Stephen Marley is a British author and video game designer, best known for his Chia Black Dragon series. He was born in Derby of Irish parents and was educated in Derby and Nottingham. He graduated in Social Anthropology in 1971 in London, gained an M.Sc in the Sociology of Science in 1973 and worked on his Ph.D on ancient Chinese science while lecturing in Manchester. He gave up an academic career and took up writing full-time in 1985. From 1995 onwards he has also followed a parallel career in video games. He has had seven novels published and recently completed a religious/political thriller, provisionally titled The Heresy. His third novel, Mortal Mask, was acclaimed a 'masterpiece' in the Clute/Grant The Encyclopedia of Fantasy.