Ian Watson (author)

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Ian Watson
Born (1943-04-20) 20 April 1943 (age 80)
United Kingdom
OccupationAuthor, writer
GenreScience fiction

Ian Watson (born 20 April 1943)[1] is a British science fiction writer. He lives in Gijón, Spain.


In 1959, Watson worked as an accounts clerk at Runciman's, a Newcastle shipping company. The experience was not particularly satisfying.[2]

Watson graduated in English Literature from Balliol College, Oxford, in 1963; in 1965 he earned a research degree in English and French 19th-century literature.

Watson lectured English in Tanzania (1965–67)[3] and Tokyo (1967–70), and taught Future Studies at the Birmingham Polytechnic from 1970 to 1976. After 1976 he devoted himself to his career as a professional writer.[4]

His first novel, The Embedding, winner of the Prix Apollo in 1975,[5] is unusual for being based on ideas from generative grammar; the title refers to the process of center embedding. He is a prolific writer, having written more than two dozen novels, among them Miracle Visitors, God's World, The Jonah Kit and The Flies of Memory; and many collections of short stories. Watson is credited as author of the screen story for the motion picture A.I. Artificial Intelligence.[citation needed] In 1977, The Jonah Kit won the BSFA Award for Best Novel.[6]

During 1980, Watson and Michael Bishop wrote the first transatlantic SF novel collaboration, Under Heaven's Bridge, using typewriters and postal services.[citation needed]

In 1989 Watson made an extended appearance on television in Channel 4's After Dark series alongside Buzz Aldrin and Whitley Strieber among others.[7]

He has also written a series of novels relating to the Warhammer 40,000 line of games: Space Marine, and the Inquisition War trilogy of Inquisitor, Harlequin and Chaos Child (republished in 2002 by The Black Library, with Inquisitor retitled Draco). Other recent stories have been published in US magazine Weird Tales, the Canadian anthology Lust For Life,[citation needed] New Writings in the Fantastic,[8] the Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica volume 7, and in a few more books. Some of these stories have been translated into non-English languages.

A collaboration with Italian surrealist writer Roberto Quaglia has produced a book, The Beloved of My Beloved, launched during April 2009 during Eastercon.

His major work of recent years is The Waters of Destiny co-written with Andy West.[9]



  • The Embedding. London: Gollancz. 1973.[10]
  • The Jonah kit. London: Gollancz. 1975.
  • Orgasmachine. Paris: Editions Champ Libre, 1976.[11]
  • The Martian Inca. London: Gollancz, 1977. ISBN 0-575-02218-3
  • Alien Embassy. London: Gollancz, 1977. ISBN 0-575-02336-8
  • Miracle Visitors. London: Gollancz, 1978. ISBN 0-575-02474-7
  • God's World. London, Gollancz, 1979. ISBN 0-575-02683-9
  • The Gardens of Delight. London: Gollancz, 1980. ISBN 0-575-02819-X
  • Deathhunter. London: Gollancz, 1981. ISBN 0-575-03023-2
  • Under Heaven's Bridge, with Michael Bishop. London: Gollancz, 1982. ISBN 0-575-02927-7
  • Chekhov's Journey. London: Gollancz, 1983. ISBN 0-575-03213-8
  • Converts. London: Granada, 1984 (paper). ISBN 0-586-05895-8
  • The Books of the Black Current:
  • Queenmagic, Kingmagic. London: Gollancz, 1986. ISBN 0-575-03883-7
  • The Power. London: Headline, 1987. ISBN 0-7472-0031-9
  • Whores of Babylon. London: Paladin, 1988 (paper). ISBN 0-586-08773-7
  • Meat. London: Headline, 1988. ISBN 0-7472-3130-3
  • The Fire Worm. London: Gollancz, 1988. ISBN 0-575-04300-8
  • The Flies of Memory. London: Gollancz, 1990. ISBN 0-575-04873-5
  • The Books of Mana:
  • Hard Questions. London: Gollancz, 1996. ISBN 0-575-06189-8
  • Oracle. London: Gollancz, 1997. ISBN 0-575-06487-0
  • Mockymen. Urbana, IL: Golden Gryphon Press, 2003. ISBN 1-930846-21-5
  • Orgasmachine. Alconbury Weston: NewCon Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-907069-14-7
  • The Waters of Destiny (with Andy West)
    • Assassins. Palabaristas Press, 2012
    • Tongue of Knowledge. Palabaristas Press, 2012
    • Death Overflows. Palabaristas Press, 2012
Warhammer 40,000

Short fiction[edit]

Title Year First published Reprinted/collected Notes
Blair's War 2013 "Blair's War". Asimov's Science Fiction. 37 (7): 35–42. July 2013.
Breakfast in bed 2015 "Breakfast in bed". Analog Science Fiction and Fact. 135 (7&8): 71–75. July–August 2015.


List of poems
Title Year First published Reprinted/collected
Catalogue note by the artist 2013 "Catalogue note by the artist". Asimov's Science Fiction. 37 (12): 23. December 2013.


  1. ^ "Ian Watson". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Archived from the original on 28 September 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  2. ^ Afterword to The Gardens of Delight, Gollancz, 2007.
  3. ^ "Ian Watson Interview (1981)". Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Ian Watson Interview (1981)". Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Sfadb : Prix Apollo".
  6. ^ "BSFA Awards. Previous award winners". BSFA. Archived from the original on 8 February 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  7. ^ See production company website
  8. ^ "New Writings in the Fantastic edited by John Grant". Pendragon Press. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  9. ^ "The Waters of Destiny". Archived from the original on 29 November 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  10. ^ Prix Apollo Award, 1975.
  11. ^ French language version of The Woman Factory, finally published in English in 2010 after being completely rewritten as Orgasmachine for a Japanese edition in 2001.
  12. ^ Short stories unless otherwise noted.
Other sources

External links[edit]