Jeff Somers was born in 1971 in Jersey City, New Jersey during a violent electrical storm. After an unremarkable childhood spent eating crayons and playing baseball badly, a series of head traumas resulted in a sudden interest in writing. The years 1980-1983 were spent re-creating The Lord of the Rings with different character names, a policy which would have continued had a kindly grammar school teacher not defined the word plagiarism for the young man. In 1989, while preparing to attend Rutgers University in New Jersey, Jeff sold a science-fiction novel to a California-based publisher called The Andromeda Press, despite the fact that the photocopy Jeff had submitted lacked pages 79, 143, 187, 209, and 331. Letters were exchanged, contracts were signed, and a few months later The Andromeda Press went out of business and were never heard of again. College was a pleasant daze of sleeping in, drinking heavily, wandering the streets late at night in search of cheap or (preferably) free food, intense, emotional dramas in lieu of actual relationships, and video games: in other words, Jeff was an English major, and a damned good one. He does not recall having to actually read a book even once during school. After graduating college, Jeff drove cross-country and wandered aimlessly for a while, but the peculiar siren call of New Jersey (a delicious mixture of chromium, cut grass, and indolence) brought him back to his homeland in 1994, where he got a job as an Editorial Assistant at a medical/science publisher in New York City. Most experts agree that this is likely where the young man went insane.
In 1995 Jeff began publishing his own magazine, The Inner Swine (www.innerswine.com). At one point TIS had international distribution and Tower Magazines published a collection culled from its issues (The Freaks are Winning, which Jeff will gladly sell you for a dollar), but graft and incompetence doomed the zine to its current state of a few hundred subscribers, almost none of whom have actually paid a subscription fee. In all, Jeff has written over 300 short stories and has had work appear in Another Chicago Magazine, Aberrations, Bare Bone, and others. His short story Ringing the Changes was included in Best American Mystery Stories 2006 edited by Scott Turow. He also co-authored Sliders: Blood and Splendor, a one-shot comic book published by Acclaim Comics in 1996. He’s not sure if he’s proud of that, but it paid well, so he doesn’t think about it too hard. In 2001, Creative Arts Book Company published his first novel Lifers, which has sold at least five copies to his Mother. There may be more. Orbit books released his first science fiction novel, The Electric Church (http://the-electric-church.com), in September 2007, and its sequel The Digital Plague (http://the-electric-church.com/TDP/) in May 2008. The third Avery Cates novel, The Eternal Prison, is scheduled for a 2009 release.
In-between slacking off at work, publishing his own zine, and tirelessly accruing rejection notes, Jeff plays chess and staves off despair with cocktails. He sometimes muses in public at his blog, www.jeffreysomers.com/blather.