Michael John Grist writes weird science fiction and fantasy stories with a dark, surreal humor. His stories have been published in two pro-level magazines, Clarkesworld and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, as well as in numerous smaller publications.
His inspirations include bizarre modern art, exploring real life ruins (the ‘haikyo’ of Japan), breaking tech and the coming singularity, and great authors such as:
- Orson Scott Card, Haruki Murakami, David Gemmell, H.P.Lovecraft, Alan Garner, John Christopher, Paul Biegel, etc…
To date Michael has published two stories in pro-level magazines:
- The Bells of Subsidence (Clarkesworld #66 March 2012), which tells a Forrest Gumpian love story across the massive sweep of super-string space, where vast spaceships named Bells ‘planck’ their way through the depths seeking connection, and a lost and lonely girl named Aliqa is seeking the boy she will never forget.
- Bone Diamond (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #75 Aug 2011), which describes an alt history ancient Egypt where a lowly bone-jeweller morphs into a mass murderer under the pharaoh’s brutal thumb, after discovering diamonds growing within the bones of an alligator.
While many of his other stories have appeared in semi-pro and paying magazines, such as:
- Cullsman #9 : upcoming (Andromeda Spaceways May 2012)
- Sky Painter (Something Wicked #11 July 2011)
- Freemantle Mons (Something Wicked #9 Feb 2009)
- You can see Michael’s most recent published stories here.
- You can learn more about him on the About page.
- You can read many of his published stories in the Bibliography.
Michael is currently submitting a fantasy novel to agents, SAINT IGNIFER’S RISE. It’s set in a bizarre industrial city, about a boy condemned to death for the fate written in his scars.
Here are some artist’s concepts from the novel- first is Sen, covered in intricate scars. Next is street-savvy Mare with her half-head. Then the Balast Gellick, then Feyon Gravaile.
- You can learn more about this fantasy world here.
Critics have (so kindly) said…
…a vivid example of a realm where fear rules more strongly even than greed.
- Lois Tilton of Locus Online, on Bone Diamond.
What can I say about this work? The dialogue is salty as a damask whore. The world it takes place in has a disturbingly familiar foreignness that is never forced. It reverberates with verisimilitude without being portentous. You could call it allegorical biblical fantasy or literary tour de force. I call it simply a damn fine read.
- Theodore Rorschalk, on Celibate Jayne the Hammerhand
Michael John Grist successfully uses an ‘opposites’ concept, slightly exotic dialog, and at times sing-songy description to draw the reader through to the main attraction–a powerful and moving story of redemption.
- Melissa Palladino, on Celibate Jayne the Hammerhand
In [this story] … an old clock stops, and the people for whom it is a fixture are surprised to discover that the sun fails to rise and time fails to move forward without it. In the best tale of this issue, Freemantle Mons must discover why the sun refuses to rise and what it means not just for the city, but also for him.
- The Fix, on Freemantle Mons the Leviathan Smile
Thoughts on writing
In this series you can take the lid off Michael’s head and peek inside the thoughts of a developing writer as he works to hone his craft.