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Local author takes out World Fantasy Award

• Author Jack Dann with his wife Dr. Janeen Webb at the World Fantasy Award ceremony held in San Antonio, Texas

JACK DANN’S anthology Dreaming in the Dark has just won the World Fantasy Award.  It is just one of over seventy-five books either written or edited by Dann.

“The stories in this anthology had to knock me out,” said Dann.

They didn’t just knock him out but also knocked out the judges of the world fantasy awards.

Dann was born in upstate New York and came to live in Melbourne and Foster when he married Australian Janeen Webb who is also a writer.

Foster is our ‘home of the heart’. It’s supposed to be our weekender but now our flat in the city is our weekender,” he said.

As well as writing and editing all those books Dann has just received a PhD from the University of Queensland and become a senior adjunct research fellow in their School of Communication and Arts.

“I got into my seventies before I did my PhD,” Dann said. “What I would like is more life. I’d still like to go to Medical School and become a Doctor.”

Dann did his PhD on a Fellowship. “It was a great gig,” he said.

His books include the international bestseller The Memory Cathedral, The Rebel, The Silent, Junction, and The Man Who Melted. He is a recipient of the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award and the Australian Aurealis Award (three times), the Ditmar Award (five times), the Peter McNamara Achievement Award and also the Peter McNamara Conveners’ Award for Excellence, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the Premios Gilgames de Narrativa Fantastica award. He has also been honoured by the Mark Twain Society (Esteemed Knight).

Dann’s work has been compared to Jorge Luis Borges, Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, Castaneda, Ray Bradbury, J. G. Ballard, Mark Twain, and Philip K. Dick. Philip K. Dick, author of the stories from which the films Blade Runner and Total Recall were made, wrote that “Junction is where Ursula Le Guin’s Lathe of Heaven and Tony Boucher’s ‘The Quest for Saint Aquin’ meet…and yet it’s an entirely new novel…. I may very well be basing some of my future work on Junction.”

Library Journal has called Dann “…a true poet who can create pictures with a few perfect words.” Roger Zelazny thought he was a reality magician and Best Sellers has said that “Jack Dann is a mind-warlock whose magicks will confound, disorient, shock, and delight.” The Washington Post Book World compared his novel The Man Who Melted with Ingmar Bergman’s film The Seventh Seal.

Dann’s major historical novel about Leonardo da Vinci—entitled The Memory Cathedral—won the Australian Aurealis Award, was #1 on The Age bestseller list, and a story based on the novel was awarded the Nebula Award. The Memory Cathedral was also shortlisted for the Audio Book of the Year, which was part of the Braille & Talking Book Library Awards.

Morgan Llwelyn called The Memory Cathedral “a book to cherish, a validation of the novelist’s art and fully worthy of its extraordinary subject.” The San Francisco Chronicle called it “A grand accomplishment,” Kirkus Reviews thought it was “An impressive accomplishment,” and True Review said, “Read this important novel, be challenged by it; you literally haven’t seen anything like it.”

The West Australian called Dann’s novel, The Rebel: An Imagined Life of James Dean “an amazingly evocative and utterly convincing picture of the era, down to details of the smells and sensations—and even more importantly, the way of thinking.”

Dann’s short stories have been collected in Timetipping, Visitations, Promised Land (a companion volume to The Rebel), and the retrospective short story collection Jubilee: The Essential Jack Dann. The West Australian said it was “Sometimes frightening, sometimes funny, erudite, inventive, beautifully written and always intriguing

Dann is also the co-editor, with Janeen Webb, of the groundbreaking Australian anthology Dreaming Down-Under, which Peter Goldsworthy called “the biggest, boldest, most controversial collection of original fiction ever published in Australia.” It won Australia’s Ditmar Award and was the first Australian book ever to win the World Fantasy Award. He has also edited a sequel to Dreaming Down-Under: Dreaming Again. Dreaming Again is at once quintessentially Australian and enticingly other.

Dann is the managing director of PS Australia and you can get copies of his books by visiting

The Rebel, The Silent, The Man Who Melted, and Promised Land are available from Audible as audio books.

You can also visit his website at and follow him on Twitter @jackmdann


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