What is your opinion on X?
    Me: My opinions are my own. I publish those that I believe are both coherent and well thought out. I will not defend an opinion in email unless I have argued cogently for it in print elsewhere. And that argument will have to stand on its own. While I might publish a followup at some point, I will not defend my writing.

    At this point, people generally give up and go away. And since I've had this conversation many times, that's just fine with me.

    copyright 2003-2009 Michael W Lucas Jr. All rights reserved