Russell Blackford

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Russell Blackford
Russell Blackford.jpg
Russell Blackford speaking at 2010 Global Atheist Convention
Born Sydney
Occupation Writer, philosopher and critic
Nationality Australian
Genre Science fiction, fantasy & horror

Russell Blackford is an Australian writer, philosopher, and critic, based for many years in Melbourne. He was born in Sydney, and grew up in the city of Lake Macquarie, near Newcastle, New South Wales. He moved to Melbourne in 1979, but returned to Newcastle to live and work in 2009.

Early life and career

Blackford graduated with First Class Honours degrees in both Arts and Law from the University of Newcastle and University of Melbourne respectively. He also holds a PhD, also from Newcastle, on the return to myth in modern fictional narrative (as postulated by Northrop Frye). More recently, he completed a Master of Bioethics[1] and a second PhD program (in philosophy), both at Monash University.[2]

As a fiction writer, Blackford specialises in science fiction, fantasy and horror fiction. His work includes four novels published by iBooks, three of them forming an original trilogy (The New John Connor Chronicles) set in the world of the Terminator movies. His non-fiction work frequently deals with issues involving science and society, particularly philosophical bioethics, cyberculture, transhumanism, and the history and current state of the science fiction genre. His work has appeared in many magazine, journals, and reference books, and has been featured most prominently in Quadrant, a monthly journal of literature and policy. It draws on his academic qualifications in a number of fields.[citation needed]

Since 2008, he has also been a Fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. He was a speaker at the 2010 Global Atheist Convention[3] and a contributor to The Australian Book of Atheism.[4]



  • The Tempting of the Witch King, Melbourne, Cory & Collins, 1983, ISBN 0-909117-18-7
  • The New John Connor Chronicles:
    • Dark Futures: Book One of Terminator 2: The New John Connor Chronicles, iBooks, August 2002, 336p, ISBN 0-7434-4511-2
    • An Evil Hour: Book Two of Terminator 2: The New John Connor Chronicles, iBooks, May 2003, 368p, ISBN 0-7434-5863-X
    • Times of Trouble: Book Three of Terminator 2: The New John Connor Chronicles, iBooks, September 2003, 384p, ISBN 0-7434-7483-X
  • Kong Reborn, ibooks, Inc. November 2005, 320p, ISBN 1-59687-133-4

Non-fiction books

  • Hyperdreams: Damien Broderick's Space/Time Fiction (OCLC 44838585), Originally published in 1998 as chapbook 8 in the Babel Handbooks series on Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers. Review of the writings of SF author Damien Broderick.
  • Strange Constellations: A History of Australian Science Fiction (with Van Ikin and Sean McMullen), Greenwood Press, Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy, May 1999, 264p, ISBN 0-313-25112-6
    • Reviewed in: *"Science Fiction in Australia", by Michael Levy (Science Fiction Studies 27:1 (March,2000) "Russell Blackford ... among Australia's most widely respected critics"
  • Freedom of Religion and the Secular State, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. ISBN 978-0-470-67403-1
  • 50 Great Myths About Atheism (with Udo Schuklenk), Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. ISBN 978-0470674055.
  • Humanity Enhanced: Genetic Choice and the Challenge for Liberal Democracies, MIT Press, 2014. ISBN 978-0262026611.


File:Russell Blackford.JPG
Blackford in 2005

Academic articles

  • "Judicial Power, Political Liberty and the Post-Industrial State." Australian Law Journal 71 (1997): 267–93.
  • "Thinking about Cloning: A Reply to Judith Thomson." Journal of Law and Medicine 9 (2001): 238–50.
  • "Stranger Than You Think: Arthur C. Clarke's Profiles of the Future." Prefiguring Cyberculture: An Intellectual History. Ed. Darren Tofts, Annemarie Jonson, and Alessio Cavellaro. Sydney: Power Publications, 2002; co-published Boston: MIT Press, 2003: 252–63.
  • "Try the Blue Pill: What's Wrong with Life in a Simulation?" Jacking In to the Matrix Franchise: Cultural Reception and Interpretation. Ed. Matthew Kapell and William Doty. New York: Continuum, 2004: 169–82.
  • "Should We Fear Death? Epicurean and Modern Arguments." Immortality Institute, ed. The Scientific Conquest of Death: Essays on Infinite Lifespans. Buenos Aires: LibrosEnRed, 2004: 257–69.
  • "Human Cloning and 'Posthuman' Society." Monash Bioethics Review 24 (2005): 10–26.
  • "Stem cell research on other worlds, or why embryos do not have a right to life." Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (2006): 177–80.

Short stories



  1. Russell Blackford – curriculum vitae
  2. Postgraduate completions in Philosophy and Bioethics, Monash University.
  3. Blackford, Russell (10 January 2010). "Implausibility, Transcendence, and Atheism". IEET. Retrieved 1 February 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Atheists for Freedom of Speech. pp 299–312 in Bonett, Warren (Editor). 2010. The Australian Book of Atheism. Melbourne, Vic: Scribe [1]

External links