Saturday, 4 July 2020

Scott Mackay

Author Website | Biography | Reviews | Bibliography & Rights Information

The Barry Gilbert Series | Biblio. & Rights Info
Cold Comfort
Fall Guy
Old Scores

Mysteries and Thrillers | Biblio. & Rights Info
A Friend in Barcelona

The Doctor Deacon Mysteries | Biblio. & Rights Info
Angel of the Glade
The Miser of Cherry Hill

Science Fiction | Biblio. & Rights Info
The Meek
Omega Sol

Short Stories | Biblio. & Rights Info
Reasons Unknown (Okanagan Short Story Award)
Last Inning (EQMM, Arthur Ellis Award)


SCOTT MACKAY is an heir to the likes of Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut, a brilliant prose stylist whose work transcends genre boundaries. He has had marked success both as a novelist and short story writer, and in both the science fiction and mystery/thriller genres.

His first novel was thriller A FRIEND IN BARCELONA, published by HarperCollins and A&B in Poland. Subsequently, he commenced the Barry Gilbert police procedural series. Series debut COLD COMFORT was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award, and Kirkus called it “a debut to cheer.” He won the Arthur Ellis Award for his mystery short story “Last Inning.”

In the science fiction genre, debut novel OUTPOST was called “an absolute classic” by the Globe and Mail, and has sold in Bulgaria, while his second sf novel THE MEEK was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award and has sold in Portugal.

He is also an an established writer of literary short fiction, having won the prestigious Okanagan Short Story Award for “Reasons Unknown.”

He has won both the Okanagan Short Story Award, one of the most prestigious literary awards in Canada, for the short story ‘Reasons Unknown,’ and the Arthur Ellis Award for his short story ‘Last Inning’ (EQMM).

Scott is a life-long resident of Canada and currently resides with his wife and children in Toronto. His newest SF novel OMNIFIX was published by Roc in 2004, and his Barry Gilbert mystery OLD SCORES by St. Martin’s in 2003 with a Worldwide paperback arriving in February 2005.




“Scott Mackay’s OMNIFIX is the one we’ve been waiting for: the breakout novel that will firmly establish him as a bona fide big name in 21st-century science fiction. This is a terrific book, from first page to last: big ideas, believable characters, great action — it’s all here. Enjoy!”

–Robert J. Sawyer,
author of Hybrids

“Satisfying action sf, quite suitable for a weekend’s entertainment.”


“Quite cleverly done. Very suspenseful, a good scientific puzzle, and enough plot twists to give the entire novel an original feel.”

Science Fiction Chronicle

“A lot of interesting ideas. It is clear Scott Mackay has a lot to say, and the skill to say it.”

NY Review of Science Fiction

“A decidedly Philip K. Dick pose … a distinctly retro approach to Mackay’s future and an underlying atmosphere of distrust and conspiracy. The combination is gripping.”


“OMNIFIX may appeal to readers who like biotech-themed novels–the damage done by the alien nanogens is brought into sharp focus, with every medical detail fully explored and described.”



“Original in design, yet absorbing and populated with a cast of characters that unite for a common goal.”

Midwest Book Review

“Intriguing alternate history … a good liberation-quest adventure.”


“Riveting drama.”


“A stunningly strange novel, an alternate history at once familiar and beyond comprehension, generous with the type of speculative fix craved by fans of the subgenre… Mackay creates a unique alternate history, a science fiction story that works to his strengths, a compelling experience for jaded fans of the genre.”

Crystalline Sphere

“Following along the lines of his great novel, OUTPOST, author Mackay, again, spins an original yarn steeped in history combined with imaginative verisimilitude. His construct of a technologically repressed Catholic society though not unique is nonetheless beautifully realized and his players impressively brought to life. Highly Recommended.”

Yet Another Book Review

Finalist, John W. Campbell Memorial Award

“A fast-paced action adventure.”

The Washington Post

“Some intriguing ethical problems within a satisfyingly complex plot.”

Science Fiction Chronicle

“Extraordinarily piercing and powerful.”

Locus Reviews

“Provocative SF of prejudice and human genetic engineering.”

Locus New & Notable

“In this fast-paced read with plenty of action and suspense, Mr. Mackay embroiders THE MEEK with emotional depth and hard scientific details.”

RT Book Reviews

“A dynamic complex science fiction thriller … Mackay toasts the optimistic inevitability of the human spirit with a culturally shocking and disturbing, but quite enjoyable novel.”

Midwest Book Review

“His players are well drawn and sensitively evoked; the plot taut and interesting; and the science adroitly rendered so as not to be overwhelming to us simple types! All told a fine SF tale. Recommended.”

Yet Another Book Review


“Moving … stirring images of humans battling for life, and freedom, against the prison and the planet it stands on … the novel’s strength lies in its characters, heroic yet vulnerable, facing tough decisions and tough situations.”

