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 Bundle, a manic cocker spaniel.
Ian’s earliest memories of science fiction are fragmented. He remembers loving Doctor Who from an early age and other TV shows such as Lost in Space and Star Trek, but a defining moment came when he heard a radio adaptation of John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids. From that moment on he was hooked and became a frequent haunter of the local library, voraciously devouring the contents of their SF section.
This early love of science fiction manifested during his school days, 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.
Ian’s first published stories appeared in the late 1980s in small press magazines such as Dream and New Moon Quarterly, after which he took a break from writing in order to research his chosen fields of science fiction and fantasy. In other words, he read copious amounts of both. Clearly the research was extensive, because he published nothing further for some seventeen years. In the early 2000s he made the decision to pursue writing seriously, joining the Northampton SF Writers Group in 2004 after being introduced to its chairman, Ian Watson.
In 2006 he started submitting stories again, and has subsequently been surprised at how many otherwise eminently sensible people have chosen to publish him. A couple of his efforts have even been shortlisted for the occasional award (though none have yet won).
In 2006 Ian launched independent publisher NewCon Press, quite by accident (buy him a pint sometime and he’ll tell you about it). Through NewCon he has been privileged to work with some of the biggest names in genre fiction, as well as provide a platform for a number of extremely talented newcomers. The books, their covers and contents have racked up an impressive array of awards, with several NewCon stories appearing in ‘Year’s Best’ anthologies.
In addition to his publishing, editing and writing, Ian has been a judge for the Arthur C. Clarke Award and is a director of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), an organisation he previously chaired for several years.
In his spare time, Ian worries about all the things he ought to be doing.