Si Peace

Si Peace works in mergers and acquisitions for a multinational technology and services conglomerate, modelling the profit streams of biotechnology companies in order to ensure the efficient allocation of capital across Planet Earth’s medical research infrastructure.

He holds a Master of Business Administration from the Judge Business School at Cambridge University.

Si was the first to grasp the extent of my plot to articulate a new internal narrative for the human race. He has since done everything within his considerable powers to ensure that plot was driven through – definitively demonstrating, along the way, that reviewing a book requires so much more than simply the ability to read. His intellectual influence on my work has been second to none.

Because he was on-board during the project’s formative stages, Si’s ideas have heavily influenced the book’s structure and pacing (or, to use his phrase: “internal hunger creation”). He has reviewed the manuscript more extensively, and in more detail, than anybody else – some sections of it eight times. His thoughts have helped shape the elements dealing with: how humans relate to the universe; how they relate to the rest of the Earth’s ecosphere; how they organise planetary logistical systems; and how their internal power structures evolve over time. He was fairly opinionated about my sex life too.

While an enthusiastic supporter from the beginning, as the quality of my copy improved throughout the drafting process, Si’s standards rose relentlessly in tandem with it. By late 2009, his pedantry had reached absurd levels of overkill – leading to long, heated exchanges (often over minor technical or stylistic points) as he fought to ensure that the finished product was constructed to the highest standards. These exchanges took the form of one-on-one conference calls, both of us having booked meeting rooms at lunchtime in order to argue with each other over the phone.

That was the closing phase in a two-and-a-half-year ebb and flow of feedback and discussion between us. Between July 2007 and early 2010, we had 23 book-related phone calls which added up to three days on the phone, along with four dedicated 48-hour, face-to-face meetings. All this culminated with a final 12-hour coffee and review session in January 2010, during which we picked over the polished drafts of chapters nine and ten (and then smoked cigars).

Despite grasping the book’s scope early on, Si has pushed me on the detail and mechanics of my thesis more than anyone else: cross referencing ideas to ensure internal consistency and drilling down into my fact-base on matters from ancient history to social anthropology, to ensure that all the words in The Jolly Pilgrim were exactly the right ones.

If that enormous two-and-a-half-year cerebral injection wasn’t enough, Si also stepped in at the end of 2008, when lawyers threatened to add new dimensions of faff to my already jam-packed weekly timetable. Bringing expert legal and financial advice to bear, he saved me from a mountain of additional problems which would have added six months to the book-writing process and dangerous volumes of straw to the back of an overcrowded camel.

Si and his wife, Dr Savita Peace, live in a 12-room converted sixteenth-century barn in Hertfordshire. His hobbies include history, hill walking, international travel, mountain biking, Celtic art and occasionally throwing music festivals in his back garden. He drives a bright-orange Land Rover known as ‘the Beast’.

Si and Savita were pleased in 2011 to welcome a new member of their family, Neena Eden Peace was born on 12 June 2011, weighing 3 pounds and 15 ounces. Neena means ‘beautiful eyes’ in Sanskrit. She does have beautiful eyes. Simon loves talking about her.

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