Christopher Priest was born in Cheshire, England. He began writing soon after leaving school and has been a full-time freelance writer since 1968. He lives on the Isle of Bute, in west Scotland.
He has published fifteen novels, four short story collections and a number of other books, including critical works, biographies, novelizations and children’s non-fiction.
In 1996 Priest won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel The Prestige, which later won the World Fantasy Award — the only known occasion when a novel won both a major literary prize and a genre award. His novel The Separation won both the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the BSFA Award. He has been nominated four times for the Hugo award. He has won several awards abroad, including the Kurd Lasswitz Award (Germany), the Eurocon Award (Yugoslavia), the Ditmar Award (Australia), and Le Grand Prix de L’Imaginaire (France). In 2001 he was awarded the Prix Utopia (France) for lifetime achievement.
Christopher Priest was one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 1983, the inaugural year.
In 2006, The Prestige was filmed by Warner Bros. Directed by Christopher Nolan, The Prestige went to No.1 US box office in its first week. It received two Academy Award nominations.
He has written drama for radio (BBC Radio 4) and television (Thames TV and HTV).
Chris Priest’s most recent novel An American Story was published in 2018 (in France: Conséquences d’une disparition). A collection of stories, Episodes, will be published in 2019. He is currently working on his next novel, presently untitled, unlike any of his previous novels — so therefore consistent with them.
In 2007, an exhibition of installation art based on his novel The Affirmation was mounted in London. In 2017, an exhibition of art inspired by his novel The Prestige was mounted at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, at Michigan State University in East Lansing.
Christopher Priest is Vice-President of the H. G. Wells Society.
As a journalist he has written features and reviews for The Times, the Guardian, the Independent, the New Statesman, the Scotsman, and many different magazines.