Ian McDonald (British author)

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Ian McDonald
Ian McDonald 230410 1 SFeraKon.jpg
Ian McDonald at SFeraKon 2010 in Zagreb
Born 1960 (age 62–63)
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Novelist
Nationality Scottish and Irish
Genre Science fiction
Website
ianmcdonald.livejournal.com
For several other people called Ian McDonald or a similar spelling, see Ian McDonald.

Ian McDonald (born 1960) is a British science fiction novelist, living in Belfast. His themes include nanotechnology, postcyberpunk settings, and the impact of rapid social and technological change on non-Western societies.

Early life

Ian McDonald was born in 1960, in Manchester, to a Scottish father and Irish mother. He moved to Belfast when he was five and has lived there ever since. He lived through the whole of the 'Troubles' (1968–99), and his sensibility has been permanently shaped by coming to understand Northern Ireland as a post-colonial[1] society imposed on an older culture. He became a fan of SF from childhood TV, and began writing when he was 9.[citation needed]

Career

McDonald sold his first story to a local Belfast magazine when he was 22, and in 1987 became a full-time writer.[2] He has also worked in TV consultancy within Northern Ireland, contributing scripts to the Northern Irish Sesame Workshop production of Sesame Tree.[citation needed]

McDonald's debut novel was Desolation Road (1988), which takes place on a far future Mars in a town that develops around an oasis in the terraformed Martian desert.[3] He published a sequel, Ares Express, in 2001.[4]

Published between 1995 and 2000, the novels Chaga (US title Evolution's Shore) and Kirinya, with the novella Tendeléo's Story, form the 'Chaga Saga', which is particularly notable for its analysis of the AIDS crisis in Africa. The protagonist is Ulster journalist Gaby McAslin, whose outsider's eye both observes the African landscape and sees what the "UN quarantine zone" is doing to Kenya and Kenyans. Gaby's story, with that of her daughter, continues in Kirinya. Tendeléo's Story is seen through the eyes of a young Kenyan girl who escapes to the UK, only to be deported back to Kenya as an unwanted alien.

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The image of the unstoppable wave of transformation was nicked from [1982 Star Trek movie] The Wrath of Khan: it's the Genesis device, slowed down, and once I had that, it became a rich source of metaphors: for colonialism, new technology, globalisation, change, death. If the Chaga is colonialism, it's a unique kind that allows the people of the poor South to use and transform it to meet their needs and empower themselves: it's a symbiosis.[5]

McDonald's River of Gods (2004) is set in mid-21st-century India, and Brasyl (2007) is set in the 18th and 21st centuries in Lusophone South America. Brasyl was nominated for, and reached the longlist of, the £50,000 Warwick Prize for Writing.

McDonald published Luna: New Moon, the first volume of a proposed science fiction duology, in 2015.[6][7][8] It explores the dangerous intrigue that surrounds the five powerful families who control industry on the Moon.[6] McDonald said of the novel in August 2014, "I’m still writing about developing economies, it’s just that this one happens to be on the Moon."[6] Before critics called the novel "Game of Thrones in space",[7][9][10] McDonald himself dubbed it "Game of Domes" and "Dallas in space".[6] Luna was optioned for development as a television series before its release.[9][11] The sequel, Luna: Wolf Moon, is set to be released in March 2017.[12] McDonald previously published the novelette "The Fifth Dragon", a prequel to Luna in the same setting, in the 2014 anthology Reach for Infinity.[6][13][14]

Scholarship

  • Clute, John, & Nicholls, Peter (eds). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St Martin’s Press, 1993. ISBN 0-312-09618-6.
  • Lennard, John, Ian McDonald: Chaga / Evolution's Shore. Tirril: Humanities-Ebooks, 2007.

