Michael Grothaus

Michael Grothaus was born in the bustling city of Saint Louis, Missouri in 1977. He set the foundation for his illustrious career in 1998 when he began his studies at Columbia College in Chicago, majoring in film and journalism. It was during this time that he started contributing to Screen magazine, providing coverage of the vibrant Chicago film industry. Upon graduation, he embarked on an internship with 20th Century Fox at the esteemed Cannes Film Festival in France, an experience which later served as inspiration for his debut novel.

In his early twenties, Grothaus worked at the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago, a position that led him to write and direct a children’s film. He then decided to switch gears, leaving the arts to work at Apple. 2007 saw him relocate to London, where he pursued a Master’s degree in creative writing at the University of London, graduating with Distinction. After graduating, he dove back into journalism, producing work that has been featured in Fast Company, the Irish Times, Litro Magazine, Vice, The Guardian, Engadget, and Know Your Mobile, among other publications.

Journalism Career

Grothaus’ journey into journalism began with his coverage of the Chicago film industry for Screen magazine. He soon shifted focus to technology journalism, with his work appearing on well-known websites such as TUAW, Engadget, and national publications like The Guardian. Grothaus has gained recognition primarily through his regular articles on digital subcultures and creativity for Vice and Fast Company. His extensive writing on the elusive online organization, Cicada 3301, has been particularly noted. He also frequently explores the intersection of sex, pornography, and technology, including the subculture of fabricated celebrity pornography.

Fiction Work

Grothaus marked his entry into fiction with his debut novel, “Epiphany Jones,” which was acquired by Orenda Books in 2015 and published in June 2016. It has been described as a gripping, inventive, and deeply moving thriller tinged with dark comedy. It tackles the challenging subject of sex trafficking in a powerful narrative driven by exceptionally well-drawn, unforgettable protagonists. The book was praised by various publications and critics and earned a place in the ‘Best Reads for the Summer’ list by the Sunday Express.

His second novel, “Beautiful Shining People,” was published in 2023. It’s a speculative fiction coming-of-age tale about a 17-year-old quantum coding prodigy from America who befriends an ex-sumo wrestler and a Japanese waitress in a Tokyo cafe. Together, they embark on a quest to find the waitress’s long-lost father amidst the escalating digital Cold War tensions between China and America. The book was selected as a Book of the Month by SFX Magazine and SciFiNow, and was lauded by The Sun for its poetic writing.

Grothaus often talks about his dissatisfaction with various aspects of life, citing it as the main reason he writes about the subjects he does. He also believes that a sense of dissatisfaction is the most crucial tool a writer can possess. His personal experiences, be it at the Cannes Film Festival or in Hiroshima, Japan, profoundly influence his writing, providing a vivid authenticity that resonates with readers worldwide.

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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