John Higgs is author of The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds; I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary; and Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century. He also writes fiction under the name JMR Higgs, including The Brandy of the Damned and The First Church on the Moon.
John is a writer who specialises in finding previously unsuspected narratives, hidden in obscure corners of our history and culture, which can change the way we see the world. The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds, was described as “Adam Curtis brainstorming with Thomas Pynchon” by The Guardian. Ben Goldacre (Bad Science, Bad Pharma) called it “By far the best book this year, brilliant, discursive and wise.” The leading music website The Quietus said it “Might well be the best music book of the 2010s” and it was named as one of the top ten music books of 2013 by The Guardian, The Independent and Mojo.
Alan Moore describes his most recent book Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century as “A breathtakingly lucid and coherent map of the tectonic shifts which drastically reshaped the human psyche, and the human world, within a hundred thrilling, terrifying years [and which] leaves us asking ourselves how we could have missed so much about the wider implications of a time we lived through. An illuminating work of massive insight, I cannot recommend this magnificent work too highly.”
Together with his first book I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary, which features a foreword by Winona Ryder, his work is currently being translated into seven different languages. A prolific public speaker, Higgs has spoken at events and festivals including Wilderness, The Secret Garden Party, the Brighton Festival, the Port Eliot Literary Festival and LonCon3 (the World Science Fiction Convention). He has written for publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Mojo, and his fiction appears under the name JMR Higgs. Before turning to full-time writing he directed over 100 episodes of animated pre-school television, created the long-running BBC Radio 4 quiz series X Marks the Spot, and worked as producer on a number of videogames for the Xbox, PlayStation2 and Nintendo Gamecube.