Jeff Noon is a novelist, short story writer and playwright whose works make extensive use of wordplay and fantasy.He studied fine art and drama at Manchester University and was subsequently appointed writer in residence at the city's Royal Exchange theatre. But Noon did not stay too long in the theatrical world, possibly because the realism associated with the theatre was not conducive to the fantastical worlds he was itching to invent. While working behind the counter at the local Waterstone's bookshop, a colleague suggested he write a novel. The result of that suggestion, Vurt, was the hippest sci-fi novel to be published in Britain since the days of Michael Moorcock in the late sixties.Like Moorcock, Noon is not preoccupied with technology per se, but incorporates technological developments into a world of magic and fantasy. As a teenager, Noon was addicted to American comic heroes, and still turns to them for inspiration. He has said that music is more of an influence on his writing than novelists: he 'usually writes to music', and his record collection ranges from classical to drum'n'bass.