Happy birthday Ian Watson!

Ian Watson in 2009
Ian Watson in 2009

Ian Watson (photo ©Salvatore Capalbi) was born on April 20, 1943 in North Shields, Northumberland, England.

Ian Watson earned a degree in English literature at Balliol College, Oxford in 1963 and in 1965 earned a research degree in English and French literature of the 19th century. For some years he taught literature, sometimes even science fiction, in Tanzania, in Tokyo and in Birmingham.

Ian Watson made his debut as a writer in 1969 and his first science fiction story is titled “Roof Garden Under Saturn”, published in the journal “New Worlds”. In 1973 he published his first novel, “The Embedding”, which in France won the Prix Apollo award in 1975.

In 1975, Ian Watson published another novel, “The Jonah Kit”, that this time has the biggest success in U.K. earning him the British Science Fiction Award and the Orbit Award.

In 1976, Ian Watson wrote the novel “Orgasmachine” with his wife Judy but because of its explicit sexual themes it wasn’t published in U.K. for many years and was published in France instead.

Far from being discouraged, in the subsequent years Ian Watson has published other novels such as “The Martian Inca” in 1977 and “Miracle Visitors” in 1978. In 1982, he published the novel “Under Heaven’s Bridge”, written with his colleague Michael Bishop. The two writers have also edited some anthologies of short fiction together.

In the ’80s, Ian Watson has published a trilogy composed by the novels: “The Book of the River” in 1984, “The Book of the Stars” in 1984 and “The Book of Being” in 1985.

Ian Watson has published several other novels, such as “Hard Questions” in 1996 and “Mockymen” in 2003. He also wrote some novels connected to the series of Warhammer 40.000 games: “Space Marine” in 1993 and the trilogy composed by “Inquisitor” in 1990, re-released as “Draco” in 2002, “Harlequin” in 1994 and “Chaos Child” in 1995.

Ian Watson also wrote the screenplay for the 2001 movie “AI Artificial Intelligence”.

In 2009, Ian Watson presented at Eurocon the anthology “The Beloved of My Beloved”, written in collaboration with Italian writer Roberto Quaglia. One of the stories won the British Science Fiction Association Award.

In 2012, Ian Watson has published together with Andy West the trilogy “The Waters of Destiny” composed by the novels: “Assassins”, “Tongue of Knowledge” and “Death Overflows”.

Ian Watson has lived for many years in Northamptonshire, England, but in 2010 he moved to Gijón, Spain, where in January married Cristina Macía.

A theme dear to Ian Watson is that of the reality we perceive as subjective and partial. In many of his stories, the author explores many different ways to generate broader realities, which are never completeteley successful due to the limitations of human beings. Watson really has a great imagination and his novels are rich in ideas. He doesn’t always manage to put them together in a coherent manner and sometimes in his plots all the elements he includes are unfocused but when he succeds he shows that he’s a really great writer.

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