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Ian McDonald (b. 1960) is a science fiction novelist and comics writer. He was born in Manchester to a Scottish father and an Irish mother, and has lived in Belfast since the age of five.
He became a fan of SF from childhood TV, began writing when he was 9, sold his first story to a local Belfast magazine when he was 22, and in 1987 became a full-time writer. He has also worked in TV consultancy within Northern Ireland, contributing scripts to the Northern Irish Sesame Workshop production Sesame Tree.
His themes include nanotechnology, postcyberpunk settings, and the impact of rapid social and technological change on non-Western societies. He is known for his work set in developing nations. His 1990s "Chaga Saga" is particularly notable for its analysis of the AIDS crisis in Africa. His 2004 novel River of Gods is set in mid-twenty-first-century India, and his 2007 novel Brasyl, set in the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries in Lusophone South America, was nominated for, and reached the longlist of, the £50,000 Warwick Prize for Writing.
He wrote the satirical cyberpunk graphic novel Kling Klang Klatch, illustrated by David Lyttleton and published by Victor Gollancz in 1992.