Sean Williams was born in the dry, flat lands of South Australia, where he still lives with his wife and family. He has been called many things in his time, including (somewhat ostentatiously) “the premier Australian speculative fiction writer of the age” (Aurealis), the “Emperor of Sci-Fi” (Adelaide Advertiser), and the “King of Chameleons” (Australian Book Review) for the diversity of his output. That output includes over forty novels for readers all ages, ninety short stories across numerous genres, the odd published poem, and even a sci-fi musical. He is a multiple recipient of the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards categories and has been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, the Seiun Award, and the William Atheling Jr. Award for criticism. He received the “SA Great” Literature Award in 2000 and the Peter McNamara Award for contributions to Australian speculative fiction in 2008. His latest series are Troubletwisters, a fantasy for middle grade readers co-written with Garth Nix, and Twinmaker, a near-future thriller for young adults (and old adults too). Over twenty-five bonus short stories set in the Twinmaker universe are available online here. Sean and Garth also recently co-authored the third novel in the New York Times bestselling Spirit Animals series, Blood Ties.
On the sci-fi front, he is best-known for his original award-winning space opera series as well as several novels set in the Star Wars universe, many co-written with fellow-Adelaidean Shane Dix. These include the Astropolis, Evergence, Orphans and Geodesica series, and the computer game tie-in The Force Unleashed–the first such adaptation ever to debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. A series for young readers, The Fixers, pitted an increasingly lost protagonist against zombies, cyborgs, and vampires across numerous universes. His most recent releases in the Star Wars universe are The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance and The Force Unleashed II. Twinmaker came out in 2013. Crashland (Crash in Australia) is due in November.
His fantasy novels–inspired by the landscapes of his childhood–occupy a unique niche in Australian publishing. These include the Books of the Change (The Stone Mage & the Sea, The Sky Warden & the Sun, and The Storm Weaver & the Sand) and the Books of the Cataclysm (The Crooked Letter–the first fantasy novel to win both the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards–The Blood Debt, The Hanging Mountains, and The Devoured Earth). His most recent entries in this world include the Broken Land series (The Changeling, The Dust Devils, and The Scarecrow) plus novellas and stories in several anthologies, including The Dragon Book, Trust Me Too and Legends of Australian Fantasy. Troubletwisters: The Monster, second in the series, was published in 2012, with The Mystery in 2013 and The Missing (aka Missing, Presumed Evil) in 2014.
Sean’s stories have been gathered in five collections, including New Adventures in Sci-Fi, Light Bodies Falling and Magic Dirt: the Best of Sean Williams, two of which have won major Australian awards He still lives with his family in South Australia, where his poem “Reflections on Water” formed the text for the Adelaide Zoo’s welcoming soundscape (reprinted in Tadpoles in the Torrens). He takes an active role in writing-related organisations and writer advocacy groups, including The Big Book Club Inc, the Adelaide Writers’ Week Advisory Committee, and the premier international representational body of speculative fiction writers, SFWA. He is a judge of the international Writers of the Future Contest, of which he is a past winner. He is one of only three honourary life members bestowed by the SA Writers’ Centre and an honourary member of both the Southern Dewback Squad of the 501st Legion and the Rebel Legion Fan Organization. He has a Masters and PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide, where he remains a Visiting Research Fellow and an Affiliate of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice.
When he’s not writing or in meetings he likes to eat chocolate and DJ, but rarely at the same time.
(For more about Twinmaker, see Twinmakerbooks.com.)
(Here’s a link to Frequently Asked Questions.)
(Here’s a downloadable Curriculum Vitae.)
Top photo by Anna Solding.