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McDonald photo Ian McDonald was born in 1960 in Manchester and moved to Northern Ireland in 1965. At present, he lives in Belfast with his wife, Patricia. His debut was the short story, The Island of the Dead, in the British magazine, Extro. His work has won the Philip K. Dick Award for best original SF paperback, the Locus poll for best first novel, and several nominations for the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Ian McDonald Links
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Ares Express
SF Site Review: Sacrifice of Fools
Ian McDonald Tribute Site
Ian McDonald Tribute Site
Desolation Road (1988)
Drunken Dragon Press, Earthlight

Desolation Road Desolation Road Flavoured with a voice that blends the delightful prose of Jack Vance with the idiosyncratic stylings of Cordwainer Smith, this novel is, most of all, about the dusty town of Desolation Road in the middle of the red Martian desert. Episodic in scope, it would also work as short stories. An elderly couple get lost in the infinite space of their garden, a baby growing in a jar is stolen and replaced with a mango, a man called The Hand plays electric guitar for the clouds and starts the first rain for one hundred and fifty thousand years. McDonald has used the setting for other stories. Desolation Road topped the Locus poll for best first novel in 1988 and it was nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1990.

Out on Blue Six (1988)
Bantam Spectra

Out on Blue Six Out on Blue Six describes a utopia called the Compassionate Society of Great Yu. Any citizen who is not entirely happy is guilty of PainCrime. A cartoonist, Courtney Hall, publishes a political cartoon which provokes the Ministry of Pain. She becomes hunted by the Love Police. To escape, she goes underground. Through a manhole, she finds a teeming metropolis of tunnels and nests populated by a world of orgasm junkies and biochiped racoons and a solitary rebel who dreams of finding an edge.

King of Morning, Queen of Day (1991)
Bantam Spectra

King of Morning, Queen of Day King of Morning, Queen of Day was also a short story in Empire Dreams. In fact, it is a trilogy of linked novellas and a short interlude (the stort story forms the basis of the first novella). The link is a young Irish girl who appears throughout. The stories are set in different times and the prose is modelled on other writers of the respective periods. The first part uses early SF along with William Butler Yeats done in diary form. The second part is a mixture of Samuel Beckett and James Joyce. The interlude is inspired by Molly's monologue in James Joyce's Ulysses and the third part is based on present-day media. The novel won the 1992 Philip K. Dick Award for best original SF paperback.

Hearts, Hands and Voices [in UK] / The Broken Land [in US] (1992)
Gollancz, Bantam Spectra

The Broken Land Set in a far future where trux and houses are grown and the heads of dead family members are spliced into special trees to grow and to communicate, it is the story of Mathembe Fileli. Her world is torn apart when the Emperor's troops massacre her townfolk following the discovery of two rebels being hidden there. It follows her struggle to reunite with her famliy through a land rich in mystery, science and magic. Hearts, Hands and Voices was nominated for an Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Kling Klang Klatch (1992)
VG Graphics

Kling Klang Klatch Klick Klang Klatch is a graphic novel. The script is written by Ian McDonald, the illustrations are done by David Lyttleton and lettering by James Otis.

It is set in a superficially glittering world that, if not exactly human, reflects humanity's desires, corruption, and racism at a fundamental level. Ian McDonald's blackly bizarre wit and David Lyttleton's razor sharp eye for detail have created a unique fantasy with a delicious streak of dark humour. (Or so says the publisher's blurb.)

Necroville [in UK] / Terminal Café [in US] (1994)
Gollancz, Bantam Spectra

Necroville Terminal Café Nominated by the British SF Association Award in 1994, it leads the reader into a tragic story of Santiago, an artist, whose work in drugs and software has lead him to a necroville. There, a village of the resurrected dead which forbids entrance to the living, he comes to openly embrace death, the culmination of his life as an artist. But events are never that simple. The dead have decided to forment a revolution against those who hold them in.

Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone (1994)
Bantam Spectra

Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone Despite being a novella, this rich story concerns Ethan Ring who, together with a friend, has developed a number of very special graphicss that they call "fracters." These have the ability to elicit varied reactions from the person who reads text written with them. What has been read must be done, time might stop, memories might disappear, certain things forgotten, wonderous healings done, etc. To save his soul, Ethan embarks on a thousand mile pilgrimage braving treacherous terrain and bandit gangs. For he has fallen prey to the seductive lure of his own gift.

Sacrifice of Fools (1996)

Sacrifice of Fools The Shians have landed. In exchange for technology, Earth has ceded them enclaves. Ex-criminal Andy Gillespie has become one of the liaison folk who are there to ease the Shian transition to life on Earth. On his way to a Shian celebration, he finds himself the chief suspect in the barbaric mutilation and murder of five Shian. To save himself, Andy decides to track down the true culprits. On the hunt, he joins forces with a Shian lawyer, both know that the police are following close on their heels. It's frustrating because no one will talk to them but it is obvious that the aliens fear something (or someone). But their only real clue is a Shian phrase, Sacrifice of Fools.


