The author of four novels and more than 120 published short stories, Stephen Dedman is considered one of Australia's most prolific speculative-fiction authors. His career to date has seen him win two Aurealis Awards and an Australian Science Fiction Achievement Award, and make the shortlist for prestigious awards such as the Bram Stoker Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, the Seiun Award, the Sidewise Award and the Spectrum Award.
In addition to his writing Dedman has been a book reviewer, an associate editor of Eidolon
, the fiction editor of Borderlands
, a book buyer for most of Perth's science-fiction bookshops, an actor, a game designer, a manuscript assessor, an editorial assistant for Australian Physicist
magazine and co-editor of the ConSensual anthologies. His other industry associations include being a member of both the Horror Writers Association's Bram Stoker Awards Oversight Committee (1998-2000, 2004-2006) and the Katharine Susannah Pritchard Centre's Board of Literary Advisors (2005-). He has also served on the committee of the Festival of Perth Writers Festival and at least six science-fiction conventions. A one-time dinosaur used-parts salesman, he has completed an MA in Creative writing (2003) and in 2008 was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Western Australia, where he also works as a casual creative writing tutor.
Growing up in the Perth suburbs of Koongamia and Boya, Dedman spent most of his boyhood wishing he were somewhere else, and subsequently found himself escaping through books. When there wasn't anything to read he made something up (Eidolon.net Stephen Dedman). In 1977 he started his first job, attended his first year of university studies and sold his first science fiction story. He graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts (English) from the Western Australian Institute of Technology, and two years later completed a Graduate Diploma (Writing) from the same institution.
Between 1993 and 2002 Dedman was employed as an Administrative Service Officer with the Western Australian Department of Education, Employment and Training, while also being heavily involved with the Perth science-fiction community. In 1995, for example, he became an Associate Editor of Eidolon: The Journal of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy
, continuing on in that position until it folded in 2001. His first novel, The Art of Arrow Cutting
, was published by Tor Books in 1997. It went on to be shortlisted for the 1997 Aurealis and 1998 Bram Stoker awards, won the 1998 William L. Crawford IAFA Fantasy Award and made the 1998 Locus Recommended Reading List. 1997 also saw him became Purchasing Manager for A Touch of Strange Science Fiction and Fantasy Bookshop (1997-2000).
In 1998 Dedman accepted a Writer in Residence position with the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers' Centre, which in turn led to him being part of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (WA) Smarter than Smoking Country Arts WA Writer's tour. The following year Tor published his second novel, the Ditmar-nominated Foreign Bodies
(1999). He also spent much of the year working as a part-time tutor/lecturer in Creative Writing at the Central Metro College of TAFE, while at the same time serving as a Member of the Advisory Committee for that year's Festival of Perth Writer's Festival.
In 2000 the West Australian
newspaper engaged Dedman to review books in the fantasy, science-fiction and crime genres, and the following year his third novel, Shadows Bite
, was published (it was nominated for a 2002 Aurealis Award). 2001 also saw him engaged as both a manuscript assessor for Driftwood Manuscripts (2001-) and a Writer in Residence at Tom Collins House (April-May 2001).
2002 saw Dedman become involved in an attempt to re-establish Eidolon
magazine. Although the committee failed in this endeavour, he and a number of other members - Simon Oxwell, Grant Watson, Anna Hepworth, David Cake, Sarah Xu, Sandra Norman and Jodie Hunter - instead set up Borderlands Press. Among its first publications were the souvenir booklets accompanying the Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation (WASFF) conventions, these being Borderlands: The World Within
(2001) and Borderlands: That Which Scares Us
(2002). The latter publication went on to win the 2003 Ditmar Award for Best Australian Fan Achievement.
In 2003 Borderlands Press published a third Borderlands convention souvenir booklet (titled Trilogy
), along with the first issue of the Borderlands
journal, a tri-yearly publication of literary speculative fiction (namely science fiction, fantasy and horror). The journal continued publication up until 2009, with Dedman as its fiction editor. Since 2003 Dedman has been employed as a reader by Clarion South (2003-), served as a Writer in Residence at the Peter Cowan Writers Centre (May-June 2003) and become Purchasing Manager for the Fantastic Planet Bookshop (2005-). His fourth novel, A Fistful of Data
(2006) is the sixth and final story in a revived series of novels based on the game Shadowrun
(published by Roc Books in association with WizKids beginning 2005).
A member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the Horror Writers Association, the Australian Society of Authors, and the Katharine Susannah Pritchard Writers' Centre, Dedman's considerable creative output includes two short fiction collections, The Lady of Situations
(1999) and Never Seen by Waking Eyes
(2005). He has also published a children's fiction novel, Bone Hunters: On the Trail of the Dinosaurs
(1998) and been involved in the creation of role-playing games such as Pre-Emptive Strike: Villains and Vigilantes
(1985), The Great Iridium Con: Villains and Vigilantes
(1986), Space Atlas 4 - The Saga Sector
(GURPS Space, 1991), Rightful Possession
(GURPS Martial Arts Adventures, 1993), GURPS Dinosaurs
(1996), GURPS Old West
(2000) and GURPS Deadlands
(2001). With Cathy Culpitt and Elaine Kemp, Dedman has also edited the three ConSensual
anthologies (2002, 2001 and 2005).