about

I’m a novelist, columnist, critic, and writer of non-fiction.

My latest non-fiction is Stalin and the Scientists (Faber, October 2016). The Smoke, my most recent novel, was published by Gollancz in February 2018. My big reprint anthology, We Robots, is out now through Head of Zeus. Engineers of Human Souls, a book about writers and political power, is forthcoming from Bridge Street Press. A new novel, Childish Things, is doing the rounds.

I ‘ve ridden various hobby-horses: perception (The Eye: A Natural History), 20th-century radical politics (The Weight of Numbers), the shipping system (Dead Water) and augmented reality (Wolves). I co-founded and edited Arc magazine, then joined New Scientist as arts editor. I still write for New Scientist, also a monthly science-fiction column for the Times and reviews for the Telegraph ,the FT, The Times, The Spectator, and others.

My life looks more or less like this.

I occasionally bark at Twitter (as @simonings), but if you want to actually communicate you’re better off sending an email to my agent Peter Tallack at The Science Factory.