Awards

Won

Nominations

  • Nebula Award for Best Novelette (1989): Unfinished Portrait of the King of Pain by Van Gogh
  • Arthur C. Clarke Award – Best Novel (1990): Desolation Road[18]
  • Locus Fantasy Award (1992): King of Morning, Queen of Day[19]
  • Arthur C. Clarke Award – Best Novel (1993): Hearts, Hands, and Voices[20]
  • British Science Fiction Award (1992): Hearts, Hands, and Voices[19]
  • World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction (1994) : Some Strange Desire
  • Philip K. Dick Award – Best Novel (1994) : Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone[21]
  • British Science Fiction Association Award – Best Novel (1994) : Necroville[21]
  • John W Campbell Memorial Award – Best Novel (1996): Evolution's Shore
  • British Science Fiction Association Award – Best Novel (1995): Chaga[22]
  • The John W. Campbell Memorial Award (1996): Chaga[23]
  • Arthur C. Clarke Award – Best Novel (2005): River of Gods[24]
  • Hugo Award – Best Novel (2005): River of Gods[24]
  • Hugo Award – Best Novel (2008): Brasyl
  • Warwick Prize for Writing (2008/9) and reached prize longlist announced in November 2008: Brasyl
  • The John W. Campbell Memorial Award (2008): Brasyl[25]
  • Locus SF Award (2008): Brasyl[25]
  • Nebula Award (2008): Brasyl[25]
  • Hugo Award – Best Novel (2011): The Dervish House
  • Locus Award – Best SF Novel (2011): The Dervish House
  • Arthur C. Clarke Award – Best Novel (2011): The Dervish House
  • British Science Fiction Association Award – Best Novel (2015): Luna: New Moon[26]

Works

Novels

Desolation Road series

Chaga saga

  • Toward Kilimanjaro (1990) (short story)
  • Chaga (1995, US: Evolution's Shore)
  • Kirinya (1997)
  • Tendeléo's Story (2000) (short story)

India in 2047

  • River of Gods (2004) – Hugo Award nominee, Clarke Award nominee, winner of the BSFA award
  • Cyberabad Days (2009) (collection)
    • "The Little Goddess" (2005)
    • "The Djinn's Wife" (2006)
    • "Kyle Meets the River" (2006)
    • "Sanjeev and Robotwallah" (2007)
    • "The Dust Assassin" (2008)
    • "An Eligible Boy" (2008)
    • "Vishnu at the Cat Circus" (2009)

Everness series

  • Planesrunner (2012)
  • Be My Enemy (2013)[27]
  • Empress of the Sun (2014)[28]

Luna series

Standalone novels

Ian McDonald at Eurocon/Swecon 2011 in Stockholm.

Graphic novels

  • Kling Klang Klatch (1992) (graphic novel, illustrated by David Lyttleton)

Collections

  • Empire Dreams (1988)
    • Empire Dreams (Ground Control to Major Tom) (variant of Empire Dreams 1985)
    • Scenes from a Shadowplay (1985)
    • Christian (1984)
    • King of Morning, Queen of Day (1988)
    • The Catharine Wheel (Our Lady of Tharsis) (1984)
    • Unfinished Portrait of the King of Pain by Van Gogh
    • The Island of the Dead
    • Radio Marrakech
    • Visits to Remarkable Cities
    • Vivaldi
  • King of Morning, Queen of Day (1991) – see Waiting For Godot
    • Craigdarragh
    • The Mythlines
    • Coda late summer
    • Shekinah
  • Speaking in Tongues (1992)
    • Gardenias (1989)
    • Rainmaker Cometh (1989)
    • Listen (1989)
    • Speaking in Tongues (1990)
    • Fragments of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (1991)
    • Approaching Perpendicular (1988)
    • Floating Dogs (1991)
    • Atomic Avenue (1990)
    • Fronds (1990)
    • Winning (1990)
    • Toward Kilimanjaro [Chaga] (1990)
  • The Best of Ian McDonald (2015)
    • The Djinn's Wife [India 2047] (2006)
    • Verthandi's Ring (2007)
    • After Kerry (1997)
    • A Ghost Samba (2008)
    • Toward Kilimanjaro [Chaga] (1990)
    • Winning (1990)
    • Digging (2011)
    • The Queen of Night's Aria (2014) (variant of The Queen of the Night's Aria 2013)
    • Tendeléo's Story [Chaga] (2000)
    • The Tear (2008)

