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Geoff Ryman

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Geoff Ryman
Geoff Ryman at Åcon 2010.
Geoff Ryman at Åcon 2010.
BornGeoffrey Charles Ryman
1951 (age 72–73)
OccupationAuthor, actor, teacher
GenreScience fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, LGBT literature
Literary movementMundane science fiction
Notable worksThe Child Garden

Geoffrey Charles Ryman (born 1951) is a Canadian writer of science fiction, fantasy, slipstream and historical fiction.



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.[1][2] He is gay.[1]

In addition to being an author, Ryman started a web design team for the UK government at the Central Office of Information in 1994.[3] 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 www.direct.gov.uk.[3]



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.[4] He is best known for his science fiction; however, his first novel was the fantasy The Warrior Who Carried Life (1985), and his revisionist fantasy of The Wizard of Oz, Was... (1992), has been called "his most accomplished work".[2]

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[5] and BSFA 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.[3]

Ryman has written, directed and performed in several plays based on works by 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.[6][7][8] He was also the guest of honour at the national Swedish science fiction convention Swecon in 2006,[9] at Gaylaxicon 2008,[10] at Wiscon 2009,[11] and at Åcon 2010.[12] An article by Wendy Gay Pearson on Ryman's novel The Child Garden won the British Science Fiction Foundation's graduate essay award and was published in a special issue of Foundation on LGBT science fiction edited by Andrew M. Butler in 2002.[13] Ryman's works were also the subject of a special issue of Extrapolation in 2008, with articles dealing with Air, The Child Garden, Lust, and Was, in particular. Neil Easterbrook's article in this special issue, "'Giving An Account of Oneself': Ethics, Alterity, Air"[14] won the 2009 Science Fiction Research Association Pioneer Award for best published article on science fiction (this award has since been renamed the SFRA Innovative Research Award). The issue includes an interview with Geoff Ryman by Canadian speculative fiction writer Hiromi Goto.[15] The introduction to the special issue, by Susan Knabe and Wendy Gay Pearson, also responds to Ryman's call for Mundane science fiction.[16]

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 and others.[17] In 2008 a Mundane SF issue of Interzone magazine was published, guest-edited by Ryman, Julian Todd and Trent Walters.[18]

Ryman has lectured at the University of Manchester since at least 2007; as of 2022 he is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing for University of Manchester's English Department, where in 2011 he won the Faculty Students' Teaching Award for the School of Arts, History and Culture.[19]

As of 2008 he was at work on a new historical novel set in the United States before their American Civil War.[3][needs update]

Partial bibliography









  1. ^ a b "Geoff Ryman: The Mundane Fantastic". Locus. January 2006.
  2. ^ a b Ency fantasy
  3. ^ a b c d "Geoff Ryman (Centre for New Writing, The University of Manchester)". Arts.manchester.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 31 August 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  4. ^ Reed, Kit (7 August 2004). "Geoff Ryman interviewed - infinity plus non-fiction". Infinityplus.co.uk. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  5. ^ World Fantasy Convention. "Award Winners and Nominees". Archived from the original on 1 December 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  6. ^ Ansible #199, February 2004
  7. ^ Ansible #79, February 1994
  8. ^ John Grant: Gulliver Unravels: Generic Fantasy and the Loss of Subversion – infinity plus non-fiction
  9. ^ Johan Anglemark. "Recent news". Imagicon. Archived from the original on 11 August 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  10. ^ [1] Archived 15 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "WisCon - The World's Leading Feminist Science Fiction Convention". Wiscon.info. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  12. ^ "GoH". Åcon. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
  13. ^ Pearson, Wendy Gay. "Science Fiction as Pharmacy: Plato, Derrida, Ryman." Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction 85 (2002): 66-75.
  14. ^ Easterbrook, Neil (2008). """Giving an Account of Oneself": Ethics, Alterity, Air."". Extrapolation. 49 (2): 240–26–. doi:10.3828/extr.2008.49.2.6.
  15. ^ Goto, Hiromi. "An email conversation with Geoff Ryman." Extrapolation 49.2 (2008): 195-205.
  16. ^ Knabe, Susan, and Wendy Gay Pearson. "Introduction: Mundane Science Fiction, Harm and Healing the World." Extrapolation (pre-2012) 49.2 (2008): 181-195.
  17. ^ "Geoff Ryman: The Mundane Fantastic: Interview excerpts". Locus. January 2006. Retrieved 23 September 2007.
  18. ^ Andy Cox (3 May 2008). "Interzone 216: Special Mundane-SF issue". TTA Press.
  19. ^ "Geoff Ryman". University of Manchester. Retrieved 7 January 2023.
  20. ^ "Him". Goodreads. Retrieved 3 May 2024.
  21. ^ a b "2005 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 17 May 2009.
  22. ^ a b c "1990 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 17 May 2009.
  23. ^ Mike Addelman (2012). "Ryman wins one of world's top science fiction prizes". University of Manchester.