Empire Dreams (1988)
Bantam Spectra

Empire Dreams Published simultaneously as Desolation Road, the Empire Dreams collection was intended to exploit the author's nomination for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1985. It collects the following stories:
Visits to Remarkable Cities
Unfinished Portrait of the King of Pain by Van Gogh
Scenes from a Shadowplay
Radio Marrakech
King of Morning, Queen of Day
The Island of the Dead
Empire Dreams (Ground Control to Major Tom)
The Catharine Wheel (Our Lady of Tharsis)

Speaking in Tongues (1992)
Gollancz, Bantam Spectra

Speaking in Tongues Published four years after Empire Dreams, it collects the following stories:
Rainmaker Cometh
Speaking in Tongues
Fragments of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria
Approaching Perpendicular
Floating Dogs
Atomic Avenue
Toward Kilimanjaro

Chaga [in UK] / Evolution's Shore [in US] (1995)
Gollancz, Bantam Spectra

Chaga Evolution's Shore Chaga is an expanded version of the short story, "Toward Kilimanjaro," which appeared in Speaking in Tongues. It examines the global impact of alien vegetation spreading through Africa following a meteor strike. There is also a short story, "Recording Angel," which is an out-take from the novel. Read Rodger's review of Evolution's Shore.

Kirinya (1998)

Kirinya In this sequel to Chaga, Gaby McAslan, who was once a hungry reporter, is now living with her daughter in the Chaga zone in a writers, dancers and artists' colony. Dr. Shepard has been held on board the Big Dumb Object, the craft in orbit between Earth and Moon. But the massive political and military upheavals that are rocking the world are about to drag her back into action.

Tendeléo's Story (2000)
PS Publishing

Tendeléo's Story Tendeléo Bi, who is 14, lives a pastoral life. Her world doesn't much extend beyond her parents' farm, her father's church and the village of Gichichi. Then one night, the alien Chaga falls to earth and all is changed. The alien infestation makes its slow daily 10 metre advance transforming non-animal life in its path into an environment that is strange, deadly, wondrous and unstoppable. It destroys her village turning her into a refugee, a smuggler, a gangster and finally a spy. As the southern hemisphere is being terraformed, Ten find life, hope, love and happiness in the UK, only to have it stripped from her as she's deported to a homeland that barely exists any more. She begins to understand that she is the only one who can control her future and she has a plan to have one.

Ares Express (2001)
Simon & Schuster Earthlight

Ares Express Mars has been terraformed by orbiting clouds of machinery called Angels. The red deserts are cross-hatched with railroad tracks carrying gigantic fusion-powered trains with engines the size of ocean liners. One such behemoth is Catherine of Tharsis, run and inhabited by generations of the family of Sweetness Octave Glorious Honeybun Asiim Engineer 12th. When they arrange an unwelcome marriage, Sweetness escapes, pursued by Grandma. She is someone special, as a green-skinned prophet tells her, and so is a ghost twin who talks to her from mirrors. A fake evangelist with a flying cathedral sees her as the key to a real apocalypse. Then there is a quantum time-traveller, a town blighted by a dream plague, some artisans building giant furniture in the deserts, a troupe of anarchist saboteurs that humiliate wrong-doers with "massive practical jokes", and so many other memorable characters.

River of Gods (2004)
Simon & Schuster

River of Gods It is 15 August 15th, 2047 on the eve of India's 100th anniversary. We are in the company of ten people carrying on their daily affairs. They include someone working 'Town And Country,' on a soap opera watched by hundreds of millions, who happens to be a a 'nute', or non-gendered person, a stand-up comic whose father is the head of Ray Power, one of India's biggest companies, a street thug casting about for that one big score, a 'Krishna Cop' whose job it is to track down rogue AI, his unhappy and somewhat estranged wife, a government advisor to the prime minister, an AI genius researcher gone local within the backpacking Western tourists and an American scientist working frantically to understand an orbiting alien artefact.

Uncollected Short Fiction

The Days of Solomon Gursky
1998 Asimov's Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois

After Kerry
1997 Asimov's Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois

The Best and the Rest of James Joyce
1992 Interzone #58
1993 The Year's Best Science Fiction: Tenth Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois

Big Chair
It uses the same setting as Desolation Road.
1992 Interzone #66

Blue Motel
1994 Blue Hotel: Narrow House 3 edited by Peter Crowther
1995 The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Eighth Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Brodie Loved the Masai Woman
1994 The Dedalus Book of Femmes Fatales edited by Brian Stableford

Fat Tuesday
1992 In Dreams edited by Paul J. McAuley and Kim Newman

It uses the same setting as Sacrifice of Fools.
1995 Interzone #100

The Further Adventures of Baron Munchausen: The Gulf War
1996 Interzone #109

1996 Dante's Disciples edited by Peter Crowther and Edward E. Kramer

Legitimate Targets
It uses the same setting as Sacrifice of Fools.
1994 New Worlds 4 edited by David Garnett

The Luncheonette of Lost Dreams
1992 Narrow Houses edited by Peter Crowther.

Recording Angel
It is an episode that didn't appear in the novel Chaga.
1996 Interzone #104

Some Strange Desire
1993 Omni Best Science Fiction Three edited by Ellen Datlow
1994 The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventh Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

1995 Heaven Sent: 18 Glorious Tales of the Angels edited by Peter Crowther.

The Time Garden
1994 Tombs edited by Edward E. Kramer and Peter Crowther

Copyright © 1999 by Rodger Turner

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