Stephen Miller is a veteran Vancouver stage and film actor. Among his hundreds of appearances, he played Special Agent Andy McClaren in the Millennium television program and detective Zak McNab on DaVinci's Inquest. Miller has said he takes his laptop to work and writes about one hour per day on Hollywood North movie sets. He was born (1947) and raised in Durham, N.C. and graduated from Virginia Military Institute before coming to Canada in 1968 to attend UBC. He was one of the founders of Tamahnous Theatre.

Miller's short novel Wastefall (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1990) won the 11th annual 3-Day Novel Contest in 1989 and was originally conceived as a screenplay. It's described as a surreal ecological fable in which a destitute man finds fulfillment among the debris of a landfill site. This initial publication is rarely mentioned in the promotional materials furnished by larger publishers of his subsequent books.

In Miller's crime novel The Woman in the Yard (M&S/Picador 1999), a sheriff returns from duty in Korea, eager to build a career in North Carolina law enforcement. When a black prostitute washes up out of Cape Fear, his challenge is to solve the murder amidst his colleagues willful disinterest. Sheriff Q.P. Waldeau proceeds to pursue a murderer of black and white women 'at the edge of the Old South and the New'. The American Picador catalogue touts the work as a first novel.

Miller's international thriller Field of Mars (Penguin, 2006) takes place in Russia in 1913 and follows Ryzhkov, a St. Petersburg secret policeman, who uncovers a plot to overthrow the tsar and install a puppet ruler, after Ryzhkov's apathy is disspelled by the murder of a child prostitute. In 2008, Field of Mars was re-released in paperback to coincide with publication of its follow-up, The Last Train to Kazan (Penguin $24), in which the cynical and disaffected Ryzhkov investigates the disappearance of the Tsar and his family. Who killed them? And how? And do any of them remain alive? [See review below]

Having had the foresight to record television coverage of the 9/11 tragedy as it was occurring, North Carolina-born Stephen Miller has long-gestated a riveting novel that takes the reader inside the heart and mind of a female Islamic terrorist who has been trained to infiltrate the United States for a multi-pronged germ warfare attack. The result is The Messenger (Delacorte $31), an unforgettable account that disturbingly enables the reader to feel empathy for a brainwashed terrorist-on-the-run during her 16-day ordeal, pursued by the discredited Dr. Sam Watterman, whose investigations into anthrax were dismissed by the U.S. government. While the adventures of the deadly "messenger" Daria are clearly the makings for a riveting cinema thriller, Miller has also done extensive research to reveal how 'bioterror' remains both relatively cheap and technologically feasible. The Messenger is a fascinating shocker, thoroughly engaging, smart and eerily plausible.

[BCBW 2013] "Fiction" "Film" "3-Day"