Publishers Weekly

“Absolutely classic … stunning ingenuity … extraordinary.”

–Spider Robinson, in The Globe and Mail

“Mackay deftly doles out bits and pieces of a puzzle in this fast-moving blend of mystery and sf adventure. Fans of Renaissance Italy will enjoy the cultural overtones that lend a unique atmosphere to a well-written and engrossing tale. Most libraries should own.”

Library Journal

“An intriguing puzzle scenario and tense prison action … worth trying.”


“If you are looking for a good scientific romance set in the mid-future, you’d be hard pressed to find another as well crafted as OUTPOST.”

NY Review of Science Fiction

“By grounding this struggle in the agonizing details of the prisoners’ search for food and freedom, Mackay avoids the grandiosity that is an occupational hazard of science fiction writers who dabble in cosmic themes.”

––New York Times Books Review

“His characters and setting have an eerie reality, evoked in a spare and effective style.”

Quill & Quire

“A pretty effective and often intense novel … ingenious and satisfying … a complex and winning heroine….OUTPOST wins you over in the end because of the intensity and texture of its setting, the sheer doggedness of its characters, and the intricate backstory … Mackay delivers on the surprises when he needs to, and he writes with impressive grace and clarity. His vision is original enough, his imagery vivid enough, and his characters engaging enough, that we might expect even better surprises in the future.”


“SF adventure novel with a well-drawn prison planet setting, interesting characters, aliens — and werewolves!!”

New & Recommended

“This is one dynamite, original SF story. Author MacKay brings together subtle characterizations and with his aforementioned original plot, presents it all in an intelligent and smoothly paced fashion. It truly knocked my socks off! Highly Recommended.”

Yet Another Book Review


“Mr. Mackay has a pulse-pounding tale of discovery and a fourteenth century, first-contact situation. Lots of fun.”

Philadelphia Weekly Press


Publishers Weekly

“Blending deft, inventive characterizations into a masterfully lucid, action-centered narrative, Mackay’s latest should appeal strongly to fans of military and alien-world-based sf.”


“Set in a fully realized alien landscape, TIDES is an intriguing ‘first contact’ story. Readers will appreciate the clever twists of plot and Mackay’s subtly dropped clues that not all is as it seems.”


“Scott Mackay delivers a story in the tradition of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, Murray Leinster’s The Forgotten Planet, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Land That Time Forgot and even Waterworld. …a strong dose of traditional science-fiction adventure. Mackay hurls the reader through waver after wave of intense action. Readers will thirst for action, adventure and drama, no to mention massive amounts of water, will love this book.”

“Mackay put forth an interesting and thought-provoking novel. While the novel ended with closure, the world itself may be ripe for more stories about Parras and Ortok. In total, TIDES was an entertaining novel of cultural conflict and rite of passage.”


“Scott Mackay’s TIDES is a suspenseful odyssey across the seas and continents of a strange new world, fast-paced and satisfying.”

–Robert Wilson

“A rousing narrative of discovery and survival in a world where you don’t want to be around when the tide comes in. Mackay left me hanging onto my lifeboat.”

— Jack McDevitt,
award-winning author of Polaris and Seeker


“Mackay manages to breathe life into the tired alien-invasion genre, deftly juggling hard sci-fi and a bleak tale of postapocalyptic survival. Mackay churns up enough high-tech intrigue and old-fashioned suspense to make a fresh read.”

Publishers Weekly

“A scary look at a seemingly possible future. A book that both hardcore science-fiction readers and others will equally enjoy.”

RT Book Reviews

“This hardhitting apocalyptic thriller has a strong emotional core. The characters are believable and sympathetic, and while the humans are easy to root for, the Tarsalans aren’t so easy to hate. The science is lucid and delivered with finesse, yet Mackay never forgets that his story is ultimately about what makes us human.”


“Mackay continues to astound in his writing… Mackay’s writing is meticulous, never wasting words. If you have not read Scott Mackay, I suggest you do so as fast as you can. His stories are superb. The only other 21st century science fiction writing I have enjoyed reading this much is Orson Scott Card.”

Grasping for the Wind

“Mackay has created a twist on the typical alien invasion. This book is an exhilarating read and was addictive right from the start. You just can’t put this book down. Scott Mackay delivers one suspenseful impact after the next, and this is what keeps the pages turning as you sit on the edge of your seat throughout the book. …it illustrated the depravity and degradation of man under extremely harsh circumstances and it does this extremely well. We also get a healthy dose of Science Fiction and that’s a good thing. I highly recommend this book.”

–Ian Hoar (blog)


“A gripping story… once I started, I had trouble putting the book down… I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I’ll keep an eye open for future releases by Scott Mackay.”

Pulp Fiction Reviews

“I couldn’t put it down… major thumbs up.”

SF Site

“A suspenseful story based on ideas and personal conflicts. Mackay has written several very good SF novels in recent years.”

