“Ian Whates has a way with words, a storyteller’s sensibility and is… definitely one to watch.”
— Jon Courtney Grimwood
“Brilliantly inventive.” — SFX
“The variety is only one of the pleasures on offer; others are the fully rounded, if not always likable, characters, and Whates’s knack for taking stories in unexpected directions… satisfying, well observed and entertaining.”
— The Guardian, reviewing Ian’s short story collection, The Gift of Joy
Ian Whates lives in a comfortable home down a quiet cul-de-sac in an idyllic Cambridgeshire village, which he shares with his partner Helen and their pets – Honey the golden cocker spaniel, Calvin the tailless black cat and Inky the goldfish (sadly, Binky died a few years ago).
Ian’s love of science fiction began while he was still at school, manifesting itself when he produced an SF murder mystery as homework after being set the essay title “The Language of Shakespeare”, much to the bemusement of his English teacher. Also while at school, Ian was awarded The Lord Mayor’s Prize for English, in a competition open to all the schools in London. His first published stories appeared in the late 1980s, but it was not until the early 2000s that he began to pursue writing with any seriousness, joining the Northampton SF Writers Group in 2004 after being introduced to its chairman, Ian Watson.
In 2006 Ian launched independent publisher NewCon Press, quite by accident. That same year he also resumed submitting short stories, selling some 25 to various venues by the time May 2008 arrived, including two to the science journal Nature. Another story, “The Gift of Joy”, even found its way onto the shortlist for the BSFA Awards in 2008… and it didn’t come last! This success surprised the author even more than the awards and accolades accumulated by his various NewCon Press anthologies.
Ian is currently a director of the British Science Fiction Association and has chaired the organisation since Spring 2008. He also served a term as the Regional Overseas Director of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) before stepping down in 2010.
Of late Ian has been concentrating on novel writing. City of Dreams and Nightmare, a fantastical adventure set in a towering multi-layered city with heavy steampunk and sf-nal overtones, will mark his debut in the longer form, and he also has a pair of space opera novels in preparation for Solaris. He is currently beavering away on the sequel to City of Dreams & Nightmare, with plots for further books already percolating through his hinter-brain.
“Darkly funny tales of the unexpected, with a deft science-fictional turn of the knife.” — Ken MacLeod
“The variety is only one of the pleasures on offer; others are the fully rounded, if not always likable, characters, and Whates’s knack for taking stories in unexpected directions… satisfying, well observed and entertaining.” — Eric Brown in The Guardian