A white-faced husky in exterme close-up, licking the author's chin. The author is visible from the shoulders up, and is wearing dark glasses. The photo was taken outside with vegetated cliffs in the background under a partly cloudy blue sky.
I’m a neurospicy writer of speculative fiction with no hard loyalty to any specific sub-genre, although there’s always a shadowy thread or two. My work centres characters whose perceptions of the world and their relationships come through a different lens. My goal is to crack open a window on other ways of seeing and experiencing.

I was born in Fife, Scotland and am now living — after an extended period in various parts of England, followed by several years in Edinburgh — in Aberdeenshire, in a part of the country called the Howe of the Mearns. It’s Lewis Grassic Gibbon territory. My academic and professional background is in environmental science: I have a BSc (Hons) in Marine Science from Southampton University and a Masters degree in Environmental Diagnostics from Cranfield University. I also spent two years researching nitrification before the real world demanded I get a job. I now work in environmental protection for the public sector, specialising in water regulation, which means I’m getting paid to save the world; although I have been such diverse things as archaeologist, warden for a prehistoric stone circle in Oxfordshire, editorial assistant for a publishing company, patent abstractor and administrator for the Territorial Army.

An animê-style version of the author steadying a bicycle in one hand and wielding a massive, futuristic anti-terrible driver weapon in the other

I’m a scientist by trade and a writer by necessity; I have hypergraphia to go with my proprioceptive synaesthesia. My non-fiction has been published in White Dragon Magazine, Bike Reader, The Right Times and 3rd Stone, amongst others. I was a regular contributor to CityCycling as Agony Aunt Madam Raven (avatar on the right created by my spouse).

A full list of my fiction can be found here.

I am a member of the British Science Fiction Association. In 2022, I took over as co-ordinator for the BSFA Orbit short fiction critique programme. If you would like to join us, please see here for more information and instructions. I am a founder member of the Altered Symmetry horror crit group.

Outside of work and writing, I am a keen cyclist. My bike is my main form of transport, both for utility purposes and for escaping quotidian minutiae. I run an occasional Monster of the Week campaign where the players have encountered everything from giant carnivorous plants to the Fae and once made Mt Erebus explode. Most of my free time is spent with the ridiculous derp wolf.

Close-up of husky lying half asleep, nose to camera


Find me on mastodon for more husky photos and general wittering. I am also on Bluesky, Facebook, Flickr, and Tumblr. You can find links in the menu bar to the left.

To contact me directly, please email s4m [at] r4venb4it [dot] com, replacing the 4s with “a”, or ravenbait at gmail.

Why “ravenbait” though?

I’ve been Ravenbait on the internet since the days of the Electric Minds virtual community, which is showing my age. It started as an in-joke, one far too tortuous and complicated to explain, and was unique to me for long enough that, for a while, every google result linked back to something I’d said or done; I still feel weird when I come across someone else using it as their ID. It’s a bit like seeing one of your own tattoo designs on someone else.

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