Ian Watson, has been a stalwart of British science fiction for more decades than it’s polite to mention, and this year marks forty years as a professional full-time writer. His work has been shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke, John W. Campbell and Theodore Sturgeon Awards, and he has twice won the BSFA Award – for best novel with The Jonah Kit, and for short fiction with ‘The Beloved Time of Their Lives’ (with Roberto Quaglia) – from seven nominations. His debut novel, The Embedding, won the Prix Apollo for the best SF novel published in French.
Readers with an interest in SF cinema will know that Ian Watson wrote screen story for Steven Speilberg‘s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (based on Brian W. Aldiss‘s short story ‘Super-Toys Last All Summer Long’). And – in genre that is often accused, by those who don’t understand it, of failing to accurately predict the future (spoiler: that’s not what it’s for) – he published a frighteningly prescient story in Interzone: ‘Hijack Holiday’, in which terrorists assume control of an aircraft and fly it into the Eiffel Tower. The date on that issue of Interzone? April 2001.
Happy Birthday, Ian!