Michael John Grist is a science-fiction & fantasy author, and ruins photographer who lives in Tokyo, Japan.
His short stories have been published in pro-fiction magazines Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaselesss Skies, Ideomancer and Andromeda Spaceways.
His ruins explorations have garnered millions of hits and been featured in the Guardian newspaper and numerous magazines, as well as in the award-winning ruins documentary Silent Visitors.
Read on for more.
Michael has published two collections of short stories, featuring all his professionally published stories plus many brand new ones.
Bone Diamond is an e-book collection of 9 weird fantasy stories, plunging into a surreal world where the direction East is a living thing, the Moon counsels children to evil deeds, and diamonds grow in living bone.
- “The dark insanity in this story develops out of greed and terror and self-loathing, until all healthy logic in one person is destroyed. Human life becomes as expendable as filthy Nile water. A very satisfying ending.” – Sherry Decker, Tangent Magazine
- “Wow. Horrifying and compelling and poignant. This one is going to stick with me.” – Kim, Ideomancer.
- Read more here.
The Bells of Subsidence
The Bells of Subsidence is an e-book collection of 9 science fiction stories, charting a path through a psychedelic, demon-haunted universe, from the farthest reaches of galactic empire to the deepest ruins of our own dystopic future.
- “… the images are striking and euphonious, and the story is moving.” – Lois Tilton, Locus Mag
- ” … beautifully written … satisfying … atmospheric … emotional … ” – Customer reviews on amazon.
- Read more here.
Saint Ignifer’s Rise
Michael is currently working on a heroic fantasy novel called Saint Ignifer’s Rise, the first book in the Ignifer Cycle, a trilogy.
The fate of the world is written in scars.
In the gritty industrial city of Saint Ignifer, where brutal laws of caste enslave the misshapen, Sen is a condemned child, hunted for the bizarre scars written into his skin. He leads a secret life in the city’s last abbey, hidden away from the King’s murderous Adjunc.
But when the Adjunc break down his abbey’s walls and start killing, Sen must flee. Lost and confused in the city’s abandoned slumlands, he begins to search for the truth behind his scars. From hidden sewers and forgotten ruins, he unearths a conspiracy far darker than he ever imagined; three thousand years in the making. An apocalypse god is rising, and only the legendary hero Saint Ignifer can stop it.
But Saint Ignifer is dead.
With just five broken children of wildly different castes at his sides, Sen must rally a bloody revolution to raise the Saint to life, and ultimately confront the terrible fate written in his scars – within the volcano’s caldera, at the end of the world, before the black jaws of the apocalypse descend.
For the Rot is coming, and the Saint must rise.
- Read more about Saint Ignifer’s Rise here.
- Read more about MJG’s books here.
Exploring Ruins / Haikyo
Michael explores and photograph the modern ruined buildings of Japan, known as haikyo (AKA urbex), driven by a childhood spent re-enacting the adventures of Indiana Jones and the Goonies in the fields behind his house.
Some of the 70 or so locations he has visited include abandoned theme parks, military installations, ruins of the sex industry, and ghost towns. The best though are theme parks, in particular Nara Dreamland and Sports World.
He has contributed haikyo articles and photography to books, web magazines, encyclopedias, print magazines, and he is featured in the haikyo documentary Silent Visitors.
- You can see his ruins / haikyo photography here,
- and see a curation of world ruins photographs here.
Michael was born in Manchester, England, to an American mother and British father. He was raised in Bolton, where as a kid he wrote snippets of fantasy stories and explored the horse’s field behind his house. Nothing much has changed since then, except the snippets became full stories and the horse’s field got a whole lot bigger.
In his childhood summers he visited his family in Kentucky, where he learnt how to make s’mores, enjoyed night-time hay-rides, and worked in his uncle’s bike shop. In his late teens he worked at a summer camp for disadvantaged kids in Massachusetts, and after graduating high school in the UK he went (glutton for punishment, yes) to high school again, in Indiana, on an exchange program for two semesters. It was there that he first took creative writing classes, and started work on his first novel (which is now maturing on his hard drive like a fine wine). He also took a Greyhound trip around the country (six days and nights on a bus), which reinforced his thirst for exploration.
Now he enjoys the odd game of squash and badminton, working out in the gym, going to ruins, and of course writing stories and novels. He lives in a central Tokyo apartment with his wife and their pet King Frog, and works as an English lecturer at university.
You can contact Michael about use of photos, potential advertising offers, and most anything else by emailing michaeljohngrist @ hotmail.com (after removing the spaces)
- As a fun little grace note, you can learn more about the design and evolution of this website here.