Gareth L. Powell writes science fiction about ordinary characters in extraordinary situations.

He was born in Bristol in 1970 and still lives nearby. He began writing at school and was fortunate to count Diana Wynne Jones and Helen Dunmore as early mentors. After a number of small press publications, he sold his first professional short story to Interzone magazine in 2006. A short novel, Silversands, appeared in 2010 and was followed a year later by his first full-length novel, The Recollection.

Since then, he has written eight further novels, including the Embers of War trilogy and the four-book Ack-Ack Macaque series, as well as somehow finding the time to produce two short story collections, the nonfiction guide About Writing, and the novellas Ragged Alice, Downdraught and Light Chaser (co-written with Peter F. Hamilton).

His novels have twice won the British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel and have been finalists for both the Locus Award in the US and the Seiun Award in Japan. He is also the first person to have had individual work shortlisted in the Best Novel, Best Short Fiction, and Best Nonfiction categories of the BSFA Award in the same year.

Gareth has taught multiple writing workshops at Aberystwyth and Brunel universities as well as guesting at Arvon and running workshops for the Bristol and Manx literature festivals, and at conventions in the UK and Croatia. He has also written for The Guardian, The Irish Times, and SFX, and been a regular columnist for The Engineer.

His work is published in French, German, Czech, Croatian, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Japanese, and he is represented in all professional matters by Alexander Cochran of the C&W literary agency.



  • 2018 BSFA Award – Best Novel – Embers of War
  • 2013 BSFA Award – Best Novel – Ack-Ack Macaque


  • 2020 BFS Awards – Best Novella – Ragged Alice
  • 2020 Locus Awards – Best SF Novel – Fleet of Knives
  • 2020 BSFA Awards – Best Novel – Fleet of Knives
  • 2020 BSFA Awards – Best Shorter Fiction – Ragged Alice
  • 2020 BSFA Awards – Best Non-fiction – About Writing
  • 2020 Subjective Chaos Awards – Best SF Novel – Fleet of Knives
  • 2019 Locus Awards – Best SF Novel – Embers of War
  • 2016 Seiun Awards – Best Translated Novel – Ack-Ack Macaque
  • 2015 BSFA Awards – Best Short Fiction – ‘Ride The Blue Horse’