Simon Parkin

Writer & Journalist

Simon Parkin is a contrinuting writer to the New, a freelance journalist and author of the book "Death by Video Game."

A Game of Birds and Wolves

Sceptre (UK)/ Little, brown (US),  Out SEPT 7, 2o19.

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1942. Liverpool. The war isn't going to plan. Distinguished Admiral Sir Max Horton is in the game room on his knees commanding a fleet of toy German U-boats. Behind a curtain his unknown opponent is manoeuvring the toy British battleships. Five times the pair have played the game and five times Horton's U-boats have suffered defeat. Exasperated, he demands to know his enemy. And from behind the curtain steps a fresh-faced twenty-year-old woman.

This is the story of the game of battleships that won the Second World War. It tells the story of the unlikely heroes of the Western Approaches Tactical Unit - a retired naval captain and eight young women - whose eureka moment cracked the battle of the Atlantic. It features cameos from a war-ravaged Churchill and an exceptional Nazi mastermind submariner, and takes us from the sweaty fug of German U-boat U48 as it torpedoes a British evacuee ship, to the tense atmosphere of the wartime strategy room.

The story of Operation Raspberry and its unsung heroines has never been told before. Investigative journalist Simon Parkin brings these hidden figures into the light in this gripping tale of war at sea.

Death By Video Game

Serpent's Tail (UK)/ MeLville HOUSE (US),  August 2015/ July 2016.

'Whether it's Space Invaders, Candy Crush Saga or Grand Theft Auto, video games draw us in and don't let go. In Taiwan, a spate of deaths at gaming cafés is raising a question: why is it that some of us are playing games beyond the limits of our physical wellbeing?

Death by Video Game uncovers the real stories behind our video game obsession. Along the way, award-winning journalist Simon Parkin meets the players and game developers at the frontline of virtual extremism, including the New York surgeon attempting to break the Donkey Kong world record; the Minecraft player three years into an epic journey towards the edge of the game's vast virtual world and the German hacker who risked prison to discover the secrets behind Half-Life 2.

Investigating the impact of video games on our lives, Death by Video Game will change the way we think about our virtual playgrounds.'

"The finest book on video games yet. Simon Parkin thinks like a critic, conjures like a novelist, and writes like an artist at the height of his powers - which, in fact, he is." (Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives and God Lives in St. Petersburg)

"Parkin has a deft sense of the ways that video games appeal to and satiate the longings of the spirit ... Death by Video Game offers an excellent sociocultural study of the 21st century's quintessential art form." (Washington Post)

"The best book about video games ... brainy enough to appeal to even the deepest gamer, and yet accessible enough for the reader who hasn't picked up a controller in years." (GQ)

"A sort of love-letter travelogue [and a] thought-provoking introduction to the fastest-growing religion on the planet." (The Times)

"One of the best writers around on games and games culture ... Parkin's quest for the big picture quickly takes him on to the many ways in which video games are a part of life." (New Scientist)

"The book is rich in personalities ... Parkin is an excellent writer, sensitive and empathetic, at his best when simply talking with people ... for Parkin, games are a safe place to retreat to from a more complicated, dangerous and unpredictable world." (Times Literary Supplement)

"Groundbreaking ... his reportage leads to brilliant, fresh insights ... accomplishing that rare feat of teaching while entertaining, this work ignites a series of debates crucial to the future of video games." (Library Journal)

"Parkin has a literary eye for scenic and investigative detail ... thoughtful, serious criticism on gaming and play." (New York Times Book Review)

"Parkin is a powerful writer ... the prose gleams with enthusiasm and wonder and as far as any book can transport us into these digital worlds, Parkin does so marvellously." (National)