W.E. Bowman was an unassuming civil engineer who, though he enjoyed writing and wrote often, published little during his lifetime. He served in the RAF during the Second World War and from 1947 to 1950 worked for the International Voluntary Service helping to rebuild Germany. In 1950 he joined an engineering firm in London for which he designed bridges, power stations and other imposing structures, filling his evenings by writing. The Cruise of the Talking Fish (1957) was his only other published work.