Bio: Charles Christian
Charles Christian is a former barrister and Reuters correspondent turned writer, award-winning tech journalist, best-selling non-fiction author, sometime werewolf hunter, and internet radio host on a mission to inform and entertain with news and comment on weird tales, geek stuff, tech, urban myths, and folklore.
Charles Christian is a former barrister and Reuters correspondent turned writer, award winning technology journalist, best-selling non-fiction author, sometime werewolf hunter, and internet radio host. The Urban Fantasist website is home to his blog postings on weird tales, geek stuff, tech, urban myths, folklore, and anything else that intrigues him, as well as the popular Grievous Angel science fiction and fantasy poetry and flash fiction webzine. He is the founder and now editor-at-large of the Legal IT Insider law tech newsletter, website, and information resource. His best known book is Writing Genre Fiction - Creating Imaginary Worlds: The 12 Rules however he is also the author of two science fiction/dark fantasy short story collections, a book on local history/folklore, and the editor of four poetry collections. He has been a committee member of the Society of Authors Poetry & Spoken Word Group, is a judge for the internationally renowned annual Arthur C. Clarke Science Fiction Literature Award, and a national newspaper once commissioned him to go on a werewolf hunt!
Recent praise for Charles Christian's work and writing...
"You defiantly make my world a brighter, funnier place!"
"You are a great, creative editor."
"You are my inner-spirit animal, thank you for making me laugh."
"Charles Christian at his eclectic best – his insight and humour alone make him a must-read."
"The funny, wonderful and slightly cantankerous Charles Christian."
"His tech journalism is always au point, witty. Charles has a talent for pricking the overblown claims of tech suppliers and encouraging users to give him opinions, which he very equitably filters and interprets."
(1) The Creative Job After having a number of sci-fi and fantasy short stories published in the 1970s and 1980s, he fell out of creative writing for a number of years as mortgages, life, everything intervened. He kick-restarted his writing about a decade ago when he studied for and obtained a Diploma in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. He dropped out of a creative writing MA at Norwich Art School, giving him two things in common with John Lennon: dropping out of art school and a penchant for wearing 'Beatle' caps!
Poetry, Books & Performance During this period he devised the highly successful Ink Sweat & Tears poetry webzine, building it up from zero to one of the most widely read poetry sites on the internet within the space of four years. After enjoying some success (and winning prizes) with poetry himself, as well as compiling, editing and publishing one haiku and three poetry anthologies, he went back to his first love of SF&F fiction and began writing flash fiction and short stories, which have now been widely published in online zines and print anthologies.
His latest science fiction and fantasy short stories books are This is the Quickest Way Down (2011) which was long-listed for three national and international book awards, Secret Cargo (2013) and Tomorrow's Ghosts (2014). Writing Genre Fiction - Creating Imaginary Worlds: The 12 Rules (2014) is his bestselling nonfiction writing guide. A travel guide to Yorkshire’s Weird Wolds: The Mysterious Wold Newton Triangle (also nonfiction - 2015) is his latest book. 2015 also saw the launch of his The 13 Days of Christmas iOS app, an experiment in bringing together a dark fantasy alternative to the traditional Christmas advent calendar comprising comic book style illustrations, verse, folklore and fiction.
In 2017 he also began hosting a fortnightly internet radio/podcast show – Weird Tales Radio Show – available in both a webcast and podcast format. See the Weird Tales Radio Show page for links.
The Urban Fantasist website is home to his fiction and non-fiction publications, as well as his regular blog postings on weird tales, geek stuff, tech, urban myths, folklore, and anything else that intrigues him. Urban Fantasist also hosts the popular Grievous Angel science fiction and fantasy, poetry and flash fiction webzine and the Weird Tales Radio Show podcast/webcast archive.
For eight years he was a board member of The Poetry Trust, which ran the UK's annual Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, and has sat on the UK Society of Authors Poetry & Spoken Word Group committee. He has also been a panellist at the British Fantasy Society's annual Fantasycon events, the British Science Fiction Association's Eastercon event, as well as at local writers groups and ebook publishing events.
