Garth Nix was born in Melbourne in 1963 and moved to Canberra soon thereafter. After leaving school Nix joined the Army Reserve and enjoyed being a part-time soldier for the next five years. On a trip to England and Europe, Nix wrote a few stories, one of which 'Sam, Cars and Cuckoo' became his first published short story in 1984.
While working in a book shop in Canberra, Nix began writing his first novel, The Ragwitch, which was published in 1990 in Australia and in 1994 in the US. He graduated with a degree in professional writing from the University of Canberra in 1996. Nix worked for several years in the publishing business in Sydney before travelling extensively including taking the overland route from London to Pakistan, tracing the footsteps of Alexander the Great. During that journey, Nix wrote part of his next book Sabriel, a fantasy novel for young adults, about a magical girl from a very different world, which won several awards and was short-listed for six US State awards. He managed to work and write part-time for several years before becoming a full-time writer at the end of 2001.
Nix's novels for young adults include Shade's Children (1997) a fantasy/science fiction novel, Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr (2001), which won the 2002 Adelaide Festival Award for Children's Literature, Serena and the Sea Serpent (2000) and the six book sequence for younger readers titled The Seventh Tower (2000).
'This is a masterful short story collection including a rarely seen Old Kingdom novella. Garth Nix proves he is a master of the short story with this intriguing collection of tales. Leading with the novella to hold the bridge, fans of Garth Nix will be more than satisfied with the richly detailed and thrilling tale of Charter Magic and a deathly duel. Fans new and old will delight in the subsequent tales, including fantasy and science fiction, with witches, vampires, strange worlds and stranger creatures making their appearance.' (Publication summary)