Geoff Ryman

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Geoff Ryman
Geoff Ryman at Åcon.jpg
Geoff Ryman at Åcon 2010.
Born 1951 (age 66–67)
Occupation Author, Actor
Nationality Canadian
Genre Science fiction, Fantasy, Historical fiction, LGBT literature
Literary movement Mundane science fiction
Notable works The Child Garden
Was, Air

Geoffrey Charles Ryman (born 1951) is a writer of science fiction, fantasy and surrealistic or "slipstream" fiction.

Ryman currently lectures in Creative Writing for University of Manchester's English Department.[1] His most recent full-length novel, The King's Last Song, is set in Cambodia, both at the time of Angkorean emperor Jayavarman VII, and in the present period. He is currently at work on a new historical novel set in the United States before the Civil War.


Ryman was born in Canada and moved to the United States at age 11. He earned degrees in History and English at UCLA, then moved to England in 1973, where he has lived most of his life.[2][3] He is gay.[2]

In addition to being an author, Ryman started a web design team for the UK government at the Central Office of Information in 1994.[4] He also led the teams that designed the first official British Monarchy and 10 Downing Street websites, and worked on the UK government's flagship website[4]


Ryman says he knew he was a writer "before [he] could talk", with his first work published in his mother's newspaper column at six years of age.[5] He is best known for his science fiction; however, his first novel was the fantasy The Warrior Who Carried Life, and his revisionist fantasy of the "Wizard of Oz" Was has been called "his most accomplished work".[3]

Much of Ryman's work is based on travels to Cambodia. The first of these The Unconquered Country (1986) was winner of the World Fantasy Award[6] and British Science Fiction Association Award. His novel The King's Last Song (2006) was set both in the Angkor Wat era and the time after Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.[4]

Ryman has written, directed and performed in several plays based on works of other writers.

He was guest of honour at Novacon in 1989 and has twice been a guest speaker at Microcon, in 1994 and in 2004.[7][8][9] He was also the guest of honour at the national Swedish sf convention Swecon in 2006,[10] at Gaylaxicon 2008,[11] at Wiscon 2009,[12] and at Åcon 2010.[13]

Mundane science fiction is a subgenre of science fiction focusing on stories set on or near the Earth, with a believable use of technology and science as it exists at the time the story is written, the Mundane SF movement was founded in 2002 during the Clarion workshop by Ryman amongst others.[14] In 2008 a Mundane SF issue of Interzone magazine was published, guest-edited by Ryman, Julian Todd and Trent Walters.[15]

He is currently at work on a new historical novel set in the United States before their Civil War.[4]






  1. "Academic Staff". University of Manchester. Retrieved 30 October 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Geoff Ryman: The Mundane Fantastic". Locus. January 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ency fantasy
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Geoff Ryman (Centre for New Writing, The University of Manchester)". Retrieved 2013-07-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Reed, Kit (2004-08-07). "Geoff Ryman interviewed - infinity plus non-fiction". Retrieved 2013-07-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. World Fantasy Convention. "Award Winners and Nominees". Retrieved 4 Feb 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Ansible #199, February 2004
  8. Ansible #79, February 1994
  9. John Grant: Gulliver Unravels: Generic Fantasy and the Loss of Subversion – infinity plus non-fiction
  10. Johan Anglemark. "Recent news". Imagicon. Retrieved 2013-07-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. [1] Archived September 15, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. "WisCon - The World's Leading Feminist Science Fiction Convention". Retrieved 2013-07-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "GoH". Åcon. Retrieved 20 March 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Geoff Ryman: The Mundane Fantastic: Interview excerpts". Locus. January 2006. Retrieved 23 September 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Andy Cox (3 May 2008). "Interzone 216: Special Mundane-SF issue". TTA Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 "2005 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 17 May 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "1990 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 17 May 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Mike Addelman (2012). "Ryman wins one of world's top science fiction prizes". University of Manchester.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links