Born September 8, 1945, Peter Loughlin Patrick Richard Manly was, as fellow writer Michael McCollum says, “raised in the American Midwest in the tradition of Tom Sawyer.” Following his graduation from Syracuse University with a degree in Physics, he served in the U.S. Air Force, flying missions in Vietnam and as a research officer, working on the Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) satellite tracking telescope program. He retired with the rank of Captain. This was followed by tours with NASA, where he worked on the Gerard P. Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which supported research in infrared astronomy, and then with various aerospace contractors.
He was an avid pilot, who flew in over 140 different types of aircraft, from ultralights to jumbo jets, including supersonic types and has a "9 G" pin in the F-16D Falcon. He also worked on restoring antique airplanes and flew WW II fighters in his spare time. At night, he was often found at the telescope, much to the annoyance of his neighbors.
Manly wrote science fiction, fantasy and hard science. His science work includes The 20-cm Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope (1994) and Unusual Telescopes (1995), as well as shorter pieces in magazines like Astronomy and New Scientist, including collaborations with David Burstein and fellow SCAdian Rick Cook (Count Sir Richard Ironsteed).
His two novels were entitled Asterisms (1999) and Dragon 329er (1999) and his shorter works, including collaborations with Rick Cook and Joe Lazzaro, appeared in magazines like Analog: Science Fiction/Science Fact.
In the SCA, he teamed up with Lord Daniel de la Neuclaire to build two (1988, 1998) fully functional replicas of Galileo’s first working telescope, one of which is on display at the Flandrau Planetarium in Tucson, AZ. For more information on the telescope, go to http://arts.atenveldt.com/Portals/arts/Newsletters/jul2001special.pdf. He also built wooden mugs that had red and green LED lights in the handle, with a fuel gauge inside, that would let you know when your mug needed a refill, which were great fun at wars, conventions and parties!