About Peter J Wacks
Starting at age four, Peter showed advanced aptitudes for chess, the violin, Judo, and was cast in background and minor roles in several movies. For his own enjoyment, he began writing his first short stories. By the age of eight, he loved to read Plato and was staying every summer with his grandfather, a world-traveling nuclear physicist active in the International Atomic Energy Agency—travels that help him quickly gain fluency in German, Dutch, and Danish.
He felt the pressure placed on many gifted children to apply himself to the hard sciences, but his grandfather worked hard to shield him from that. He advised him early on to pursue his passion as a writer and not let what other people believe he should do drive his decisions. When early mastery of planar calculus had him on track to be in college by fifteen, it was his grandfather who insisted he pursue his creative interests in high school with other high schoolers and let college wait. His grandfather passed on, but, to this day, one of Peter’s greatest pleasures is sitting down at his grandfather’s desk to write.
Peter’s first publication came in high school (1992) and he was a top ten honorable mention for the NCTE award (1993). Among many interests, he competed on the school chess team, even besting a grandmaster in non-tournament play.
As he grew older, his summers with his grandfather allowed him to travel extensively across Europe, adding the Romance languages to his communication toolkit, and treasure hunting in the hidden alleys and walkways that would lead him to book stores. He formally studied creative writing at the University of Arizona for a short time, but soon set out to build his own path. During this time, Peter won numerous writing competitions and was regularly having his short fiction accepted for publication.
But Peter was never just a writer. He also delighted in role playing games, video games, and collectible card games. He competed in numerous Magic the Gathering tournaments through 1995, always finishing in the top three with his own idiosyncratic deck builds. On Puzzle Pirates, an early massively multiplayer online game, his zanered character drove legendary exploits, including a player driven effort to work with the game staff to redesign part of the game (the Cnossos Restoration Project.)
Stand-out, dominating strategies in game play brought him into the world of game design itself. In 2003, Cyberpunk CCG, a table top collectible card game designed by Peter, was an instant hit upon release. Games Quarterly, Inquest, and Scrye magazine published articles on Peter, some based on his approach to marketing in the games and hobby industry and others about the game itself.
His recent history includes rebuilding and rebranding Wordfire Press from a small independent press with only seventeen books in print to one of Publisher’s Weekly top 50 science fiction presses globally. He also retooled the marketing strategy for the Writers of the Future Awards anthology in its 31st year, shepherding the series into its first year earning the title national bestseller (Volume 31).
Peter continues to write novels, graphic novels, and short stories, including a recent alternate history fantasy novel release published by Baen: Caller of Lightning.
Right now he is restoring a 1964 Corvette Stingray, working on 5 new novels, producing his first album, and building 2 new games. His primary focus is on the launch of the world’s first player driven hybrid NFT/Physical Trading Card Game.