Home » Interviews » At school I was known as Professor says Tony Thorne

At school I was known as Professor says Tony Thorne

Tony Thorne

Tony Thorne

Whatever you want to do in life … believe in it and never give up!


I’m an Englishman, born and technically educated in London, England, but now living in Austria and the Spanish Island of Tenerife. I originally qualified as a Chartered Design Engineer, specialising in Applied Physics products.  For developments in low temperature (cryo)surgery instrumentation, the Queen awarded me an MBE.

Earlier in life I  wrote and sold science-fiction and humorous stories, plus technical papers and articles about cryosurgery instrumentation, nuclear protection equipment, very high temperature furnaces and microbiological analysis equipment.

I now write speculative short fiction, and have over 100 stories on file.  My latest collection, TENERIFE Tall Tales, the first of three volumes, has an introduction by the legendary SF author, Harry Harrison … and was the SF category winner in the 2009 New York Beach Book Festival Contest.

My Interview – My Life

Q: Welcome to Speakbindas.com. Let’s start with your childhood. Where were you born and raised? Any fond memories from your childhood that you cherish even today?

  • I began life, as we know it, in Brentford, London, England.

Q: As a child, you carried any special talent or art?

  • I was good at telling stories, to my two brothers and sister.

Q: What nickname/s you have/had so far?

  • At school I was known as ‘Professor’

Q: What education you acquired? How was it in sense of troubles? Whether you could complete the same easy way or faced the financial issues? If yes, how you overcame the same?

  • In the Army I was awarded a two year scholarship to The London College of Technology and this led to an M.I.Mech.E and an M.I.Nuc.E.

Q: Who was/were your best friend/s during your school/highschool times?  Are you still in touch with them?

  • I’m afraid I’ve lost touch with them.

Q: What was your favorite subject of study?

  • Mathematics

Q: What was your favorite sport?

  • Cross Country Running.

Q: Any teacher that you still remember as particularly influential?

  • Afraid not.

Q: What was the first job/profession/business you started working for after completing your education?

  • Design Engineer, Standard Telephones & Cables, London.

Q: Are you popular in your friend circle or say your community for some art /specialty/talent you have? If yes, tell us about it.

  • Frustrated Stand-up Comedian, but reasonably okay nowadays with my performance satirical poetry.

Q: In addition to being paid money, how else has your career created value in your life?

  • It’s taught me humility and how to get on with people.

Q: What is your most significant accomplishments as a professional/businessman/employee?

  • Responsible for the development of cryosurgical instrumentation and very high temperature furnaces for nuclear and carbon fibre applications.
Tony Thorne

Tony Thorne

Q: What does the word “family” mean to you? Who are in your family? Tell us about your family life.

  • I’ve been married for 25 years to my second wife. My first wife tragically died young, and I have two daughters by her, both well and thriving. I also have two brothers and a sister … all younger than I am and still alive.

Q: According to you what should be the role of a man and a woman in family life?

  • Absolutely equal, and sharing, in every way possible

Q: What is your definition of “happiness”?

  • Contentment, and ready to accept adequacy if perfection is unobtainable.

Q: What is your most memorable travel experience?

  • Going around the world twice, once returning from the USA via Concorde.

Q: If you were re-born as an animal, what would you want to be?

  • That’s an impossibly irrelevant question.

Q: Do you think life in villages or small towns is more peaceful than in big cities?

  • Definitely yes.

Q: Do you believe in God? Do you believe in rebirth?

  • Definitely not.

Q: Are you happy with present system of education? What changes you aspire to see in it?

  • I’m not familiar with what they get up to nowadays, but I’m sure it should be more scientifically oriented.

Q: What do you think about corruption amongst politicians/bureaucrats?

  • It should be stamped out … but that’s unlikely.

Q: What are your hobbies?

  • Writing, reading, theatre and cinema.

Q: What do you read? In other words, are you into reading? If yes, share your favorite books.

  • Science Fiction mostly … Harry Harrison, Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Baxter, Larry Niven etc. etc.

Q: What was the happiest moment of your life?

  • Too many to decide on one in particular. I’ve been fortunate. Perhaps when I met the Queen, had a chat, and she pinned an MBE medal on me.

Q: What was the gloomiest moment of your life?

  • To be told I had cancer … but I’m cured now … (see my previous answer!)

Q: Say, you are sponsored to travel to 3 world destinations, where you need not to worry about costs for food, hotel or anything. Which destinations would you pick up, and why? Would you like to take someone along with you? If yes, whom?

  • I’ve enjoyed visiting many places in the world, especially Singapore, Bankok and San Francisco, but my wife has never been to those places, so I’d love to take her.

Q: Are you into watching movies? If yes, which fills your list of favorites ones?

  • Definitely, anything SF or fantasy …I enjoyed Big Arnie immensely.

Q: What are some words or phrases you use most?

  • Never mind (often), Worse things happen in space, It takes two …!

Q: What image about you, do you want to create in other people’s mind?

  • I want to be recognized as an easy going, creative writer of entertaining speculative fiction.

Q: What would be the one thing you would change about yourself?

  • My age … younger would be useful

Q: What is your deepest fear?

  • Going before I’m ready.

Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

  • My father, who died several years ago now.

Q: What’s your favorite food?

  • BBQ Spareribs with French Fries, followed by Ice Cream

Q: What’s your take on the technological advancement these days? Does it make people’s life simple or complicated?

  • More complicated and I worry about where it’s headed.

Q: What’s your overall perception of life?

  • It’s worth hanging on to as long as possible … if only to see what happens next!

Q: Any special message you would like to share with people you know as well everyone else? This question is question-less question. That means, if you have something inside you that you really wish to tell but couldn’t be covered in above questions, you can share it ALL here.

  • Whatever you want to do in life … believe in it and never give up!


Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

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