Damien Francis Broderick (born 22 April 1944) is an Australian science fiction and popular science writer. His science fiction novel The Judas Mandala is sometimes credited with the first appearance of the term “virtual reality”.
Broderick holds a Ph.D. in Literary Studies from Deakin University, Australia, with a dissertation relating to the comparative semiotics of scientific, literary and science fictional textuality. He is a Senior Fellow in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne.
Broderick lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife, tax attorney Barbara Lamar. He was the founding science fiction editor of the Australian popular-science magazine Cosmosfrom mid-2005 to December 2010.
Five of Broderick's books have won Ditmar Awards (including the non-SF Transmitters, which was given a special award); the first, The Dreaming Dragons, was runner-up for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. He has also won the Aurealis award four times. In November 2003, Broderick was awarded a grant for 2004-05 by the Australia Council to write fiction exploring the technological singularity. In 2005 he received the Distinguished Scholarship Award of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts. In 2010, he tied for second place in the juried Theodore Sturgeon Award for best sf short story of 2009, and at the World Science Fiction Convention received the A. Bertram Chandler Memorial Award for 2010.
Broderick's best-known works as a futurist and science writer are The Spike (1997; revised 2001), a nonfiction book about the technological singularity; The Last Mortal Generation (1999) on the prospect of radically extended youthful longevity; and Outside the Gates of Science, on the scientific evidence for some anomalous or paranormal phenomena (2007).
His most recent critical studies, x, y, z, t: Dimensions of Science Fiction (2004) and Ferocious Minds: Polymathy and the New Enlightenment (2005) were released by a small US press, Wildside. Several of his books feature cover art by Swedish transhumanist Anders Sandberg, including Earth is but a Star (2001), Broderick's anthology of science fiction stories, and thematically related critical discussions, concerned with the far future.
His most recent novels are the diptych Godplayers (2005) (selected in the annual Recommended Reading List from Locus), and K-Machines (2006) (winner of the 2007 Aurealis Award for year's best sf novel), and, with Rory Barnes, a comic noir crime novel, I'm Dying Here: A Comedy of Bad Manners (2009), first released in very limited numbers as I Suppose a Root's Out of the Question? (2007). With his wife, Barbara Lamar, he wrote the near-future sf thriller Post Mortal Syndrome, serialized on line by Cosmos magazine (2007). He edited a book of original essays on the far future, Year Million (2008), which was favorably reviewed by Nature, the Wall Street Journal, etc. In 2010 Climbing Mount Implausible, a collection of mostly early stories, interspersed with memoir commentary, appeared from Borgo/Wildside Books.
Broderick has also written radio plays, both adaptations of his own stories (including a 90-minute version of Transmitters) and original works. His commissioned drama Schrödinger's Dog, first broadcast in 1995, was Australia's entry in the Prix Italia; and his novella adaptation of the radio play, published the following year, was selected for Gardner Dozois' Year's Best Science Fiction collection for that year. His work has been translated into French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Lithuanian and Russian.
In 2009, he returned to short fiction, with five stories published in Asimov's magazine, one online at Tor.com, and several others elsewhere. Two of these stories were selected for three 2010 Year's Best anthologies. Another has been chosen for three 2011 Year's Best anthologies.