All that science fiction led to doing actual science. I went to grad school at UT Dallas, intending to study general relativity and look for some sort of loophole so we could get to the stars.

Then I got pragmatic and switched to nonlinear optics so I would have a chance at getting a job upon getting my doctorate. This, thrilling work was the result:

Yes, I did truly unspeakable things to Maxwell's Equations, and used up many thousands of dollars of supercomputer time doing calculations which can now be run in moments on a modern home computer.

And I found out I didn't like doing nonlinear optics. Left academia altogether.