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Michael John Grist is a British science-fiction & fantasy author, and ruins photographer who lives in Tokyo, Japan.
- His short stories have been published in Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Andromeda Spaceways, Ideomancer, Kaleidotrope, as well as in numerous other publications. He typically writes heroic science fiction and epic fantasy with a dark, surreal humor.
He also explores and photographs the modern ruined buildings of Japan, known as haikyo (AKA urbex), driven by a childhood spent re-enacting the adventures of Indiana Jones and the Goonies in the fields behind his house.
Now that he's grown up, this kind of 'exploring' may seem a bit of a silly thing to do (as one friend pointed out- 'they're just dirty old buildings'), but the appeal of photography, travel, and yes, still adventure, keep him coming back for more.
Some of the 70 or so locations he's visited include abandoned theme parks, military installations, ruins of the sex industry, and ghost towns.
- He has contributed haikyo articles and photography to books, web magazines, encyclopedias, print magazines, and is featured in the award-winning haikyo documentary movie Silent Visitors.
Michael was born in Manchester, England, to an American mother and British father. He was raised in Bolton, where as a kid he wrote snippets of fantasy stories and explored the horse's field behind his house. Nothing much has changed since then, except the snippets became full stories and the horse's field got a whole lot bigger.
In his childhood summers he visited his family in Kentucky, where he learnt how to make s'mores, enjoyed night-time hay-rides, and worked in his uncle's bike shop. In his late teens he worked at a summer camp for disadvantaged kids in Massachusetts, and after graduating high school in the UK he went (glutton for punishment, yes) to high school again, in Indiana, on an exchange program for two semesters. It was there that he first took creative writing classes, and started work on his first novel (which is now maturing on his hard drive like a fine wine). He also took a Greyhound trip around the country (six days and nights on a bus), which reinforced his thirst for exploration.
Now he enjoys the odd game of squash and badminton, working out in the gym, going to ruins, and of course writing stories and novels. He lives in a central Tokyo apartment with his wife and their pet King Frog, and works as an English lecturer at university.