swancon 22 – PR4 – pages 3 to 6

Focus On Sean Williams

being the numbered pages 3 and 4

In the last PR, we promised to provide indepth info on one of our guests in this edition. Rather than say it ourselves, and maybe make some of it up, we decided to get the info from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Without further ado, we give you:

BIO – accurate 26.8.96

Sean Williams was born in Whyalla in 1967, and, after a life spent mostly moving house, currently occupies a granny flat directly under the flight-path of Adelaide International Airport.

An avid reader of speculative fiction since an early age, he has been writing full-time for the last seven years. His first publication was in the horror small press [Esoteric Order of Dagon #2] in 1991. Since then, his short fiction has appeared in Aboriginal SF (the first Austalian fiction to do so), Aurealis, Bloodsongs, Eidolon (where he holds the record for the most number of stories in consecutive issues –eight to date) and The Leading Edge, as well as the anthologies Alien Shores, Intimate Armageddons, The Lottery, The Oxford Book of Australian Ghost Stories, and Terror Australis. He has won a prize in the Writers of the Future Contest, been recommended by Year’s Best Horror & Fantasy and Year’s Best Science Fiction anthologies and been nominated for several Ditmar Awards (but never won). Doorway to Eternity, a collection of two short stories and one novelette, was published by MirrorDanse Books in 1994.

‘Not just an unusually fine storyteller, (but) also phenomenally prolific,’ wrote US author and WOTF judge Dave Wolverton in 1993. ‘Sean Williams shows shows every sign of becoming the next successful writer to break out from Down Under.’

On the novel front, he is co-author with Shane Dix of the Cogal series — a series based on an Australian RPG being developed by Ascendancy Gaming. The first book, The Unknown Soldier, was published by Aphelion Publications in 1995 and prompted Locus reviewer Russell Letson to think ‘of Niven modified by Bester, or, better yet, of Iain Banks’s similarly layered Against A Dark Background’. ‘The reader looking for a rousing military SF adventure,’ said Eidolon, ‘won’t find better.’

His first solo novel, Metal Fatigue, was published by HarperCollins Australia in June of 1996. Again, Locus’ response was favourable, this time from Gary Wolfe: ‘Metal Fatigue begins as a postholocaust noir thriller, turns into a high-tech police procedural with espionage overtones, and culminates in a special effects blowout with a variety of cyberwarriors battling it out on a very symbolic rusty bridge … As a thriller, the novel works out its SF components with unusual detail; as an SF text, it develops its thriller elements with consideralbe efficiency and breakneck pacing … Williams shows enough verve at plotting and action writing that it’s a safe bet he’ll turn into another of Australia’s impressive sequence of major SF discoveries.’

After a six-month hiatus following the death of his father, he has recommenced writing full-time and is currently working on several novel-length projects. One, The Dying Light, is the second and concluding volume of the Cogal series and is due from Aphelion in 1997. Another, The Thin Red Line (working title only), will be his second solo book: a crime/SF novel set in a near-future world based on several of his short stories — the same stories that once prompted Russell B Farr to remark, in print, that the author was a ‘Bastard!’

Apart from writing, he works in a CD shop, smokes too much and doesn’t get out enough (which is just one reason of many why he’s looking forward to coming to Perth in 1997).


page 5 is adverts for Howard Waldrop’s books Custer’s Last Jump (put out by the convention committee) and Going Home Again (published by Eidolon publications).

page 6 is ‘hotel stuff’, and gives a basic run down of the benefits of a hotel room, as well as the costs associated, and how to go about getting one (hint: don’t talk to the committee)

About australian sf-history

ASFDAP was set up in 2011 after the rediscovery by the wider SF community of an impressive hoard of Australian SF community related ephemera, fanzines and other materials in the Murdoch University basement.
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