MICHAEL SCHUSTER lives in a picturesque Austrian mountain valley, with half a continent and one entire ocean between him and Steve Mollmann. A bank employee by day, he likes to come up with new (or at least relatively unused) ideas that can be turned into stories with loving care and the occasional nudge. With Steve, he is the co-author of two short stories in the anthology Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Sky's the Limit. Their first novel, The Tears of Eridanus, will be released as part of the collection Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Shattered Light this December. Currently, the two are hard at work building their own universe-sized sandbox to play in. More information about them (including annotations for The Future Begins) can be found at http://www.exploringtheuniverse.net/.