22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Oisín McGann

Portrait Oisín McGann
© Hartwig Klappert

Oisín McGann was born in Dublin in 1973. Interested in writing and illustrating stories since childhood, from 1990 to 1991 he did a foundation course in printing and design at Ballyfermot Senior College in Dublin and then studied Animation at the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology. After that, McGann worked as a freelance illustrator and artist before leaving Dublin in 1998 for four and a half years to work as art director and copy writer in an advertising agency. Since returning to Ireland, McGann has written and illustrated thirty-five books, as well as contributing to a number of short story anthologies.

He had his literary debut in 2003 with the first two volumes of his series of children’s books »Mad Grandad«, in which a boy named Lenny experiences thrilling adventures with his grandfather, whose strange ideas are not limited to the claim to be able to see through his nose. One year later, McGann published »The Gods and their Machines« (2004), his first book for adolescents. In 2005, the first book in the »Archisan Tales« appeared; »The Harvest Tide Projekt«, the very first novel McGann had written, before »The Gods and their Machines«. After another series of illustrated books, »Forbidden Files« (2006), McGann published the science fiction thriller »Small-Minded Giants« (2007); Britain’s School Library Association placed it on a list of books recommended for boys, and in 2010 it was chosen as an examination subject in Northern Irish schools. One review of the novel compared the vehemence of its depiction of a bleak but plausible future – in which the last surviving people live under a dome to protect them from the consequences of a new Ice Age – with a classic of dystopian literature, Anthony Burgess’ novel »Clockwork Orange«. Reviewers agreed in their praise of McGann’s ability to pack his criticism of the small-mindedness of mankind’s attitude to their environment in a suspenseful, fast-paced tale about its consequences. With his series »The Wildenstern Saga« (2007–2012), a steampunk saga set in 19th-century Ireland, McGann again demonstrated his thematic flexibility.

The author has received numerous prizes for his literary oeuvre, including the European Science Fiction Society’s Award for Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Books. McGann has three children and lives in County Meath.