I was amused to note that the introduction to ‘The Thought War’ asserted that I was living in Scotland, a meme that’s proving rather difficult to eradicate. It’s true, I used to live in Scotland, but I moved to London when I quit my job, more than twelve years ago (the longest continuous period I’ve ever lived anywhere; I was born in Stroud and lived there for seventeen years, but spent one year in the middle of my childhood elsewhere). Again: gosh.
Author’s bios are odd little packages of information. Those of established writers generally list their bestselling novels and prizes they have won: proof of pedigree. Those of new authors often list previous jobs (the more exotic the better) to make them seem like a regular citizen of the world. Some attempt humour; a few even succeed. One of the best of the latter is Jonathan Lethem’s bio for his first novel, Gun, With Occasional Music:
Jonathan Lethem was born in the sixties, watched television in the seventies, and started writing in the eighties.Neat, huh? Almost all bios note where the author currently lives. Often it’s the only piece of personal information - something that has no bearing on the novel in hand unless it’s actually set in the author’s home town. My current bio is unexceptional. It lists the the prizes I’ve won, and mentions that I’m a former scientist (although that in no way qualifies me to write science fiction), and that I live in London. Although only three of my novels have been set in London, and I wasn’t living in London when I wrote the first of those, Fairyland. No, at the time, I was living in Scotland.
UPDATE: 'City of the Dead' will be included in Infinivox's audiobook "year's best" anthology, The Year's Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction.