"Mark Phillips" is, or are, two writers: Randall Garrett and Laurence M.
Janifer. Their joint pen-name, derived from their middle names (Philip
and Mark), was coined soon after their original meeting, at a science-fic-
tion convention. Both men were drunk at the time, which explains a
good deal, and only one has ever sobered up. A matter for constant con-
tention between the collaborators is which one.
They have been collaborating for some time now, and have devised an
interesting method of work: Mr. Garrett handles the verbs, the adverbs
and the interjections, Mr. Janifer the nouns, pronouns, and adjectives.
Conjunctions are a matter of joint decision, and in the case of a tie, the
entire game is replayed at Fenway Park, Boston, early in the following
BRAIN TWISTER was fifteen years in the making, of which time three
days were spent in the actual writing. When the book was finished, both
authors relaxed in the mutual pleasure of nervous breakdowns, from
which it is not certain that either has ever recovered.
Mr. Garrett is a large, roundish fellow with a beard. He wears
flowered vests and always carries a small talisman which no one has
ever seen. Mr. Janifer is a somewhat shorter and thinner type, with a
shorter and thinner beard. His vests are in solid colors, he wears horn-
rimmed glasses because he has always done so, and he is never found
without a souvenir subway token from the City of New York.
The personal lives of the authors differ widely. Mr. Garrett's hobbies,
for instance, include such sports as close-order drill and river pollution.
Mr. Janifer, a less active type, prefers sedentary games such as humming
Mr. Garrett is engaged to an exotically beautiful creature, and the two
plan to be married as soon as they run out of excuses. Mr. Janifer, on the
other hand, is fascinated by women, and hopes some day to meet one.