Robert Shearman has worked as writer for television, radio and the stage. He was appointed resident dramatist at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter and has received several international awards for his theatrical work, including the Sunday Times Playwriting Award, the World Drama Trust Award and the Guinness Award for Ingenuity in Association with the Royal National Theatre. His plays have been regularly produced by Alan Ayckbourn, and on BBC Radio by Martin Jarvis. A selection of his plays have been collected in book form as Caustic Comedies.
However, he is probably best known as a writer for Doctor Who, reintroducing the Daleks for its BAFTA winning first series in an episode nominated for a Hugo Award. He has also written many popular audio dramas for the series for Big Finish.
His first collection of short stories, Tiny Deaths, was published by Comma Press in 2007. It won the World Fantasy Award for best collection, was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize and nominated for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize. No Looking Back was selected by the National Library Board of Singapore as part of the annual Read! Singapore campaign. The two series of The Chain Gang, his short story and drama project or BBC7, both won the Sony Award.
His second collection, Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical, was published by Big Finish in 2009. It won the British Fantasy Award for best collection, the Edge Hill Short Story Readers Prize and the Shirley Jackson Award, celebrating outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. History Becomes You, from this third collection, Everyone’s Just So So Special, was nominated for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Award.
Most recently, his best dark fiction was collected in Remember Why You Fear Me by ChiZine Publications, followed by his best weird fiction in They Do The Same Things Different There.
He is currently writer in residence at Edinburgh Napier University.
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Just So So Special
“If you enjoy reading weird and well written stories, I can highly recommend Robert Shearman’s They Do the Same Things Different There, because it’s a unique and mesmerizing collection of new weirdish speculative fiction. Highly recommended to readers who want to read something out of the ordinary!”
“If you’re not familiar with Robert Shearman’s fictional work, then let me tell you that you’ve been missing one of the most talented fantasists in the area of dark fiction. His most recent collection, published by the excellent Canadian small imprint ChiZine Publications, confirms once again the exceptional quality of his stories. The volume assembles twenty-four weird tales ranging from horror to surrealism, the common feature being a sort of distorted (or insightful?) vision of everyday reality. While the less accomplished among the stories are “simply” good, most of them are outstanding both in terms of imaginative power and of narrative ability. . . . A splendid collection, highly recommended.”
—Mario Guslandi, The British Fantasy Society
“. . . Shearman’s work, most of all, is intelligent. And that’s why it is so effective. His stories are carefully constructed using a blend of sophistication and gentle wit that will keep readers coming back. . . .”
“Thrillingly unpredictable, bizarrely life-enhancing. . . . Shearman is a great writer.”
“Wildly inventive and chilling. Shearman proves himself a master at transforming our deepest fears into new and wholly unexpected forms.”
—The Times Literary Supplement
“Shearman’s prose is a mixture of faux-naive mundanity and breathtaking fantasy visions. Addictive. Wonderful.”
“Corrosively funny, wistful, sharp, strange and black as a coffin lid, Robert Shearman is an addictive delight.”
—Mark Gatiss, Co-creator of Sherlock
“Shearman takes his reader on . . . strange journeys from the suffocating domesticity of the suburbia to the depths of Hell, all with quiet wit and sophistication.”
—The Crow’s Caw
“Shearman offers us haunting, nightmare alternatives to our world that are still somehow utterly recognizable as our own, thanks to the way he always picks out the comically mundane among the impossible and the fantastical.”
—Steven Moffat, Executive Producer and Hugo Award-winning writer for Doctor Who
“His stories are like the bastard offspring of Philip K. Dick and Jonathan Carroll, but with a quirky personality that is completely their own.”
—Stephen Jones, World Fantasy Award-winning editor of Best New Horror
“Shearman is extremely talented, and his literary style is both elegant and direct.”
“Shearman has a uniquely engaging narrative voice and he steers clear of genre clichés, injecting elements of horror and the surreal into a recognizably real world. As impressive as his quirky imagination is his emotional range: most of the stories are darkly humorous, but humour, horror and genuine pathos all make a powerful impact in a very short space.”
—The Times Literary Supplement
“Shearman’s stories are hard to categorize, a unique fusion of literary and the fantastic, perhaps not surprising from a writer whose credits include Doctor Who scripts and mainstream theatre.