Matthew Reilly was born on July 2nd, 1974 in Sydney. Spending much of his childhood watching movies and going to the theatre to see his parents perform, it was this early exposure to the entertainment industry which made Matthew explore his own creative talents. Discovering, at age 15, that adventure books could be enjoyable and fun to read, his resulting love affair with the written word prompted Matthew to try his hand at creating stories of his own. Says Matthew: "I actually disliked reading in my early high school years. I was given very dry old classics in Year 7, and I still believe that put a lot of my classmates off reading for a long time. It was only after I read To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies in Year 10 that I realised reading could transport you to another world. Once I figured that out, I went out and found all the action novels I could!"
Contest is the first book written by Matthew Reilly, and it has become one of the most sought-after books of all time. Since its original self-published print run of 1000 copies in 1996, Contest has been updated with 17 extra pages of new content for the Pan Macmillan Australian release in 2000, and revisited again in 2003 for US readers - adapted to incorporate the real-world New York Public Library architecture.
Set in a firm Science Fiction realm, Contest is the result of an interstellar gladiatorial conflict between seven sentient races. This time, Earth has been chosen to host the event, and Stephen Swain, with his daughter in tow, has been chosen to represent us in the arena. Although Earth may be participating, it is not participating of its own free will.
The ultimate blood sport has begun, and survival is only part of the problem.