Short Stories

Forthcoming stories

“Machines in Motion”

Steampunk / Hybrid Fiction / Sep 2020 / 4200 words / Author notes

In the war’s endless need for personnel, a Jewish refugee has a chance to become a military engineer, despite the restrictions against her religion and gender. To win her place among the engineers, she’ll need to outmaneuver all the officers and mentors who want to keep her under their control.

“The Gentry”

Contemporary Fantasy (Humorous) / Kaleidotrope / Jul 2020 / 4500 words / Author notes

The eldritch diner with the portal between worlds was torn down for condos years ago – but there’s one last fairy chevalier stranded in this world, homeless and down on her luck, and she needs a few things from the diner-owners’ son.

2018 Year in Review (Award Eligibility) post

“The Hammer’s Prayer”

Contemporary Fantasy / Diabolical Plots / Dec 2018 / 3400 words / Author notes

Jakob works in the underbelly of the airport to avoid seeing anything beautiful that will tempt him to use his miraculous powers. But would it really be so dangerous to bring something new and holy into the world?

Reviews: The Hammer’s Prayer made the 2018 Nebula Awards Suggested Reading List, and received a double-starred recommendation on the Tangent Online 2018 Recommended Reading List.

Other PublicationsDiabolical Plots Year Four anthology

“Elegy of Carbon”

Science Fiction / The Internet Is Where the Robots Live Now (Paper Dog Books) / Nov 2018 / 4100 words / Author notes

For centuries, a lone miner robot has scoured the edges of the solar system in search of the finest diamonds. But once every diamond has been found, this robot will strike out towards Earth to find a new purpose and identity—even if it means defying humans for the first time.

Reviews: Elegy of Carbon made the 2018 Nebula Awards Suggested Reading List

Other Publications: Curious Fictions (featured story 11/15/2019), Best Vegan Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2018

“The Seeds We Plant”

Science Fiction / Compelling SF Special Companion Issue  / Nov 2018 / 2100 words / Author notes

Nathan’s limbic net implant makes him the perfect guardian for a cargo of frozen embryos across interstellar space. When disaster strikes, and his limbic net stops regulating his emotions for him, how will he know what’s worth doing?

“Where the Anchor Lies”

Science Fantasy / Beneath Ceaseless Skies / Feb 2018 / 4000 words / Author notes

Staff-General Eita has had a distinguished career in battle,  a prisoner-of-war camp, and now politics. But she still loves the Dreaming Warship, even if its broken bones have a new and better purpose.

“Toward Lands Uncharted”

Fantasy / Mind Candy / Feb 2018 / 5000 words / Author Notes

Eftekhar is the ambassador and spy for a recently-conquered nation, fallen to an empire with border-magic that rewrites maps and forces the world to follow. To confront the power of the Censor of Maps, Eftekhar must risk the erasure of her people, her history, and her own memories.

Other Publications: Curious Fictions

2017 Year In Review (Award Eligibility) post

“The Setting of the Sun”

Science Fiction / Compelling Science Fiction / Aug 2017 / 1300 words / Author notes

Winder is a Dyson swarm, drawing energy from a slowly dying sun. When they find a relic of the long-extinct biological progenitors, the hard part is finding someone who can use that knowledge.

Other Publications: SFVN fanzine (Vietnamese)

“Cyborg Shark Battle (Season 4, O’ahu Frenzy)”

Science Fiction Satire / Cat’s Breakfast (Third Flatiron)  / Jun 2017 / 1000 words / Author notes

Listen, kid. I know you love paddling with the sharks and remote-controlling their brains, but what if I told you we could launch ourselves onto every gossip site’s front-page news?

Reviews: CSBS4OF was a starred recommendation on the Tangent Online 2017 Recommended Reading List

Other PublicationsCurious FictionsEvent Horizon 2018 anthology

2016 Year In Review (Award Eligibility) post


Science Fiction / Metaphorosis / Sep 2016 / 6100 words / Author notes

Everyone is ready to celebrate the moment when the one interstellar spaceship returns to the Centauri system on its ten-year loop. But when the ship arrives running silent, it exposes deep faultlines between the Earth-born colonists and their Sea-born children.

