Mark Blacklock

Non-fiction writer, Novelist


Dr Mark Blacklock is a novelist, cultural historian and occasional journalist and lecturer. His first novel, I’m Jack, a fictionalised autobiography of Wearside Jack, the hoaxer who derailed the police investigation into the Yorkshire Ripper, was published by Granta in 2015. I’m Jack used recreated documents and imagined letters to tell the story of John Humble, the man who was convicted of perverting the course of justice in 2005. It plays with the genre conventions of true crime and noir to place the reader on unstable ground, with only Humble’s presentation of events to guide them.

His second novel, Hinton (Granta, 2020), continues this exploration of both genre conventions and the use of documents in fiction. Hinton tells the story of the family of Charles Howard Hinton, a late-nineteenth-century writer, inventor and theorist of the fourth dimension of space. It grew out of Blacklock’s academic research and at its heart contains a cache of archival letters concerning Hinton’s conviction for bigamy and the scandal it caused. Hinton was longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction in 2021.

Mark cut his teeth as a writer of fiction in the anonymous DIY collective Neither Am I. He has completed a third novel, a next-five-minutes espionage thriller inspired by a leaked GCHQ slide deck, and is at work on a fourth. He is a senior lecturer at Birkbeck College where he has taught cultural theory and science fiction. His next book is an edited collection of J. G. Ballard’s nonfiction.

More from Mark Blacklock

Mark Blacklock
Image credit: Joanne Crawford

Mark Blacklock

Non-fiction writer, Novelist

Current Fellowship

University of Leeds, Education, Social Sciences and Law, 2022–2024


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