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Mark Coggins is the American author of a series of novels featuring private eye protagonist August Riordan.

Mark Coggins
Robert Crais and Mark Coggins
Robert Crais and Mark Coggins
New Mexico, United States
CitizenshipUnited States
EducationM.S. in Computer Science
Alma materStanford University
Genrecrime fiction
Notable worksThe Immortal Game
The Big Wake-Up
Notable awardsIndependent Publisher Book Awards
2010 The Big Wake-Up


Coggins was born in New Mexico in 1957 and attended Stanford University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in International Relations, a masters in Computer Science and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society.[1][2]

While at Stanford, Coggins took creative writing classes with Tobias Wolff and Ron Hansen and wrote the first short story featuring August Riordan in a class for Hansen. This was published in 1986 in The New Black Mask, a revival of the famous Black Mask pulp magazine that launched the careers of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.[3]

Coggins has worked in the Silicon Valley for such companies as Hewlett Packard and Netscape [4] and although Riordan as a character is something of a technophobe, Coggins' novels often explore high technology themes and Silicon Valley culture.[5]


Coggins' first book, The Immortal Game, dealt with the theft of chess-playing software similar to that run on Deep Blue and was nominated for the Shamus Award[6] and the Barry Award.[7] Runoff described a fictional mayoral election in San Francisco where the results were altered by individuals who hacked the city's electronic voting machines. The Big Wake-Up envisioned an altered version of the bizarre history of the peripatetic remains of Argentina's most famous first lady, Eva Perón, and won the Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category.[8][9]

Prom Night and Other Man-made Disasters was somewhat of a departure. A collection of humorous essays describing episodes in his life from school, career, and relationships, it features a number of anecdotes from his childhood in Phoenix, Arizona, including the title essay, "Prom Night," the improbable story of how shy and socially-awkward Coggins brought the homecoming queen of Central High School to the senior prom.[10]



  • The Immortal Game (1999). ISBN 978-0918395177
  • Vulture Capital (2002). ISBN 978-0918395214
  • Candy From Strangers (2006). ISBN 978-1932557169
  • Runoff (2007). ISBN 978-1932557534
  • The Big Wake-Up (2009). ISBN 978-1606480557
  • No Hard Feelings (2015). ISBN 978-1937495909


External linksEdit


  1. ^ Official Bio,
  2. ^ Noir Guy,, January 2008.
  3. ^ Back to Black, Part IV,, November 27, 2007.
  4. ^ Actuate Names Mark Coggins as New Senior Vice President of Engineering,, October 20, 2003.
  5. ^ How Greedy Was My Valley?,, September 18, 2002.
  6. ^ The Shamus Awards,
  7. ^ Barry Awards Archived 2012-04-23 at the Wayback Machine,
  8. ^ The Story Behind the Story: The Big Wake-Up by Mark Coggins,, November 03, 2009.
  9. ^ Announcing the Results of the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards,, May 25, 2010.
  10. ^ Prom Night and Other Man-made Disasters by Mark Coggins,, May 31, 2012.