Michael Swanwick is an American science fiction writer, born on November 18, 1950 in Schenectady, New York. He first came to the attention of the SF world with a pair of stories both published in 1980: “Ginungagap,” which appeared in the much-discussed special SF issue of the literary journal Triquarterly, and “The Feast of Saint Janis,” published in the 11th volume of Robert Silverberg’s original anthology series New Dimensions. His first novel, In the Drift, appeared in 1985 in Terry Carr’s “Ace SF Specials” series.
Swanwick’s novels and short fiction have won numerous awards, including the 1990 Sturgeon Award for “The Edge of the World”; the 1992 Nebula Award for his novel Stations of the Tide; the 1996 World Fantasy Award for “Radio Waves”; and a remarkable run of Hugo Awards for short fiction, five of them in six years: “The Very Pulse of the Machine” in 1999, “Scherzo with Tyrannosaur” in 2000, “The Dog Said Bow-Wow” in 2002, “Slow Life” in 2003, and “Legions in Time” in 2004. Recent novels of note include 1997’s Jack Faust, 2002’s Bones of the Earth, and 2008’s The Dragons of Babel, a fantasy set in the same grittily re-imagined version of Faerie as his 1993 novel The Iron Dragon’s Daughter.
A prolific commenter about SF and fantasy, Swanwick has published many essays, reviews, and bagatelles. Two of his most major essays are collected in The Postmodern Archipelago (1997). In 2009 he published Hope-in-the-Mist, a book-length study of British novelist and poet Hope Mirrlees, author of the 1926 fantasy novel Lud-in-the-Mist.
Michael Swanwick lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Marianne Porter. They have one grown son, Sean.
Photo credit: Beth Gwinn.