Garth Computerworld and PCWorld.Nix lives in Sydney with his

Garth NixGarth Richard Nix (born 19 July 1963) is an Australian writer who specialises in children’s and young adult fantasy novels, notably the Old Kingdom, Seventh Tower and Keys to the Kingdom series. He has frequently been asked if his name is a pseudonym, to which he has responded, “I guess people ask me because it sounds like the perfect name for a writer of fantasy. However, it is my real name.Born in Melbourne, Nix was raised in Canberra. He attended Turner Primary School, Lyneham High School and Dickson College for schooling. While at Dickson College, Nix joined the Australian Army Reserve. After a period working for the Australian government, he traveled in Europe before returning to Australia in 1983 and undertaking a BA in professional writing at Canberra University. He worked in a Canberra bookshop after graduation, before moving to Sydney in 1987, where he worked his way up in the publishing field. He was a sales rep and publicist before becoming a Senior editor at HarperCollins. In 1993 he commenced further travel in Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe before becoming a marketing consultant, founding his own company, Gotley Nix Evans Pty Ltd. From 1999-2002 he worked as a literary agent with Curtis Brown (Australia) Pty Ltd before becoming a full-time author.             In addition to his work as a fantasy novelist, Nix has written a number of scenarios and articles for the role playing field, including those for Dungeons & Dragons and Traveller. These have appeared in related publications such as White Dwarf, Multiverse and Breakout!. He has also written case studies, articles and news items in the information technology field, his work appearing in publications such as Computerworld and PCWorld.Nix lives in Sydney with his wife Anna McFarlane, a publisher, and their sons Thomas, Henry and Edward.The Australian writer Garth Nix very quickly emerged as one of the most interesting new writers of young adult fantasy starting with Sabriel (1995), the first volume of the Abhorsen trilogy, which mixed traditional fantasy elements with darker themes. The young protagonist has been warned to stay away from an area where magic works and where the dead are rumored to walk, but the temptation is too great. There she encounters Abhorsen, whose job is to lay the dead to rest, defeating some genuinely creepy monsters in the process. The story was intense enough to attract a considerable adult audience, as did two sequels. In the first, Lirael (2001), another young girl goes on a lonely quest accompanied only by her dog, and in Abhorsen (2003) we witness perhaps the ultimate battle between good and evil, with the former trying to sharpen the distinction between life and death and the latter seeking to eliminate the living. Although it appeared that the story concluded with this volume, the collection of stories Across the Wall: A Tale of the Abhorsen and Other Stories (2005) was partially set in the same world, suggesting that the series may continue.Nix also wrote a much less ambitious series of six books in the Seventh Tower series, consisting of The Fall, Castle, Aenir, Above the Veil, Into Battle, and The Violent Keystone, all published in 2000 and 2001. The setting is reminiscent of the work of Mervyn Peake in that the action takes place within a gigantic castle so large that it is essentially a city, providing a large cast of characters and a wide variety of settings for the young protagonists, who seek a missing magical artifact and battle a number of enemies before recovering it and saving the castle from destruction. It is aimed at a much younger audience than the Abhorsen trilogy and has less appeal for mature readers.Nix has recently started a new series with Keys to the Kingdom: Mister Monday (2003), Grim Tuesday (2004), Drowned Wednesday (2005), Sir Thursday (2006), Lady Friday (2007), Superior Saturday (2008), and Lord Sunday(2010), also for young readers. The protagonist is a boy with magical powers who must defeat a succession of interesting villains. Nix’s occasional short stories for adults, such as “Under the Lake” (2001) and “Heart’s Desire” (2004), indicate that he might find a welcome audience among adults as well as children.The author of dozens of books for children and young adults, Australian writer Garth Nix is best known for his fantasy novels in the “Old Kingdom” trilogy, which includes Sabriel,Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr, and Abhorsen.Writing for a slightly younger audience, he has also penned the six-novel cycle published as the “Seventh Tower” series as well as the ongoing “Keys to the Kingdom” fantasy saga. In 2011, he inaugurated a new series, “Troubletwisters,” with Sean Williams.Nix is known for his engaging and finely detailed fiction. He told Kelly Milner Halls for about the need for fantasy and magic in his own life and how it helps to fuel his popular fiction. “Like most fantasy authors, I would love to have magic in this world,” Nix explained. “It