Back to: Introducing: Karl Schroeder | Forward to: Lunch with the Astronaut

Introducing: John Meaney

First, the formal intro:

John Meaney is the author of ten SF novels — Paradox, Bone Song and Absorption among them — including one of the Daily Telegraph Books of the Year, and an Independent Publishers Novel of the Year. He has been shortlisted three times for the British Science Fiction Award.

In order to write full time, he lives in exile in a Welsh valley, surrounded by sheep.

His first degree was in physics and computer science, and he is belatedly completing graduate work at Oxford on a (very) part-time basis. His long IT career culminated in working as a trainer, often abroad, combining hard tech with applied psychology and stand-up comedy... making use of his training in hypnosis.

A black belt in shotokan karate and graduate of a world-famous dojo, Meaney has been training in martial arts for nearly four decades, and considers "thug" a compliment.

His heart melts at the sight of a cat, and for a bar of dark chocolate, he is anybody's.

And now the informal one:

John is one of the hidden treasures of the British SF field; while his books are available in the USA, he's best known over here. Aside from "Bone Song" and "Dark Blood" (published under different titles in the US — they're dark metropolitan fantasies with more than an echo of Walter Jon Williams' amazing Nebula-winning "Metropolitan" and "City on Fire" to them, if Dubjay had tackled necromancy rather than geomancy), he has a line in futuristic space-operatic thrillers infused with, well, his background: computer science, weird physics, and martial arts. If you like Charles Stross novels (subtypes: Laundry Files or Space Opera) you'll find something to like in John's work, and I'm really pleased to welcome him here for the next few weeks.



And for anybody who likes our host's fiction (and why else would you be here?), John Meaney's To Hold Infinity and its sequels are a must read.

He's also one of the few sf writers who look like they could break you in half with no sweat...


... The others I know of being Walter Jon Williams and John Barnes, off the top of my head. (They have similar black belt tendencies.) I think Steven Gould may be in that zone, too. (Nobody mention Jim MacDonald.)


30 years Shorinji Kempo...


I'm grey-haired and less tall than Harlan Ellison. Perfectly harmless...


Riiiiight ...

And Cheryl Morgan and Joe Abercrombie aren't still quaking after BristolCon 10.


Cool! I'm just finishing now the last book of the Nulapeiron sequence :D

I'm really enjoying your work, so I'm looking forward to your posts :)


Stephen Barnes is also Seriously Into Martial Arts (runs a Tai Chi class at OryCon on Sunday mornings. And should be forced by law to wear a fishnet shirt, but that's probably irrevelant).

Ahem. Waves hi.


Okay, Mr. Meaney, here's a question for you -- why in the name of little fishes are both you and Mr. Schroeder doing grad school? In your two bios, that was what leaped out at me, and I confess that that seems a very odd choice for a speculative fiction writer.


I have a quarter of a Ghirardelli dark chocolate bar here in my desk, but I don't think you'll get here soon enough to find it.


But you also have biceps the size of Harlan Ellison [1], or at least you did when I met you quite a few years ago at an Eastercon...

[1] I remember thinking "who's that body builder", but than the average Eastercon fan is either rail thin or to be found on the jolly [2] side of things. [2] Like me.


Cos it gets me out of the house? Cos I can?

For practical reasons: if I spend a few days a year teaching software engineering (last year I taught two 5-day courses) I like to know I'm more or less in touch with what's happening. As a freelancer, I don't have colleagues. Plus, credentialism is my friend if I need to pick up non-writing work in the future.

And cos it's fun, really. There's also something that amusing about hanging around the computer laboratory while there's a creative writing programme elsewhere in the university.

I'm rarely there, though. Just a couple of weeks a year.


Mr Applecrumble was Juliet McKenna's bendy toy. It was Jules who made him squeak and whimper.

All he and Cheryl did for me was hold that big padded shield. Like a pillow. All soft and cuddly.

I can't imagine why they've declined to do it again...


Steve Barnes was at LACon in '96 when I'd just received a fax telling me I'd sold my first two books. I recognized him (from a British Channel 4 documentary!) and Todd McCaffrey introduced us.

Steve gave me a hug.

Dubjay was behind the Asimov's desk at (I think) ConJose, and saw me and Lori Ann White comparing shotokan and shaolin forms by performing them at the edge of the huckster's room. When he tried to flog me a subscription, I said I'd buy one if he demonstrated some kempo.

So he did.

Two fine gentlemen!

I had a nice chat-with-armlocks in a bar with Joe Lansdale once, as well.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on July 20, 2011 12:14 PM.

Introducing: Karl Schroeder was the previous entry in this blog.

Lunch with the Astronaut is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Search this blog