Russell Blackford official site

Photo by Damian Christie

Just the basics

I am an Australian writer, philosopher, and literary critic. In recent years, I have been a postgraduate student in the School of Philosophy and Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne. At Monash, I've also been teaching in a wide range of subjects. I am editor-in-chief of The Journal of Evolution and Technology. In December 2009, I returned to Newcastle, where I grew up, after 30 years in Melbourne.

You can find my philosophy-related curriculum vitae (including a short list of relevant academic publications) here. My qualifications include First Class Honours degrees in both Arts and Law, and a Master of Bioethics degree. I now have separate Ph.Ds in English literature (from the University of Newcastle) and philosophy (from Monash).

Within Australia, I'm probably best known for my articles in intellectual and literary magazines such as Quadrant and Meanjin. Some of my published articles are available on this site.

As a creative writer, I specialise in science fiction, fantasy and horror. My non-fiction work frequently deals with issues involving science and society, philosophical bioethics, various areas of philosophy, and history and current state of the science fiction genre.


Writing Projects

My most recent novel was Kong Reborn, a contemporary/near-future sequel to King Kong (the original 1933 movie). Kong Reborn was released in the US in October 2005.

My new book is an edited collection, put together by Udo Schuklenk and myself, originally under the working title "Voices of Disbelief". It was published by Wiley-Blackwell in October 2009, under the final title: 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists.

50 Voices of Disbelief contains fifty essays by prominent witers, philosophers, journalists, and others who reject belief in religious dogma, including the existence of the Abrahamic God. These are new essays (not reprints) by contributors from all over the world.


Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and Journal of Evolution and Technology

Also in 2004, I accepted an honorary appointment as a Fellow with the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET). IEET is an international think tank that seeks to contribute to the understanding of the impact of emerging technologies on individuals and societies. In early 2008 I was appointed by IEET as editor-in-chief of its flagship on-line journal, The Journal of Evolution and Technology.

Latest Update

6 November 2009: You should be able to find 50 Voices of Disbelief just about anywhere now. If it's not in your local bookshop, they can order it in from Wiley-Blackwell, or you can order it directly from the John Wiley and Sons page for the book - or from Amazon or Amazon UK, where it has been ranking solidly, day by day.

24 October 2009: 50 Voices of Disbelief now published in the UK. It will not officially be published in the US until 26 October, but copies are already available in some bookstores and via Amazon..

17 May 2009: 50 Voices of Disbelief is moving along. The page at Amazon now shows the cover, and we expect to spend the next three weeks or so working on page proofs and the index. Publication is in September/October, and I'm looking forward to it very much. I'll spend a large chunk of the second half of 2009 overseas for various reasons, and will be taking opportunities to promote the book.

26 March 2009: I've graduated! I now officially have the long-awaited second PhD. Now to go out and do stuff with it!

17 March 2009: I've decided to make available on the internet the entirety of my submission to the National Human Rights Consultation.

1 March 2009: Udo Schuklenk and I have now checked the copyedited version of 50 Voices of Disbelief. The book is on schedule to be published in September 2009, and I will be doing my best to promote it in the second half of the year.

20 November 2008: I submitted my doctoral dissertation back in August. As of this week, the dissertation has been accepted for award of the degree, after both examiners recommended its acceptance with no modifications required.

23 April 2008: I have signed the contract for my next book. With a working title Voices of Disbelief, it will be co-edited by Udo Schuklenk and my good self and published by Blackwell, a top academic publisher, in 2009. I'll be adding content to the site about it.

17 January 2008: I have been appointed as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Evolution and Technology, the flagship on-line, peer-reviewed journal published by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

8 January 2008: Very sad news. My mother died in hospital today after a period of protracted serious illness. This is a time of grieving for my family. A simple funeral service, as she requested, will be held on Friday 11 January.

Go here for an archive of earlier news.

This Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Net Ring site
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Copyright Russell Blackford, 2002-2009. All rights reserved. Site last updated 15 December 2009.