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Jakubowski was born in 1944 in England to Russian-British and Polish parents, but raised in France. Jakubowski has also lived in Italy and has travelled extensively. Jakubowski edited the science fiction anthologies Twenty Houses of the Zodiac (1979), for the 37th World Science Fiction Convention (Seacon '79) in Brighton, and Travelling Towards Epsilon, an anthology of French science fiction. He also contributed a short story to that anthology.
He has worked in book publishing for many years, which he left to open the Murder One bookshop, the UK's first specialist crime and mystery bookstore. He contributes to a variety of newspapers and magazines, and was for eight years the crime columnist for Time Out and, from 2000 to 2010, the crime reviewer for The Guardian. He is also the literary director of London's Crime Scene Festival and a consultant for the International Mystery Film Festival, Noir in Fest, held annually in Courmayeur, Italy. He is one of the leading editors in the crime and mystery and erotica field, in which he has published many major anthologies, including the annual Mammoth Books of Best New Erotica and Best British Crime. In addition, he has over 80 other anthologies to his credit, including titles on Vintage Crime, Pulp Fiction, Jack the Ripper, the Kama Sutra and countless areas of popular culture. He has edited several classic lists such as Black Box Thrillers for Zomba Books, Blue Murder for Simon & Schuster and (later) Xanadu, Eros Plus and Neon and the MaXcrime imprint for British publishers John Blake Publishing. He is a past winner of the Karel and the Anthony awards. He is also a translator from French and Italian.
His novels include It's You that I Want to Kiss, Because She Thought She Loved Me, The State of Montana, On Tenderness Express, Kiss Me Sadly, Confessions of a Romantic Pornographer and I Was Waiting for You. His short story collections are Life in the World of Women, Fools for Lust and the collaborative American Casanova. He is a regular broadcaster on British TV and radio and was voted the fourth Sexiest Writer of 2007 on a poll on the Crimespace website. Ekaterina and the Nightwas published in 2011 and combined crime with erotica, as does his latest novel 'The Louisiana Republic' (2018).
He is strongly rumoured to be one of the authors behind the bestselling erotic author Vina Jackson, but this has never been confirmed.
For many years, Jakubowski was Chair of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and is now chair and judge for the Crime Writers' Association International Dagger; he is also on the committee of the Crime Writers' Association and a frequent commentator on radio and TV. He is currently Honorary Vice Chair of the Crime Writers' Association.
In October 2019, he was awarded the CWA Red Herring Award for lifetime achievement.
In 2020, he will act as Executive Producer for the 'Factory' TV series, based on the novels of Derek Raymond, being produced by the FX Network (The Living Dead) and Hardy, Son and Baker (Taboo & A Chrsitmas Carol).
He wrote the short story "Un Avocat pour Dolorès" under the nom de plume of "Adam Barnett-Foster". When asked why he took the name when he was already known and well-respected, he is quoted as shrugging and saying Le pseudonyme fou vient de frapper - "The mad pseudonym just hit me..."
Jakubowski also wrote a number of books on rock music during the 1980s.
His website is at www.maximjakubowski.co.uk, and lists his complete bibliography.
- with Edwards, Malcolm. The Complete Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy Lists. St Albans, Herts, UK: Granada Publishing Ltd., 1983. 350 pages. ISBN 0-586-05678-5.
- Jakubowski, Maxim. Twenty Houses of the Zodiac. New English Library, 1979. 237 pages. ISBN 0450043339
- Jakubowski, Maxim. 100 Great Detectives. Carroll & Graf, 1991. 255 pages. ISBN 0881847291
Won 1992 Anthony Award for Best Critical Work
- Jakubowski, Maxim. London Noir. Serpent's Tail, 1994. 264 pages. ISBN 1852423080
Nominated 1995 Anthony Award for Best Anthology / Short Story Collection
- Jakubowski, Maxim. Past Poisons: An Ellis Peters Memorial Anthology of Historical Crime. Ibooks, Inc. Anthology edition, 2005. 356 pages. ISBN 1-59687-160-1.
Anthologies of erotic fiction
- The Mammoth Book of Erotica (Carroll & Graf US and Robinson UK, originally published in 1994, revised edition published in 2000) ISBN 0-7867-0787-9
Anthologies of erotic photography
- The Mammoth Book of Illustrated Erotica, co-edited with Marilyn Jaye Lewis, Running Press, 2002, ISBN 0-7867-0921-9
- The Mammoth Book of Erotic Photography, co-edited with Marilyn Jaye Lewis, Edition Olms, 2004, ISBN 3-283-00431-5
- "Summary Bibliography". ISFDB. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
- www.murderone.co.uk - Murder One Bookshop
- Twenty Houses of the Zodiac > "Un Avocat pour Dolorès"
- "Maxim Jakubowski - Non Fiction". maximjakubowski.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Anthony Award Nominees and Winners". Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2014.