He has performed his one man storytelling monologue The Boy with the Bomb beneath his Bed at venues and festivals in the UK and United States. A number of his one-act plays and sketches have been performed at the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich. He edited the 2016 Rhysling Awards Anthology for the Science Fiction Poetry Association. He is currently the poetry editor for the BSFA magazine Focus. He is an expert contributor on English medieval history and folklore for the Ancient Origins website. He is a regular guest host for FolkloreThursday on Twitter. He has chaired the judging panel for the SCI-FI-LONDON 24 Hour Flash Fiction Challenge every year since 2012. He is one the judging panel for the internationally renowned annual Arthur C. Clarke Science Fiction Literature Award. And, finally, a national newspaper once commissioned him to go on a werewolf hunt – in Hull!
(2) The Old Day-Job Charles Christian is a former practising barrister turned independent commentator and journalist who has been writing, reporting, analysing and advising on developments in law office technology and online legal services for over 35 years. He was described in one national magazine as “one of the top ten key individuals who act as movers and shakers in the legal IT world today… There is no doubt that Legal Technology Insider newsletter (now Legal IT Insider) was a brainwave and has been a tremendous influence throughout the legal IT world for many years.”
After a brief career at the Bar in London in the mid-1970s, he worked as a corporate and IT PR consultant, including having responsibility for the UK launch of the Commodore PET, one of the first generation PCs. He then worked for a number of years as a freelance journalist – writing on a range of topics, including law and technology for a variety of publications and organisations including Computer Weekly, Lloyd’s List, Reuters, Doctor magazine (where he write a weekly medico-legal column for 10 years) and most of the legal press, including the Law Society Gazette, New Law Journal, The Lawyer, Legal Week, Computers & Law and Legal Business. During this period he was also (on a freelance basis) a consultant editor for the Law Society Gazette on technology & practice management, and the founding/launch editor of the legal IT publications Practice Today, Legal IT magazine and the Legal Technology Journal. In 1994 he was also winner of the National Newspapers Technology Journalist of the Year Award.
The Insider In 1995 he formed his own business Legal Technology Insider Limited (now WordsandVision Limited) to operate as independent provider of legal technology information. This publishes the Legal IT Insider newsletter – described by Richard Susskind in The Times newspaper as “the invaluable monthly whose bright orange pages adorn the desks of most serious legal technologists” – plus a website, apps, and information resources. The LegalTechnology.com website has been described by The Times newspaper as “the UK’s definitive online resource for legal technology information”.
And also For two years he was a member of the faculty at Nottingham Law School’s Department of Professional & Legal Studies and a tutor on IT-related topics for the School’s postgraduate and MBA in legal practice courses. He has run a course at the University of East Anglia on using creativity to build more impressive CVs. He has also been an adviser to the English Law Society on its annual Software Solutions Guide for solicitors, is a former council member of the UK’s Society for Computers & Law and edited the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn Graya magazine for a number of years.
Events & Books Since the mid 1980s, he has regularly been asked to speak at and/or chair legal IT and law firm management related conferences and seminars both in the UK and abroad. He has also been involved with programme planning of many of these events including: Central Law Training events, the Ark Group’s Lex conferences, Informa’s original Legal IT Forum at Gleneagles, the Legal IT Exhibition & Conference in London, American Lawyer Media’s LegalTech in New York, LawTech Europe in Prague, and the Chilli IQ Lawtech event in Australia. He also devised (and subsequently sold on) the format for the original Loties legal IT awards, later the Legal Technology Awards. More recently he devised the format and programming for the LawTech Futures series of conferences in London, where keynote speakers included the futurist Ray Kurzweil and the inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and the Inside Legal IT exhibition – described as his "brainchild" – in London.
He has been writing books on the subject of legal IT for over 35 years, including Computers for Lawyers (Longmans 1985) plus Legal Practice in the Digital Age (Bowerdean 1998) – described by Professor Richard Susskind as “essential reading for every lawyer in the land” plus Year 2000 Compliance – the lawyers guide to surviving the millennium bug (Law Society 1999). He has also been a contributor (on IT, online strategy and marketing topics) to a range of other books, and is the resident IT commentator for Modern Law magazine.
In 2017 he was named by Sage UK as one of the UK’s Top 100 Business Influencers in his capacity as an individual “whose commentary and social influence help to drive ideas and change within the small business sector”.
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