Larry Allen Heberlein was born in Denver, Colorado,
on July 24, 1951. His father, Richard Paul Heberlein, was the seventh son
of a German ("Volga Deutsch") homesteader in Eastern Colorado.
L.A.'s mother was born Marjorie Allen, to a third-generation Colorado
family long established on the land where L.A. grew up, on Coal Mine
L.A. was a thin, frail-appearing youth perpetually
suffering from allergies, unathletic and bookish. He spent his grade
school years in the country, and then without moving found himself in the
suburbs by junior high. He attended the University of Denver on a
Boettcher Foundation scholarship, receiving an honors English B.A. in
1973, then the University of Colorado where he received an English M.A. in
1975. He never finished the dissertation for the Ph.D.
After teaching college English for seven years, first
at the University of Colorado, then in a series of community colleges,
Heberlein took a job in software.
He became fascinated with the internals of computers and spent eighteen
years as a programmer, ending up, through an odd series of chance events,
as the president of his own software company. Since selling that
company in 2000, he has been working as a writer.
Heberlein moved to Seattle, Washington in 1978, and
except for about five years in the late 1980's when he moved repeatedly
across the continent to retain contact with his young daughter, has
remained there ever since. He now lives on Phinney Ridge, near the
Seattle Zoo, with his wife since 1991, the painter Gillian Theobald.