Paul McAuley

A Brief Biography

Paul McAuley imageI've been writing fiction since the age of fifteen, when I borrowed my neighbour's typewriter and banged out half a science-fiction novel set on Mars. I finished two more novels, both unpublishable and both long since lost, and wrote several stories, also unpublished (although one was bought by a magazine, Worlds of If, that almost immediately ceased publication - my story wasn't published, and I wasn't paid. So it goes). Meanwhile, I was studying for a  a B.Sc in Botany and Zoology at Bristol University. After I graduated, I completed a Ph.D on plant-animal symbioses, and worked as a researcher in various universities, including Oxford and the University of California Los Angeles, before becoming a lecturer in Botany at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. I slowly realised that I had progressed as far as I could in the academic world, and in 1996 I dropped out to become a full-time writer. By then I had published six novels, including Fairyland, which won the Arthur C. Clarke and John W. Campbell Awards. One of the reasons for giving up the day job was that it was getting harder and harder to find time to write and to think about writing. I've been labelled as a writer of 'hard science fiction', and my scientific background has certainly informed my writing. But then, I've always been curious about how the world works, and the way in which technology has changed it in the past, is changing right now, and may change it in the future. And while I remain hugely interested in science fiction and its vast and strange canvases, I have also written a good number of stories in the horror genre, as well as thrillers and a police procedural thriller.

I've now published twenty novels and more than eighty short stories, co-edited an anthology, and written a Doctor Who novella and a BFI Film Classic on Terry Gilliam's film Brazil. I'm still a huge science junky, but I'm happy to observe from the sidelines, only occasionally miss my laboratory, and have been lucky enough to participate in science workshops whose topics have ranged from neurobiology to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. I wrote a regular book review column in Interzone magazine back in the 1990s, and have written book and film reviews, and pieces of journalism, for a variety of publications, including the Guardian and Independent newspapers, Crime Time, Arc magazine, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Currently, I'm working on my twenty-first novel, Into Everywhere, which is scheduled to be published in 2016. I live in North London with my partner, surrounded by books and occasionally haunted by a cat.

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