Critical Mass

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Arthur Ellis Award finalist

“Mackay makes his cops’ first case as crisp and snappy as a Canadian winter and a lot more light-footed. A debut to cheer.”


“Mackay plays out the evidence to keep the plot spinning along … a cool tale for a hot day from a new crime author.”

Rocky Mountain News

“This nifty mystery provides snappy action, comfortable characters, excellent local atmosphere and high readability.”

Toronto Star

“The twists and turns of the investigation recall the work of the procedural master Hillary Waugh.”

Ellery Queen Mystery Mag.

“Crisp, purposeful prose, meaningful subplots, and strong effective use of location make this an excellent procedural.”

Library Journal


“Mackay provides a banquet of betrayal, vengeance, and felony for readers hardy enough to stay the rewarding distance.”


“A clever procedural … a skillful storyteller … Mackay does atmosphere and setting well, and his characters are full-bodied and believable.”


“Mackay takes his detectives on an intricate route in this police procedural … a raw and painful account … a quietly satisfying piece of police work that reveals few absolutes other than that the detectives have survived to serve another day.”

Houston Chronicle

“Even better than their debut … a great story.”

The Globe and Mail


“Devilishly plotted and populated with carefully drawn, motivated suspects. The whole is superbly anchored by Gilbert, a decent, hardworking family man who forges ahead despite the possibility that all he holds close may soon collapse around him. A fine, fine effort.”

Starred review!

“A neatly turned presentation of the classic too-close-to-home scenario, with a particular flair for bringing each of Glen Boyd’s sorely used victims to life.”


“A satisfying series.”

Library Journal

“A plot that is bound to hold his readers, and in Gilbert, he had invented a hero certain to elicit sympathy. As a bonus, Mackay has the knack of drawing readers into moral dilemmas faced by his characters. OLD SCORES should prove to be a stepping stone to greater success for Mackay. There is room in Canada, and in crime literature generally, for more writers like him.”

Halifax Chronicle Herald

“An excellent police procedural, and Barry Gilbert is a human and believable cop. I’m happy to discover that this book is the third in the series. That means I can go out and buy the other two.”

–Peter Robinson,
award-winning mystery author

“A pleasure to have such an appealing hero to root for.”

New Mystery Reader


“A Second World War version of The Hunt For Red October.”

The Globe and Mail

“Keeps one turning the pages, the ultimate thriller test.”

Quill & Quire

“Mackay writes well, evokes his period skillfully and involves the reader with his characters.”

The Star Phoenix

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“Neat plotting makes this a historical series debut to watch.”

Library Journal

“Clever clueing and a shocking solution place what would otherwise have been a routine cozy above the competition.”


“An intriguing premise.”

Publishers Weekly


“Successfully recreates a small town of the period […] Deacon’s suspicions bounce around […] and provide a fair amount of energy for the plot.”

Publishers Weekly

“Mackay’s period detail and crisp, engaging prose will satisfy fans of well-crafted historical mysteries.”


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    A FRIEND IN BARCELONA (HarperCollins Canada)

  • Polish rights to Adamski & Belinski***


  1. COLD COMFORT (Carroll & Graf)
  2. FALL GUY (St. Martin’s)
  3. OLD SCORES (St. Martin’s)
  • Bk #1: Finalist — Arthur Ellis Award for Best Mystery Novel
  • Bk #1: Paperback rights to Worldwide Library
  • Bk #3: Paperback rights to Worldwide Library
  • Bk #1-3 Audio rights to Audible


  1. ANGEL OF THE GLADE (Severn House, 2009)
  2. THE MISER OF CHERRY HILL (Severn House, 2011)
  • UK rights (Bk #1) to Severn House***
  • Bk #1-2 Audio rights to Audible


    OUTPOST (Tor, 1998/99)

  • Selected for the Locus Recommended Reading List
  • Bulgarian rights to Dimant***
  • Audio rights to Audible
    THE MEEK (Roc, 2001)

  • Finalist, John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best SF Novel
  • Portuguese rights to Presenca***
    ORBIS (Roc, 2002)

  • French rights to Univers Poche/Fleuve Noir***
    OMNIFIX (Roc, 2004)

  • #6 on Locus bestseller list
  • Russian rights to AST***
  • Audio rights to Audible
    TIDES (PYR, 2005)

  • Audio rights to Audible
    PHYTOSPHERE (Roc, 2007)

  • American Library Association’s Reading List Awards–Ten Best SF Novels of 2007!
  • Audio rights to Audible
    OMEGA SOL (Roc, 2008)

  • Audio rights to Audible


    Mackay has had dozens of short stories published in:

  • Mystery magazines like Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
  • SF Magazines like Science Fiction Age
  • Literary publications such as University of Windsor Review and Canadian Author

He has won both the Arthur Ellis and Okanagan Awards for Best Short Story.
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