Today we have a guest post from Erato author Jules Jones. Take it away, Jules...
Alan Turing would have been 100 today. It is, rightfully, being covered in depth by the media. In a very real sense, he created the world we live in. And not just once, but twice over. His work on code-breaking shortened the Second World War by as much as two years, may well have been an essential element in who won. His mathematical work both before and after the war is one of the main foundation stones of modern computing. His life was the stuff of legend, as was his death from cyanide, a half-eaten apple by his side.
And he was only forty one when he died.
Perhaps he'd reached the end of his creative period, and there would have been no more of the world-changing work. But we never had the chance to find out. Because Alan Turing was homosexual and unashamed, in a time when he could be and was prosecuted for it. His sentence was a choice of prison or submitting to a chemical castration "cure". His real sentence was the resulting loss of his security clearance, and thus access to much of his work. Two years later he was dead, in circumstances that were declared suicide, but could well have been an accident, or even murder.
"No man is an island... Each man's death diminishes me." The truth of Donne's words is starkly shown by Turing's life and death. We owe him so much, and are diminished by his early death.
At least now he has the recognition he deserves for his wartime work, across a network of machines that ultimately spring from his peacetime work. The last line of the official apology from the Prime Minister in 2009 says it all: "We're sorry, you deserved so much better."
Jules Jones is a materials scientist, whose publications from the day job are probably of interest to at least three people. On the "write what you know" principle, much of her erotic romance is science fiction and fantasy. Jules has had short stories published in Clean Sheets, Fishnet, Suspect Thoughts and Ultimate Gay Erotica, and several novels and novellas published by Loose Id. Her next publication will be "And If I Offered Thee A Bargain", to be published by Erato in September 2012.
You can find Jules online at http://www.julesjones.com