Michael Marshall Smith

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Michael Marshall Smith (born May 3, 1965) is a British novelist, screenwriter and short story writer who also writes as Michael Marshall.



Born in Knutsford, Cheshire, he moved with his family at an early age to first Illinois and then Florida. At the age of seven he moved again, this time to South Africa, and then to Australia before eventually returning home to England in the early 70s.

He was educated at Chigwell School, where he was in 'Swallows House', and King's College, Cambridge, where he studied Philosophy, Social and Political Science, and became involved with the Cambridge Footlights. Under the pseudonym of Michael Rutger, he moved on to become a comedy writer and performer on the BBC Radio 4 series And Now, in Colour which has been described as a 'cult hit' and ran for three series.

Writing career

His first published story was The Man Who Drew Cats which won the British Fantasy Award in 1991 for "Best Short Story". He has been published in Postscripts. His first novel, Only Forward, was published in 1994 and won the August Derleth Award for Best Novel in 1995, and then the Philip K. Dick Award in 2000. The plot involves the lead character, Stark, having to find a missing man he believes to have been kidnapped, and travel through the strange zones of his city. In 1996 his second novel, Spares, was released, a novel in which the lead character, Jack, goes on the run with clones who are used for spare body parts for rich people, when he realises they are people with feelings. Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks purchased the film rights for Spares, but a film was never made. When the rights lapsed, Dreamworks did produce The Island, whose plot had strong similarities to Spares, though Smith did not consider it worthwhile to pursue legal action over the similarities. He now considers it unlikely a Spares film will ever be made.[1]

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