Jay Kristoff

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Jay Kristoff
BornPerth, Western Australia, Australia
GenreFantasy, science fiction
Notable awardsAurealis Award, Australian Book Industry Award, Gold Inky Award

Jay Kristoff (born 12 November 1973)[1] is an Australian author of fantasy and science fiction. He writes both for adult readers and young adults. He lives in Melbourne.


Kristoff was born in Perth, Australia in 1973.[2] As a child, Kristoff read frequently and played tabletop games,[3] including Dungeons and Dragons.[4] Kristoff is 6'7" tall.[5] He graduated from college with an Arts degree.[6] He worked in creative advertising for television for eleven years before beginning his literary career.[7] He lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and a Jack Russell Terrier[6] named Samwise.[4]


The Lotus War

Kristoff is the author of The Lotus War, a Steampunk series inspired by Tokugawa-era Japan. The first novel, Stormdancer, was a finalist for a 2012 Aurealis Award,[8] was shortlisted for two 2013 David Gemmell Awards (for best novel and best debut novel),[9] and was a finalist for the 2013 Compton Crook Award.[10] The prequel novella The Last Stormdancer was the winner of the 2013 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Fiction.[11] Kristoff refers to the series as crossover fiction that appeals to older young adults and adults.[12]

The Illuminae Files

Kristoff's second series, The Illuminae Files, was acquired by Random House in a preempt in 2013.[13] Kristoff co-wrote the series with fellow Melbourne author, Amie Kaufman. The first book in the series, titled Illuminae, was published in late October 2015. It debuted at #5 on the New York Times Best Seller List Young Adult Hardcover list,[14] and eventually reached the #2 spot.[15] In November 2015, it was announced that Brad Pitt and his production company, Plan B Entertainment, had acquired the film rights to Illuminae.[16] Illuminae was nominated for the 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Award,[17] won the 2015 Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction novel,[18] the 2016 Gold Inky Award for best teen fiction,[19] and the 2016 Australian Book Industry Award Book of the Year for Older Children.[20] The sequel to Illuminae, Gemina, debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list[21] and won the 2016 Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction novel.[22] The final book in the series Obsidio, was published in May 2018, and debuted at #6 on the New York Times bestselling series list[23] as the #1 young adult bestseller in Australia,[24] and as a USA Today bestseller.[25] Kristoff refers to the series as young adult fiction.[12]

The Nevernight Chronicle

Kristoff's second solo series, an adult epic fantasy entitled The Nevernight Chronicle, commenced publication with Nevernight in August 2016. Nevernight earned Kristoff his second David Gemmell Awards nomination, and won the 2016 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy novel.[22] The sequel Godsgrave was published in October, 2017, and won the 2017 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy novel.[22] In 2019, it was announced Screen Australia had funded a film adaptation of the first novel.[26] The series finale Darkdawn was published in September, 2019, debuting on the Sunday Times and USA Today bestseller lists. In the same month, the trilogy was published in Italy by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore and became an instant bestseller.


In March 2016, Kristoff announced another young adult series, entitled Lifel1k3.[27] Lifel1k3 was published in May, 2018, and won Kristoff his fifth Aurealis Award, again for best Science Fiction Novel.[22] The sequel, Dev1at3, was published in June, 2019. A third and final book in the series, Truel1f3, is expected June, 2020.

The Aurora Cycle

Kristoff and his Illuminae co-author Amie Kaufman announced a new science fiction series, entitled Aurora Rising, which was acquired by Random House, the publishers of the Illuminae series.[28] Aurora Rising was published in May 2019, and debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list.[29] as the #1 young adult bestseller in Australia,[30] and as a USA Today bestseller.[31] In June 2019, it was announced that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had acquired the television rights to Aurora Rising.[32] A sequel, titled Aurora Burning, was published in May, 2020.

Empire of the Vampire

In January 2019, Kristoff announced his next adult series, an illustrated fantasy epic entitled Empire of the Vampire, which was acquired by Macmillan publishers, the publisher of his Nevernight and Stormdancer series. Empire of the Vampire was published in September 2021.[33] It debuted on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today[34] bestseller lists in the US and was a Sunday Times[35] bestseller in the UK, as well as hitting #1 bestseller spots at Barnes and Noble in the USA[36] and Dymocks Books[37] in Australia.


