I began my career writing science fiction stories, novels and films 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 am mostly to be found in a freezing cold flat on a hill in London, writing reviews for the FT, The Spectator and the Daily Telegraph.
My latest non-fiction is Stalin and the Scientists (Faber, October 2016). The Smoke, my most recent novel, was published by Gollancz in February 2018. I’m at work on a big reprint anthology, We Robots, for Head of Zeus, due out towards the end of 2019, and a novel built around a fragment of Shostakovich opera.
More often than not, my life looks like this.