Advisory Board

John Robert Marlow

John Robert Marlow is a novelist, nonfiction author, screenwriter, freelance journalist, and nanotechnology columnist. His first novel Nano was published in hardcover by Forge/St. Martin’s Press in 2004 (“Marlow’s debut is a real page-turner” — Kirkus Reviews), and was immediately honored with the Nanotechnology Now Editor’s Choice Award (“Plausible, scientifically accurate, and timely … the most important piece of fiction written to date”) and declared Book of the Month by the World Transhumanist Association.
Based on the strength of the Nano novel and its nonfiction superswarm appendix, John was asked to write for NanoNews Now Monthly Report, the premium newsletter published by Nanotechnology Now. The result was the most comprehensive nanosecurity article to date: Nanosecurity and the Future (if Any). This, in turn, led to Nanoveau, a plain-language nanotechnology column which appears jointly on both and Nanotechnology Now. For these and other efforts, he was nominated for the 2004 Foresight Institute Prize in Communication.
John has placed as a finalist (top 10 of 5,489 entries) in the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Program of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (the organization which awards the Oscars), and has been mentioned in both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. His Nano screenplay is now in development with director-producer Jan de Bont.
His screenplay Snowjob attracted the attention of producer Julie Richardson, who found it so intriguing that — upon learning he had moved from his last known address — she hired a private detective to find him. That script, a romantic adventure-comedy, was subsequently developed in concert with Julie’s Imaginarium Entertainment and ICM Executive Story Editor Christopher Lockhart. (Snowjob was then optioned by Imaginarium.) Julie discovered, developed, and produced the DreamWorks film Collateral, written by Stuart Beattie and starring Tom Cruise (directed by Michael Mann).
His nonfiction work has appeared both online and in printed publications with circulations of up to 80,000,000. Topics covered in these articles have run the gamut from automobile engine buildups to robotic surgeons, invisible lasers, Nobel laureate Sir Francis Crick’s views on neural nets and human vision — and the global security implications of emerging and disruptive technologies. His work has often specialized in two areas: explaining complex scientific and medical topics in understandable terms for a general audience, and weapons & tactics for law enforcement and counterterrorist publications. He drew heavily on both talents in preparing Nano.
John has worked as a freelance researcher for nonfiction books and for television documentaries aired by the world’s largest broadcaster, and as a developmental editor upgrading book and novel manuscripts and screenplays written by others. He has also ghostwritten nonfiction books for others, and acted as a video game consultant.
His Storybook Architecture website is the #1 Google hit on “storybook architecture”, and drew mention in the Los Angeles Times soon after its debut in 2005.
Born in Pennsylvania, John currently resides in California, and occasionally travels to South Africa. His interests include antiques, film, literature, art, architecture, comics, music, leading-edge technologies, history, and photography. (Some of his photos appear on the website, and on the South Africa section of his personal website.) He is now at work on his next novel, several screenplays, and future Nanoveau columns.
A revised edition of the Nano novel (with commentary by Center for Responsible Nanotechnology cofounder Chris Phoenix) was published in paperback in June, 2005. Nano novel excerpts, nanofaq, nanolinks, the Nanoveau columns and more may be found on his homepage at