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Rebecca Moesta (Anderson) was born Rebecca Sue Moesta on November 17, 1956, in Heidelberg, West Germany, to American parents. Shortly thereafter, her family moved to Darmstadt, where her father taught theology at a small seminary. Just before Rebecca's sixth birthday the family moved back to the United States and settled in Pasadena, California. She lived in Pasadena for the next seventeen years while she attended grade school, junior high, high school, and college.
The fourth of five children (she has an older brother, two older sisters, and a younger brother) Rebecca began reading fantasy from the moment she could read. As early as second grade she remembers being an avid reader—even after bedtime, when she would often sneak a book under the covers and read it, one line at a time, by the dim light of her electric blanket controls.
Rebecca's love of science fiction was influenced greatly by her father, a high school English teacher who holds advanced degrees in both English and theology. Rebecca also credits Mrs. Whitaker, the children's librarian at her public library, for steering her toward the types of books she enjoyed. By the time she was ten, Rebecca had already integrated science fiction into her reading diet. Rebecca's mother, a nurse and a pragmatist, felt it her duty to introduce some reality into her daughter's life by sneaking biographies, adventures, and the occasional spy novel onto her reading stack. Though Rebecca fell hook, line, and sinker for these subversive tactics, she by no means abandoned her first love of fantasy and science fiction. She struck back by reading aloud from the works of George McDonald, C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, and others to her sisters, brothers, mother, father, grandmother, friends, dog—anyone who would sit still long enough to listen.
Starting in her early teens, Rebecca dreamed of writing her own books, plotted them in her head, and gave them titles. On Saturday mornings, Rebecca and her sister Diane watched every sword, sandal, and sorcery movie ever made. And, whenever a new science fiction movie or television show debuted, Rebecca and her father were there to watch it. She was a Star Trek fan from day one.
Rebecca was not a Star Wars fan from day one. She was, however, a fan from day two. She was in college and looking forward to a summer break when her younger brother told her about a fantastic new science fiction movie she just had to go and see. She wasn't completely convinced at first‹since her brother's tastes ran to movies like Godzilla and Rodan, but when a group of her friends from Caltech suggested seeing Star Wars the day after it opened, she willingly agreed. When she and six of her techer friends, arrived at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood that evening and camped out for three hours in line, they had no idea what they were about to see. Fortunately, it proved to be worth the wait. Her love for the movie was instant and enduring.
Throughout her college days, Rebecca managed the offices at a small electronics company in Southern California. This, along with her friendships with techers, her love of science fiction, and a lifelong association with her father, sealed her fate: Rebecca became the founding member and faithful adherent of a philosophical system of beliefs she calls Gadgetology. The devout Gadgetologist sums up her belief system as follows: If anything—be it electric, abstract, electronic, mental, or mechanical—is the newest, the latest, the greatest, the best, I will undoubtedly want one; indeed, I must eventually have one. After Rebecca graduated with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from Cal State LA, she married one of her many beaus from Caltech and for the next eleven years became Rebecca Moesta Cowan.
In 1981, Rebecca and her first husband moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where he entered the PhD program in nuclear physics at Yale University. After one year, the couple transferred to Darmstadt, and lived in Germany until 1987 during the graduate research and dissertation phases of his doctoral studies.
While living once again in West Germany, Rebecca took graduate courses with Boston University and earned a Masters of Science degree in Business Administration. She spent the next couple of years teaching courses in math and business management for noncommissioned officers (NCOs) in the Army. During this time she became pregnant with her first and only child, Jonathan, who was born in Wiesbaden. A month later the family returned to the United States and, two months after that, settled in Livermore, California.
In 1989 Rebecca took a position at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a proof reader and copy editor. There she formed a science fiction club. She met Kevin J. Anderson when her club asked him to be a guest speaker at one of their weekly meetings. She later worked as his copy editor on several technical documents. After Rebecca's split from her first husband in 1990, Kevin and Rebecca began dating. They married on September 14, 1991.