would be great to be able to fly, or summon a complete restaurant meal on a white tablecloth to a deserted beach, or to take the shape of an animal. But I wouldn’t want the downside of most fantasy books–the enemies, evil creatures, and threats to the whole world–and my sense of balance indicates that you can’t have the good without the bad.” Nix has explained the genesis of his novels on his home page: “Most of my books seem to stem from a single image or thought that lodges in my brain and slowly grows into something that needs to be expressed. That thought may be a ‘what if?’ or perhaps just an image. … Typically I seem to think about a book for a year or so before I actually start writing.”In his books for young readers, Nix creates amazing and intricate worlds, a cast of characters that stick in the imagination, and lessons of friendship and loyalty that resonate. According to K.V. Johansen, writing in Resource Links, “Nix’s ability to create unique and vividly detailed secondary worlds, interesting, engaging characters both strong and vulnerable, and plots in which neither tension nor balance between desperate struggle and hope of success is lost, along with an excellent prose style, makes him stand out among today’s fantasy writers for young people.”Born in 1963 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Nix grew up in Canberra with an older and a younger brother. His father worked in science, while his mother was an artist, working with papermaking. Both parents wrote and read widely, so Nix had a firm foundation for his own future work. In fact, as Nix has noted, his mother was reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy when she was pregnant with him, “so I absorbed this master work of fantasy in utero, as it were.””I went all through school in Canberra,” Nix remarked in an autobiographical sketch on his home page, “but as with many authors, much of my education came from books. … My apprenticeship as an author began with reading.” Early on he encountered the works of Ursula Le Guin, Robert Heinlein, Robert Louis Stevenson, John Masefield, Mary Stewart, Isaac Asimov, Madeleine L’Engle, and a variety of other fantasy and science fiction authors. He recalled that he would much rather read a book than do his homework, but he did well in school. “I was a smart and smart-mouthed kid,” he remarked on his home page, “but I got on pretty well with everyone, probably because my best friend was always the school captain in every school and he was friends with everybody.”At age seventeen, Nix considered a career as an army officer, so he joined the Australian Army Reserve, serving for one weekend a month and one month per year in training. He discovered that he did not want to make the military his career but enjoyed the part-time soldiering enough to stick with it, learning how to build bridges and then blow them up. He was also going to the University of Canberra during these years, and he worked a paper-shuffling job with the Australian government for a year. He saved enough money to go traveling for six months, hitting the roads in England. It was during this time away from Australia that he began writing, composing the short story “Sam, Cars and the Cuckoo” while on the road. He learned of its sale when he returned to Australia and was contacted for reprint rights.With this success, Nix decided he could become a professional writer. To that end, he earned a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from the University of Canberra and immediately took a job at Dalton’s Bookshop in Canberra. “I now believe that anyone who works in publishing should spend at least three months in a bookshop, where the final product ends up,” he once commented. Nix spent six months at the job and then went into publishing, working as a sales representative, publicist, and editor to gain knowledge of all ends of the publishing and writing industry. During the six years he spent in publishing, he also became a published novelist.Nix’s earliest publications were far from fantasy, although they do include elements of the fantastical. His self-published “Very Clever Baby” books are parodies. “They’re little books that I first made back in 1988 as presents for some friends expecting babies, on the basis that all parents think their babies are geniuses,” Nix explained to Claire E. White on Writers Write. Greeting-card sized, the little books are intended for adults rather than children.If the “Very Clever Baby” books were intended as a joke, there was nothing joke-like about Nix’s first published novel, The Ragwitch, which he had worked on as part of his degree requirement. Published in Australia in 1990, the novel tells the story of Paul and his sister Julia who are exploring a prehistoric garbage dump. There they find a nest that contains a rag doll that has the power to enslave others; and Julia becomes its first victim. Paul must then go into a bizarre fantasy world in order to save his sister. Reviewing this first novel, Ann Tolman wrote in Australian Bookseller and