With over forty works published in Australia, the USA, and Denmark, Robert N. Stephenson wrote short stories covering most of the popular genres today, as well as a range of poetry. He is the author of both a science-fiction novel and a murder mystery, has ghost-written a crime novel, and has published a short-story collection titled We Would Be Heroes (2000).
Stephenson was born and raised in Adelaide, the son of Norman and Diane Stephenson. His interest in writing began at around age ten, but although he continued to develop his writing skills over the next two decades, it wasn't until 1996 that he attempted to turn his skills into a professional career. After putting together a collection of poetry, Garments of Rainbows, in 1992, Stephenson sold his first story, 'Alone With Ghosts', to Talebones magazine four years later. This led to further short fiction being accepted by small-press magazines and zines such as Nowa Fantastyka (Poland), Global SF (China), Interzone (UK), and several more in the USA. His first novel, Life Light, was translated into Polish and published by Nowa Fantastyka's Special Editions in 2005. (It has not yet been published in English.)
In addition to his writing, Stephenson owned and managed Altair Australia Pty Ltd. The company's origins date back to 1998, when Stephenson founded the science-fiction magazine Altair. After closing down the magazine in 2000, he turned to publishing more expansive works through Altair Publishing, which became Altair Australia Books in 2004. Through his company, Stephenson edited works for clients from Australia and overseas (notably Hong Kong) in the areas of fiction and non-fiction. In all, he has edited over twenty published novels and ten published non-fiction books.
Altair Australia also operated as a literary agency, representing authors' written material to publishers and film producers both within Australia and overseas. Clients included Tony Shillitoe, Gail Merritt, Kurt von Trojan, and Victoria Kerrigan. Stephenson also worked as a professional editor for Edit Avenue in Boston and Sid Harta Publishers (for whom he edited two bestsellers in 2002).
Among Stephenson's career achievements wear the 1999 Harper Collins prize for completing a novella partly written by the late author George Turner. He was also awarded second prize with 'Who'll Stop The Rain' in the Phyllis Gotleib byline contest. (The story was subsequently printed in the USA.) In 2002, he was invited to be a panel judge for the Aurealis Awards. That same year, his short story 'The Touch of Silk' was chosen as the cover story for an issue of Aurealis magazine. Among his other awards are a 2006 Black Dog Award (for his essay on depression) and a 2008 Pride of Australia pin (for his involvement in establishing new writers). He also founded two industry awards: the Peter McNamara Achievement Award and the Australian Shadows Award.
Stephenson was involved in industrial issues, was a member of the South Australian Writer's Centre, the NSW Writer's Centre, Society of Children's Writers of America, Society of Editors, and the Australian Horror Writers' Association. He held a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAA), which allowed him the opportunity to work as a tutor in the area of creative writing for institutions such as Australian Colleges QED.
Peek, Ben. 'Robert N. Stephenson.' Tabula Rasa. Online. (Sighted: 17/06/2011)
'Robert N. Stephenson.' Altair Australia. Online. (Sighted: 17/06/2011)
'Robert N. Stephenson.' Australian Horror Writers' Association. Online. (Sighted: 17/06/2011)
'Robert N. Stephenson.' Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Online. (Sighted: 17/06/2011)