The Short Version, or: MY BIO

Sam J. Miller is the Nebula-Award-winning author of The Art of Starving (an NPR best of the year) and Blackfish City (a best book of the year for Vulture, The Washington Post, Barnes & Noble, and more – and a “Must Read” in Entertainment Weekly and O: The Oprah Winfrey Magazine). A recipient of the Shirley Jackson Award and a graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop, Sam’s work has been nominated for the World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon, John W. Campbell and Locus Awards, and reprinted in dozens of anthologies. A community organizer by day, he lives in New York City.

(see below for hi-res author photo for promotional purposes, or click here (photo credit is to Kalyaní-Aindrí Sánchez))

The Long Version, or: FUN FACTS ABOUT ME

That’s my grandfather, in the white apron in the doorway.

I live in New York City now, but I grew up in a middle-of-nowhere town in upstate New York. My father was a butcher, and his father was a butcher, and I was trained as a butcher, but our butcher shop went down the toilet when I was 17 and our town was eaten alive by Wal-Mart. Since then I’ve been a vegetarian (check me out on NPR, telling Scott Simon of Weekend Edition all about the butcher shop and how awesome my dad was). I had an eating disorder when I was a teenager, which is where my novel THE ART OF STARVING came from. I used to be the guitarist in a punk rock band, and then a painter’s model (here’s a painting of me, and here’s one of me at 18 (five feet high!), both by the amazing Taylor Harbison). In high school, I was named Most Valuable Swimmer on our swim team… because I was the only swimmer… because everybody else got kicked off. I watch way too much television. Joan Rivers once asked me if I was gay (I AM). I got married in a guerrilla wedding under the tyrannosaurus rex at the American Museum of Natural History.

My work has been nominated for the Nebula Award and World Fantasy Award and Crawford Award and Locus Award and Theodore Sturgeon Award and John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book, was long-listed for the Hugo Award and James Tiptree Award and British Science Fiction Association Award, and has won the Shirley Jackson Award and the Andre Norton Award for Best Young Adult Novel. I’ve also been in fifteen+ “Best Of” anthologies (but who’s counting?). I’m a proud graduate of the 2012 Clarion Writers Workshop and a member of the phenomenal SFF writers group Altered Fluid. My literary agent is Seth Fishman of the Gernert Company; my film and television agent is Debbie Deuble Hill at APA. 

My debut young adult novel THE ART OF STARVING (HarperTeen) was one of NPR’s Best Books of the Year, and got nominated for four different awards! My regular-adult novel BLACKFISH CITY (Ecco/USA; Orbit/UK) was a “Must Read” in Entertainment Weekly and in O: The Oprah Magazine, was nominated for three awards, and was picked up for reprinting and translation in six other countries. 

My fiction has been translated into Croatian, Czech, French, Hebrew, Italian, Hungarian, Japanese, Mandarin, Polish, and Russian. The French newspaper Le Soir called me “a rising star of science fiction in the U.S… and soon the world.”

* I don’t really look like this

Together with the brilliant Aviva Briefel, I co-edited Horror After 9/11, a critical anthology published in 2011 by the University of Texas Press, which was included in the “Brilliant/Lowbrow” quadrant of New York Magazine’s famed “Approval Matrix.”

Check under “Stories” for some of my work, including links to the ones that are available online.

When I’m not trying to smash the system via somewhat-subversive stories, I’m trying to smash the system by organizing poor people to fight collectively for social justice. I spent fifteen years as a community organizer at Picture the Homeless, where I played a part in organizing billions of amazing protests and events, helped win over 120 policy and legislative victories, and I coordinated the writing of a major report that was required reading in urban planning courses at Columbia University—and was banned in New York State prisons. I’m also a member of the Community Funding Committee of the North Star Fund.

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Head Shot

Click for hi-res version!! Photo credit: Kalyaní-Aindrí Sánchez