Publisher that Nix “skillfully relates a magical tale which begins in a nice and easy way, but soon develops into a compelling and involving story of a journey through evil times.” Tolman further noted that the book provides “good adult mystic escapism with considerable imaginative experiences for the reader.” Similarly, Laurie Copping, writing in the Canberra Times, called The Ragwitch an “engrossing novel which should be enjoyed by true lovers of high fantasy.”Nix’s novel Shade’s Children is science fiction. Nonetheless, wrote a Publishers Weekly critic, the book “tells essentially the same story” as Sabriel, with its “desperate quest by a talented few.” In Shade’s Children, a psychic young boy, Gold-Eye, runs to escape the evil Overlords who use the body parts of children for their own insidious purposes. The novel is set in a future time when the earth has been taken over by terrible aliens that have destroyed all humans over age fourteen; the only adult presence is Shade, a computer-generated hologram. Gold-Eye joins a group of teenagers who, working from Shade’s submarine base, fight the Overlords. In addition to battling the aliens, these young people must deal with betrayal and with losing half their group; however, they learn about their special talents and achieve victory through their sacrifices.A Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded that, while Shade’s Children “lacks some of the emotional depth of Nix’s first work, it will draw (and keep) fans of the genre.” A critic in Kirkus Reviews called the book “an action-adventure with uncommon appeal outside the genre” and said that the author “combines plenty of comic-book action in a sci-fi setting to produce an exciting read.” Flowers praised Nix’s characterization of his young protagonists, adding that “the author leaves the reader to draw many conclusions from scattered evidence, hence capturing and holding the audience’s attention all the way to the bittersweet ending.” Donna L. Scanlon, writing in Voice of Youth Advocates, had further praise for the title, noting that through “a fast-paced combination of narrative, transcripts, chilling statistical reports, and shifting points of view, Nix depicts a chilling future.” For Scanlon, Nix’s grim futuristic view is also “laced with hope,” while Reading Time contributor Kevin Steinberger deemed Shade’s Children “one of the best adolescent reads of the year.”In 2012, Nix published A Confusion of Princes, a highly publicized science fiction “space opera” for young adults. The novel features nineteen-year-old Khemri, a prince of the Empire. Khemri is not unique in his position of authority, for he is one of millions of princes who govern the galaxy under the direction of an enigmatic Emperor. Like his fellow princes, he has been physically and mentally augmented and raised in abundance and physically and mentally augmented. Essentially immortal, he is also arrogant and naive. But part of his training–a mission to Kharalcha–forces him to face powerful enemies without augmentations. Stripped of his advantages and surrounded by danger, Khemri discovers what is means to be human.Critics praised A Confusion of Princes, drawing comparisons to Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction series, “Dune,” and the writings of Robert A. Heinlein and Andre Norton. Booklist critic Charli Osborne wrote that Nix “keeps the details fresh through use of sf tropes, employing them to explore big-picture issues.” “Nix’s fantasy has enough gadgets, escapes, battles, duels, deaths, and near-death experiences to keep die-hard adventure story readers enthralled,” predicted Deirdre F. Baker in Horn Book magazine. Reviewing A Confusion of Princesin School Library Journal, Eric Norton remarked: “Nix once again proves his mastery of speculative fiction by creating a society unlike any in his previous works.” A Kirkus Reviews contributor quipped: “Space battles! Political intrigue! Engineered warriors! Techno-wizardry! Assassins! Pirates! Rebels! Duels! Secrets, lies, sex and True Love! What more can anybody ask for?”To Hold the Bridge is a short story collection, which includes a novella featuring characters from the “Old Kingdom” series. A Publishers Weekly contributor suggested: “Invariably well-written and featuring engaging characters throughout, these stories are all a pleasure to read.” “This is an enjoyable read for fantasy and science fiction fans,” asserted Ed Goldberg in Voice of Youth Advocates.Booklist writer, Michael Cart, described the collection as “a feast for speculative-fiction fans of all ages.” Sue Polchow, critic in School Librarian, stated: “This is an unusual collection of nineteen thought-provoking short stories covering a myriad of genres.” ” Readers of speculative fiction, whether teens or adults, should find much to enjoy in this collection,” noted Eric Norton in School Library Journal.Blood Ties is a collaboration between Nix and Sean Williams. Set in the land of Zhong, the story features a protagonist named Meilin, who has a spirit animal called Jhi.Work Cited