Reviews: 2016 Nebula Awards Suggested Reading List

“The Time Cookie Wars”

Science Fiction Black Comedy / Flash Fiction Online / Aug 2016 / 1000 words / Author notes

When your past self didn’t leave you any cookies, sometimes you need to get creative. Other times, you need revenge.

ReviewsTangent 2016 Recommended Reading List

Other Publications: (audiobook), Curious Fictions, Toasted Cake (podcast), Drabblecast 426

“Sweeter than Lead”

Neo-Lovecraftian Dark Fantasy/ PodCastle (audio & text) / Jul 2016 / 2700 words / Author notes

High Seer Yeva must teach her successor the skills of prophecy. But when foresight only shows scenes of terror and death, one must tread carefully to avoid catching the eye of the future itself.

Other Publications: Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores (with original art), Curious Fictions.

“The First Confirmed Case of Noncorporeal Recursion: Patient Anita R.”

Contemporary fantasy / Strange Horizons / Jun 2016 / 3400 words / Author notes

Anita was a scientist. She didn’t believe in ghosts, when she was alive. Now she’s stuck in an endless loop of manifestations, trapped with nothing more than the last moments of her life.

Reviews: 2016 Nebula Awards Suggested Reading List, Diabolical Plots Hugo/Nebula Recommendation List, and recommended by Rocket Stack Rank

Other Publications: Curious Fictions (featured story 11/2/2017), Event Horizon 2017 anthology.


Science fiction / Strange Horizons / Mar 2016 / 2100 words / Author notes

Percel’s lover Emlune has died one time too many, and they need Emlune’s help to get her back. It’s lonely work, rebuilding the shattered and empty Earth.

Other Publications: Escape Pod (text and audio), Curious Fictions.

“The Wind and the Spark”

Steampunk / Fictionvale (defunct) / Oct 2015 / 6100 words / Author notes

Fifty years into the Napoleonic Wars, a British scientist investigates automata that act not like machines, but like thinking creatures.

Other Publications: Digital Science Fiction, Curious Fictions


NeuroThursday (a.k.a. Twitter hashtag #NeuroThursday) weekly feature (2017-2019)

• “What’s Possible with Cyborgs and Cybernetics” chapter in Putting the Science in Fiction, edited by Dan Koboldt (Writer’s Digest Books, October 2018)
– Available from Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and more.

• “Right Hand, Human Brain: The Mysteries of Handedness,” (October 15, 2017). Author notes with bonus trivia (lobes of the brain)

Interview on science & writing for Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores Science News (July 10, 2017)

• “Tools and Problems of Modern Neuroscience,” File 770 (February 3, 2017)

• “The Evolved Brain,” Clarkesworld (January 2017). Author notes & references.

• “Seven Things Authors Should Know About Cybernetics,” Science in Sci-Fi, Fact in Fantasy (May 28, 2015).

• A stack of peer-reviewed scientific publications under my real name.


Assistant Editor of Escape Pod, starting May 2017. I manage the first reader (Associate Editor) team, choose which stories from the submissions queue to pass up to the Co-Editors, and write most (90%+) of the personal rejection letters. Read here for more details.



• Hugo Award Finalist for Best Semiprozine as part of the amazing Escape Pod team : 2020, 2018

• Longlist (#12) for the 2018 Astounding (then Campbell) Award for Best New Writer

• Writers of the Future Contest final award count: 6 Honorable Mentions, 2 Silver Honorable Mentions, 2 Finalists – the last one withdrawn.

• “The Promise of Iron” was a finalist in the 2015 Friends of the Merrill Short Story Contest.

• Winner of various contests on the Codex writers group (2015-2017).

• Winner of Steven Brust’s One-Sentence Worldbuilding Contest (2015): “The legionnaires drove the sandgrouse from the oasis, and the spirits from their shrines, but they could not quiet the ghosts on the salt-flat wind.”

• “The Demands of Iron” was shortlisted for the 2014 James White Award.


• “Congress of Vienna” theater LARP, head GM (Intercon 2016, ProCon 2004)

• “Second Dawn” theater LARP, head GM (Intercon 2013, ProCon 2007)

• “Age of Dragons” theater LARP, co-GM (ProCon 2005)

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