Michael G. Coney (1932–2005) Biography
(Michael Greatrex Coney, Mike Coney)
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for SATA sketch: Born September 28, 1932, in Birmingham, England; died of lung cancer November 4, 2005, in Saanichton, British Columbia, Canada. Accountant, hotelkeeper, government official, and author. Coney worked a variety of jobs in his lifetime, but is remembered by readers as a science-fiction novelist and winner of the British Sci-ence Fiction Award. After graduating from King Edward's School in his native Birmingham, he worked as a clerk and accountant from the 1950s through the early 1960s. A three-year break as a tenant landlord was followed by more accountancy work at Peplow Warren Fuller until 1969. At that time, Coney decided to move with his wife to Antigua, where they managed a hotel for three years. Their last move came in 1973, when they immigrated to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and Coney took a job as a management specialist for the British Columbia Forest Service. He would later coauthor a book based on his work experience titled Forest Adventure: A Guide to the British Columbia Forest Museum (1985). Coney's attempts to break into writing began in the 1960s, when he started submitting science-fiction tales to New Worlds magazine. His first stories proved too radical for the editor's taste, so he began writing science fiction that often took place in future dystopias. These tales found wider acceptance, and soon he was able to publish his first novel, Mirror Image (1972); not long afterwards, he won the British Science Fiction Award for Brontomek! (1976). In 1983, Coney began his "Song of the Earth" series, which involves high-concept ideas such as alternate realities existing within a multiverse. Coney retired from the forest service in 1989; his last books include A Tomcat Called Sabrina (1992) and No Place for a Sealion (1992). In his last months he suffered from lung cancer caused by asbestos poisoning. When he learned he was dying, he released three additional, unpublished novels on the Internet, where they were made available to fans free of charge.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Guardian (London, England), December 1, 2005, p. 37.
Independent (London, England), November 14, 2005, p. 36.
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