Other short stories

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  • "The Islands of the Dead" (1982)
  • "The Catharine Wheel" (Our Lady of Tharsis) (1984) (also published as "The Catharine Wheel")
  • "Christian" (1984)
  • "Scenes from a Shadowplay" (1985)
  • "Empire Dreams" (1985)" (also appeared as: Empire Dreams; Ground Control to Major Tom)
  • "Approaching Perpendicular" (1988)
  • "Radio Marrakech" (1988)
  • "The Island of the Dead" (1988)
  • "Unfinished Portrait of the King of Pain by Van Gogh" (1988)
  • "Visits to Remarkable Cities" (1988)
  • "Vivaldi" (1988)
  • "King of Morning, Queen of Day" (1988)
  • "Gardenias" (1989)
  • "Rainmaker Cometh" (1989)
  • "Listen" (1989)
  • "Atomic Avenue" (1990)
  • "Speaking in Tongues" (1990)
  • "Winning" (1990)
  • "Fronds" (1990)
  • "King of Morning, Queen of Day" (excerpt)" (1991)
  • "Fragments of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria" (1991)
  • "Brody Loved the Masai Woman" (1992)
  • "Innocents" (1992)
  • "The Best and the Rest of James Joyce" (1992)
  • "Fat Tuesday" (1992)
  • "Big Chair" (1992)
  • "Legitimate Targets" (1993)
  • "Some Strange Desire" (1993)
  • "The Undifferentiated Object of Desire" (1993)
  • "Blue Motel" (1994)
  • "Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone" (1994)
  • "Steam" (1995)
  • "The Time Garden: A Faery Story" (1995)
  • "Frooks" (1995)
  • "Faithful" (1996)
  • "Islington" (1996)
  • "Recording Angel" (1996)
  • The Further Adventures of Baron Munchausen: The Gulf War (1996)
  • "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet" (1997)
  • "The Five O'Clock Whistle" (1997)
  • "After Kerry" (1997)
  • "The Days of Solomon Gursky" (1998)
  • "Breakfast on the Moon, with Georges" (1999)
  • "Ares Express" (excerpt)" (2001)
  • "The Twenty Five Mile High Club" (2002)
  • "The Old Cosmonaut and the Construction Worker Dream of Mars" (2002)
  • "The Hidden Place" (2002)
  • "Written in the Stars" (2005) in Constellations
  • "Verthandi's Ring" (2007)
  • "The Tear" (2008)
  • "[A Ghost Samba]" (2008)
  • "A Little School" (2009)
  • "Tonight We Fly" (2010)
  • "Digging" (2011)
  • "A Smart Well-Mannered Uprising of the Dead" (2011)
  • "Driftings" (2013)
  • "The Queen of the Night's Aria" (2013) in Old Mars (anthology)[30][31]
  • "The Revolution Will Not Be Refrigerated" (2013)
  • "Nanonauts! In Battle with Tiny Death-subs!" (2014)
  • "The Fifth Dragon" (2014) in Reach for Infinity (anthology)[13][14]
  • "Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan" (2015) in Old Venus (anthology)[32]

Blog and online interviews

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References

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  2. John Lennard, Ian McDonald: Chaga / Evolution's Shore (Tirril: Humanities-Ebooks, 2007), p. 7.
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  5. Ian McDonald, 'Interview' (originally posted at http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/intimcd.htm), quoted in John Lennard, Ian McDonald: Chaga / Evolution's Shore (Tirril: Humanities-Ebooks, 2007), p. 12.
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External resources