Martin Simons was born in Derbyshire, England, in 1930. After national service in the RAF, he trained as a teacher at Borough Road and Goldsmiths Colleges. While teaching full time, in the evenings, he studied geography with ancillary geology at Birkbeck College, London University. He graduated with first class honours in 1959 and subsequently became a university lecturer in London and Adelaide. He completed masters degrees in education and in philosophy.
He has had lifelong interests in education, philosophy, aeronautics, especially the sport of gliding, and has written extensively about these and other subjects.
In 1954, he married Jean, and they had two daughters, Patricia and Margaret. The family moved to Adelaide in 1968. After fifty happy years, Jean died of pancreatic cancer in 2005. Since then, he has lived alone in suburban Melbourne but remains fully engaged with his writing and other activities.
In recent years, while continuing to fly and write nonfiction, he has written three very unusual novels, Jenny Rat, Cities at Sea, and The Glass Ship.