I began my career writing science fiction stories, novels and films (the comment in the header is Martin McGrath’s), before widening my brief to explore perception (The Eye: A Natural History), 20th-century radical politics (The Weight of Numbers), the shipping system (Dead Water) and augmented reality (Wolves). A spot of ghost-writing once had me being rescued from a tree by Ben (of Ben & Jerry’s) in the middle of a hurricane. Back home I co-founded and edited Arc magazine, a digital publication about the future, before joining New Scientist magazine as its arts editor. I split my time between a pad on the Palm in Dubai (not mine) and a freezing cold hilltop in London, writing op-eds and reviews for the Spectator and the Daily Telegraph.

My latest non-fiction is Stalin and the Scientists (Faber, October 2016) and there’s a new novel, The Smoke, due from Gollancz in February 2018.

More often than not, my life looks like this.

I’m on twitter (as @simonings), and on gmail (simonings@…) and my agent Peter Tallack is at The Science Factory.