Kristoff's works deal with themes of familial bonds, friendship, love, loss, and betrayal. His fiction suggests that "victory without sacrifice is meaningless.".[38]


The Lotus War Series[edit]

  1. Stormdancer (Thomas Dunne Books, 2012)
  2. Kinslayer (Thomas Dunne Books, 2013)
  3. Endsinger (Thomas Dunne Books, 2014)
  • The Last Stormdancer (prequel novella to Stormdancer; Thomas Dunne Books, 2013)
  • "Praying for Rain" (free short story, posted online 2013)

The Illuminae Files (co-authored with Amie Kaufman)[edit]

  1. Illuminae (Random House, 2015)
  2. Gemina (Random House, 2016)
  3. Obsidio (Random House, 2018)

The Nevernight Chronicle[edit]

  1. Nevernight (Thomas Dunne Books, 2016)
  2. Godsgrave (Thomas Dunne Books, 2017)
  3. DarkDawn (Thomas Dunne Books, 2019)


  1. Lifel1k3 (Random House, 2018)
  2. Dev1at3 (Random House, 2019)
  3. Truel1f3 (Random House, 2020)

The Aurora Cycle (co-authored with Amie Kaufman)[edit]

  1. Aurora Rising (Random House, 2019)
  2. Aurora Burning (Random House, 2020)
  3. Aurora's End (Random House, to be published 2021)

Empire of The Vampire[edit]

  1. Empire of The Vampire (HarperCollins, 2021)


  1. ^ Kristoff, J. (November 12, 2018) "It's my birthday and there's only a few hours left to vote and show how much u luv me" Twitter.com
  2. ^ "Fantasy Book Critic: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)". Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  3. ^ "Jay Kristoff | Teenreads". www.teenreads.com. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  4. ^ a b "Interview: Jay Kristoff, author of Stormdancer | My Bookish Ways". www.mybookishways.com. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  5. ^ "Press Kit". Jay Kristoff - Literary Giant. Archived from the original on 2016-02-14. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  6. ^ a b "Jay Kristoff". Goodreads. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  7. ^ "Jay Kristoff". Pan Macmillan. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  8. ^ "2012 Aurealis Awards finalists announced" (PDF). March 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 18, 2015.
  9. ^ "2013 shortlists revealed! - The David Gemmell Legend Awards". August 11, 2013. Archived from the original on October 16, 2014.
  10. ^ "Compton Crook Award Winners [Version HH-56]". May 24, 2013. Archived from the original on August 11, 2015.
  11. ^ [1], 2013 Aurealis Award winners media release. Archived August 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b "What the FAQ". Jay Kristoff - Literary Giant. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  13. ^ "Literary Giant". November 11, 2013.
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ [3]
  16. ^ [4]
  17. ^ https://www.arts.gov.au/pm-literary-awards/current-awards
  18. ^ [5]
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-02-06. Retrieved 2016-12-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-09-04. Retrieved 2016-12-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ [6]
  22. ^ a b c d [7]
  23. ^ [8]
  24. ^ "Jay Kristoff on Instagram: "In the past 20 days I have: - Visited 14 cities - Boarded 13 aircraft - Flown around 50,000kms - Signed countless books - Met thousands of…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  25. ^ "Obsidio". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  26. ^ "Screen Australia, Google dish out US$350,000 to YouTubers". kidscreen.com. February 25, 2019.
  27. ^ [9]
  28. ^ [10]
  29. ^ [11]
  30. ^ "Jay Kristoff on Instagram: "Aaaaand thank you to our Aussie squad for giving us a #1 bestseller in Australia!"". Instagram. Retrieved 2019-05-16.
  31. ^ "Aurora Rising". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  32. ^ [12]
  33. ^ [13]
  34. ^ "Jay Kristoff on Instagram: "Just found out EMPIRE OF THE VAMPIRE hit both the New York Times and USA Today lists this morning🖤⚔️🦇 The NYT Adult Fiction list is the…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  35. ^ "Jay Kristoff on Instagram: ""You cannot kill what you did not create." EMPIRE OF THE VAMPIRE is an instant Sunday Time bestseller, coming in at number 2 across the…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  36. ^ "Jay Kristoff on Instagram: "Just got told that EMPIRE OF THE VAMPIRE sold more copies at @barnesandnoble last week than any other fiction title in America. Thank you,…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  37. ^ "Jay Kristoff on Instagram: "I just got told the EMPIRE OF THE VAMPIRE special edition was the #1 bestseller at @dymocksbooks in Australia last week. Every category.…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  38. ^ "Jay Kristoff interview, September 18th 2012". www.fantasybookreview.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-02-08.