Raised on a ramshackle ranch at the edge of a state park in southern New England, Jon Waskan (1969- ) quickly learned to ride horses, chop wood, and root for the Sox. His father tried to teach him that there are no short-cuts in life and no easy money, but the lesson refused to take until Jon made a graceless exit from an Arizona flight school and set off on his own to Atlanta. There he nurtured the dual ambitions of becoming a philosophy professor and writing thrilling science fiction, though in a fit of jealousy the former ambition drove the latter from the nest, whereupon it was presumed dead ... until recently. Now it's back. And it's pissed. Even so, Jon continues to serve as a professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he regularly publishes with top journals in philosophy and cognitive science. His research monograph, "Models and Cognition" (MIT), was called "beautifully written" by Choice Reviews on the way to earning Outstanding Book honors. Jon's research concerns artificial intelligence and computational modeling, topics central to the narrative of his debut fiction offering, "Cold Trap."