Maxwell Pearl is a software developer, writer, and contemplative who lives in Northern California. Max received his B.A. in Natural Science and Mathematics from Bennington College, and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Case Western Reserve University. Max taught at Hampshire College from 1989 through 1999, as Assistant and Associate Professor of Biology. He has been an HIV/AIDS educator and advocate. He is currently an independent software developer, mostly in the nonprofit space, and has been doing that work since 1995.
Max has written scientific and technical articles, published six novels, and his poetry has appeared in two anthologies (most published under his previous name, Michelle Murrain.) Max has been writing science fiction since 2006, and has been an avid reader and fan of science fiction since he started to read. Since he has been both a scientist and a technologist by trade, and as a polymath, his interests span a wide range of topics, including science, technology, history, culture, politics, race, gender, sexuality, philosophy, spirituality, and religion. He brings all of these to bear in his science fiction writing, which has strong elements of exploration of all of these topics. He specializes in stories of culture clash and/or first contact, and has numerous strong female protagonists and characters. Max has a philosophical approach to publishing his work – everything is licensed via Creative Commons – freely sharable and modifiable.
Max is a long-time practitioner of contemplative spirituality, both in Buddhist and Christian traditions, and has a deep interest in contemplative and healing rituals and practices from all traditions. He has a Certificate of Theological Studies from Pacific School of Religion. Max sometimes teaches contemplative practices such as Lectio Devina, Metta meditation, and others.