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Sean Williams was born in Whyalla, a seaport town on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, but largely raised in Adelaide, where he still lives (as of 2017).
Educated at Pulteney Grammar School in Adelaide, he won the South Australia Young Composers Award the year he graduated (1984). While his music has not been as prominent a part of his published work as his writing, he has continued to work in the field, including producing the script and limited score for The Soap Bubble: A Space Opera (table reading at Conflux, 2006) and the musical collage The Grand Silence (2016).
He studied for a Bachelor of Economics at the University of Adelaide, from which institution he later gained both a Master of Arts and a PhD in Creative Writing: he remains a visiting scholar at the university and an affiliate of its J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice.
In 1991, Williams began his writing career with a series of short stories in amateur and small-press publications, leading to a sale to the magazine Aurealis. He published more than forty stories in the 1990s in Australian periodicals and anthologies
yLittle LabyrinthsBrisbane:Brain Jar Press,2021234886012021selected work short story science fiction fantasy
'Matter transporters, dead worlds, and ghostly encounters. Parallel worlds, time-travel, and dangers that lurk in the shadows.
'Little Labyrinths brings together 17 vignettes and microfictions from one of Australia’s premier authors of science fiction and fantasy. Collected together for the first time, these brief tales and startling asides cover territory that is playful, experimental, and infused with speculative wonder. Once dubbed Australia’s King of Genre Fiction, Williams’ work will remind you of the strange, exciting, and mysterious pleasures that come from losing yourself in the smallest stories.'
yHer Perilous MansionCrows Nest:Allen and Unwin,2020188803092020single work children's fiction children's fantasy 'In a strange mansion miles from anywhere, an orphan named Almanac and a twelfth daughter named Etta find themselves working - and bickering - side by side in the largely deserted rooms. But soon they realise that the house and its inhabitants are not quite what they seem, and there's more at stake than just their jobs. Can they solve the puzzle of Her Perilous Mansion before it's too late?' (Publication summary)
yImpossible MusicCrows Nest:Allen and Unwin,2019159881162019single work novel young adult
'Music is Simon's life—which is why he is devastated when a mini-stroke obliterates his hearing. He resists attempts to help him adjust to his new state, refusing to be counselled, refusing to learn sign language, refusing to have anything to do with deaf culture. Refusing, that is, until he meets G, a tough-as-nails girl dealing with her own hearing loss. In an emotionally compelling tale crackling with originality, Simon's quest to create an entirely new form of music forces him into a deeper understanding of his relationship to the hearing world, of himself, and of the girl he meets along the way.'