Geoff Ryman bibliography

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Geoff Ryman (born 1951) is a writer of science fiction, fantasy and "slipstream" fiction. Ryman has written and published seven novels, including an early example of a hypertext novel, 253, or Tube Theatre. He has won multiple awards, including the World Fantasy Award.


The Warrior Who Carried Life[edit]

The Warrior Who Carried Life
Author Geoff Ryman
Publisher Grafton
Publication date
ISBN 978-0-04-823266-3

This novel was nominated for the British Science Fiction Association Award[1]

Cara's face is horribly scarred and her body mutilated by the knives of barbarians. She seeks aid from a strange magic that for one year will transform her into the most dangerous of beasts: a man. Cara becomes a powerful warrior and takes revenge on the barbarians but learns too late that murder only begets more murder. To cleanse the stain of evil, Cara travels to the Land of the Dead to retrieve the Flower of Life, an aspect of God with the power to heal. Cara finds help and companionship from Stefile, a young woman who loves the warrior but cannot accept he will return to a woman's body in a year's time.

The Child Garden[edit]

The Child Garden
Author Geoff Ryman
Publisher Unwin Hyman
Publication date
ISBN 0-04-440393-3

This novel won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.[2]

In a future tropical England, transformed by global warming and by advances in genetic engineering, cancer has been cured. Milena, a young woman who is immune to the viruses which are routinely used to educate people, attempts to stage an opera based on Dante's Divine Comedy using holograms, written by her genetically modified friend Rolfa. She encounters the ruling body of the world, "The Consensus" a hive mind made up of the mental patterns of billions of children. Milena slowly discovers that this gestalt consciousness is lonely and afraid of dying and is looking to Milena as a form of salvation.In the closing scenes of the story, as Milena succumbs to cancer, the Consensus experiences a fracturing of its self that may be its death or may be its transition to higher plane of consciousness.


Author Geoff Ryman
Publisher Harper Collins
Publication date
ISBN 978-0-00-223931-8

This novel was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award[2]

The novel is separated into three parts,Winter Kitchen, Summer Kitchen, and Oz Circle. The primary focus is put on Jonathan, a gay male actor with AIDS who goes on a pilgrimage of sorts to Manhattan, Kansas and the "real" (but imaginary) Dorothy on whom the book's fictional version of L. Frank Baum based the character.

Other characters include Baum, who makes an appearance as a substitute teacher in Kansas. Millie, a makeup girl on the set of the original film version film narrates an encounter with Judy Garland, its lead actress.

253, or Tube Theatre[edit]

253, or Tube Theatre,
Author Geoff Ryman
Publisher first published as hypertext fiction on
Publication date
? (hypertext version)
1998 (print version)

The print version won a Philip K. Dick Award.[2]

It is about the 253 people on a London Underground train travelling between Embankment station and Elephant & Castle on January 11, 1995. Each character is introduced in a separate section containing 253 words. The sections give general details and describe the thoughts going through the characters' heads. In the online version, hypertext links led to other characters who are nearby or who have some connection to the current character; in the print version, the links are partly replaced by a traditional index. The reader can proceed from one character to another using these devices or can read the novel in positional order, e.g. from one train car to the next, but there is no overall chronological order except in the final section.


Author Geoff Ryman
Publication date
– Follows a gay man who finds that his sexual fantasies [are] magical coming true.

Air: Or, Have Not Have[edit]

Air: Or, Have Not Have
Author Geoff Ryman
Publication date

This novel won the British Science Fiction Association Award, the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and was short-listed for a Nebula Award. It was expanded to a novel from the short story "Have Not Have".[3][4]

Air is the story of a town's fashion expert Chung Mae, a smart but illiterate peasant woman in a small village in the fictional country of Karzistan (loosely based on the country of Kazakhstan), and her suddenly leading role in reaction to dramatic, worldwide experiments with a new information technology called Air. Air is information exchange, not unlike the Internet, that occurs in everyone's brain and is intended to connect the world. After a test of Air is imposed on Mae's unprepared mountain town, everyone and everything changes, especially Mae who was deeper into Air than any other person. Afterwords, Mae struggles to prepare her people for what is to come while learning all about the world outside her home.

The King's Last Song[edit]

The King's Last Song
Author Geoff Ryman
Publication date
2006 UK, 2008 US
Set in Cambodia, it tells the story of Map, a policeman and former Khmer Rouge, and young motoboy William as they search for the gold leaf memoirs of the 12th Century king Jayavarman VII, which have been stolen by a former lieutenant of Pol Pot. The memoir is fictional, but Jayavarman is not, and an account of his life and reign is told in a parallel thread. In addition there is a lengthy flashback to Map's violent activities in the last years of the Cambodian war. The novel makes explicit the contrast between ancient Cambodia's opulence and the poverty and corruption of its modern counterpart.


Unconquered Countries: Four novellas[edit]


Contains "A Fall of Angels, or On the Possibility of Life Under Extreme Conditions", "Fan", "O Happy Day!", "The Unconquered Country".

Short fiction[edit]

  • The Diary of the Translator (1976)
  • The Unconquered Country (1986)
Published as a stand-alone novella and in the collection Unconquered Countries.
  • O Happy Day! (1985)
  • Love Sickness (1987)
This formed the first section of A Child Garden.
  • Omnisexual (1990)
  • Dead Space for the Unexpected (1994)
  • Fan (1994)
  • A Fall of Angels, or On the Possibility of Life Under Extreme Conditions (1994)
  • Home (1995)
  • Warmth (1995)
  • Family, or The Nativity and Flight into Egypt considered as episodes of I Love Lucy (1998)
  • Everywhere (1999)
  • Have Not Have (2001)
Expanded Into Air.
  • V.A.O. (2002)
  • Birth Days (2003)
  • The Last Ten Years in the Life of Hero Kai (2005)
  • Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter (Fantasy) (2006)
  • Talk Is Cheap (2008)
  • Days of Wonder (2008)
  • Blocked (2009)
  • What We Found (2011)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1985 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees". Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  3. ^ book review at
  4. ^ Review of Air Archived 2008-06-08 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]