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Rob Boffard is a South African author who splits his time between London, Vancouver and
Johannesburg. He is an award-winning journalist who has written for publications such as
The Guardian, Wired and io9. Tracer is his first novel.
Rob Boffard was born in Johannesburg in 1984. He grew up reading encyclopaedias for fun
(he was that kind of kid). He quickly became obsessed with science fiction, action movies
and speaking very loudly to anybody who would listen.
In high school, he added a new obsession to his list: hip-hop. While studying journalism at
Rhodes University in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, he was an active rap artist, and
became one of the presenters on the longest-running rap radio show in Africa. After
graduating in 2007, he moved to the UK with his longtime girlfriend, aiming to blow every
spare cent they had on travel.
This endeavour was entirely successful, leaving them both broke but very happy. Rob did
numerous jobs in the UK, including being a reader at a media analysis agency, and picking
cigarettes up off a pub floor. He edited a London music magazine, got himself fired, and as a
result undertook a very successful freelance career. In the past five or six years, he has
written for The Guardian, Wired Magazine, Huck Magazine, the BBC, and io9. He has also
worked on corporate copy for Google and Microsoft.
Rob continued to rap, and released a full album in 2011, entitled African. By this time, he had
a successful second career as a sound engineer. This led to him working closely with a
creative agency in London, Maple Street Studios, where he worked on campaigns for
companies like EA Games, 20th Century Fox and more.
He began writing Tracer at the end of 2011, after realising that while he was quite happy
being a journalist, he enjoyed the writing part most of all. It was the first book he had ever
written. Orbit Books bought the rights to the trilogy, and the first novel is due to be released
in July 2015.
Some more interesting facts about Rob: He permanently lost his sense of smell after falling
out of a tree in Zimbabwe, aged four. He runs a hip-hop podcast. He once spent two months
traveling 11,000 miles around the United States. He’s a really good cook. In junior school, he
wrote to Nelson Mandela, complaining about having to study Afrikaans, and got a reply. He
speaks Zulu, and French. He is the last person on the planet who collects CDs
Rob now splits his time between Vancouver, London and Johannesburg. He still loves action
movies and science-fiction. He’s online at and on Twitter at
For press requests, please contact Orbit’s Gemma Conley-Smith at
Rob is represented by Ed Wilson at Johnson & Alcock