dingbat

Stories

cover of Place So ForeignA collection of my stories, called A Place So Foreign and Eight More was published by Four Walls Eight Windows in September, 2003. Six of the nine stories are available for free download under a Creative Commons license, and the book is selling briskly.

Scroogled

Radar Magazine

Translations:
Bulgarian translation (Georgi Ivanov and Maya Georgieva)

Dutch translation (Niels Huijbregts)

French translation (C&F Editions)

German translation (Christian Woehrl)

German translation (Maximilian Schreiner)

Greek translation (Michael Tegos)

Italian translation (Decio Biavati)

Italian translation (Reginazabo)

Japanese translation (Takashi Kurata)

Japanese translation (Yutaka Ohshima)

Latvian translation (Bar Camp Baltics team)

Macedonian translation (Aleksandar Balalovski)

Norwegian translation (Tarjei Vågstøl)

Persian translation (Jadi)

Polish translation (Piotr Wrzosinski)

Portuguese translation (Carlos Martins)

Romanian translation (Stefan Talpalaru)

Russian translation (Ruslan Grokhovetskiy and friends)

Slovak translation (Pavol Hvizdos)

Spanish translation (Felixe and Marisol)

Turkish translation (Dördüncü Göz)

Ukrainian translation (Kos Ivantsov)

Art:
English fan art poster (Stojance)

Russian fan art poster (Ruslan Grokhovetskiy and friends)

English fan art poster(Ruslan Grokhovetskiy and friends)

Photoshop source file for Grokhovetskiy posters

File formats:
HTML (Churba Silvertongue)

PRC (Churba Silvertongue)

XML (Churba Silvertongue)

PDB (Henrik Löwendahl-Nyrén)


  • When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth

    This story appears in my collection Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present, 2007

    Baen's Universe, August 2006
    The Rake, December 2006

    Podcast: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

    When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth">Full cast radio drama, QN Podcast

    French fan-translation, courtesy of Zen le Renard (Text, HTML)

    Spanish tranlsation (Axxon)

    Italian Translation (Fantascienze, Dec 2007)

    I started writing When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth on July 6th, 2005, while teaching Clarion. The next day, the London Underground and busses were bombed, including the bus I rode to work every morning (I was in Michigan, teaching Clarion, thankfully). These kinds of coincidences can be spooky when you're a writer. I ended up putting the story away for some months.

    When I returned to it, I was fired anew with the story of Felix and Van and their vainglorious struggle to keep the servers online as the world went offline. Once created, apocalyptic anxiety can't be destroyed -- the 1980s fear of nuclear annihilation I grew up with surfaces anew with each theoretical disaster: Y2K, climate change, und so weiter. There's something primal about a story of the Earth's impending doom.

    I was a sysadmin at an earlier stage in my career and I have infinite respect for the field: sysadmins are the secret masters of the universe, and they keep your life running.

    More …


    I, Row-Boat

    This story appears in my collection Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present, 2007

    Flurb Magazine, August 2006

    Podcast: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4

    This story came to me while I was 20 meters down the reef-wall in the Coral Sea, off the coast of northern Australia. I think a turtle was involved.

    The good ship "Spirit of Freedom" is the model for the "Free Spirit," the ship in this tale. As far as I know, neither it nor its ship's boats are sentient.

    If I return to this theme, it will be with a story about uplifted cheese sandwiches, called "I, Rarebit."

    "I, Row-Boat" is a riff on my Hugo-nominated story I, Robot, and it concerns the theological wars between an Asimov-cultist AI boat and an uplifted coral-reef.

    More …


    After the Siege

    Winner, 2008 Locus Award for Best Novella

    This story appears in my collection Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present, 2007

    Elsi (Russian translation), Summer 2006
    The Infinite Matrix, January 2007
    Comic book in Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now, June 2008

    Podcast, Subterranean Press, read by Mary Robinette Kowal, June 2008
    Podcast: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9

    Listeners to my podcast heard me read this story, After the Siege, as it was written, shortly after returning home from a family trip to St Petersburg. My grandmother was born there, back when it was Leningrad, and she lived through the Siege of Leningrad as a little girl. She'd never talked to us about those years, but then, walking through Petersburg, she opened up and the stories came pouring out, stories that scared and appalled me. After the Siege is a science fictional re-telling of those stories, with much artistic license.

    I gave first publication rights to this story to Esli, the Russian sf magazine that had published some of my stories in translation before. In return, Elsi has given me the Russian text to release under a Creative Commons license. The first English publication will come shortly in the online magazine The Infinite Matrix, which published my story I, Robot and other pieces.
    More …


    Printcrime


    This story appears in my collection Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present, 2007

    Nature Magazine

    Mini-comic by Martin Cendreda, published by Secret Headquarters

    Podcast (Escape Pod)

    Animation by Josh Swinehart

    French fan-translation (Rigas Arvanitis)

    Spanish fan-translation (Ariel Maidana)

    Italian fan-translation (Emanuele Vulcano)

    Polish fan translation (Luke Kowalski)

    Fan audio adaptation (Jason Mayoff, professional voice artist)

    Greg Elmensdorp's 3D illustration for the story

    Brazilian Portuguese fan-translation (Eduardo Mercer)

    Filipino fan-translation by Paul Pajo

    European Portuguese fan-translation, by Luis Filipe Silva

    Hiligaynon fan-translation, by Lorna Belviz-Pajo

    Korean fan-translation (Sejin Choi)

    Romanian fan-translation, by Alex Brie

    Japanese fan-translation, by Hikaru "Anna" Otsuka.

    Chinese fan-translation by Renjie Yao

    Hungarian fan-translation by Judit Hegedus

    Polish fan-translation by Krzysztof Mroczko, in Creatio Fantastica XXVII

    German fan-translation by Nemo Folkitz

    Russian fan-translation by Ruslan Bayastanov

    Nature have generously granted me permission to reproduce this short-short story in full -- click below to see the whole thing.
    More …


    Human Readable

    Future Washington

    Locus Recommended Reading List, 2005 (Novellas)

    Podcast: Part 1,

    Part 2,

    Part 3,

    Part 4,

    Part 5,

    Part 6,

    Part 7

    I've got a story in Future Washington, an anthology that just came out. As the title implies, the anthology collects stories about the future of Washington DC, and in my case, the future of regulation, too. I've read about half the stories in the anthology since my contributor's copy arrived in the mail yesterday and I've yet to come up with a dud. Not surprising, given the contributions of writers like Kim Stanley Robinson, Joe Haldeman, Brenda Clough and many others.

    My story is a novella called "Human Readable," and of all my short fiction, it is the story I'm most proud of. It's the tale of a world that's been upended by hyper-efficient planning algorithms based on ant-colony optimizations, so that Los Angeles has the best traffic in the world. However, when these networks crash, they really crash -- cars, surfboards, and many other common conveyances end up catastrophically failing, with concomitant loss of life.

    Human Readable is the story of a couple who break up over their relation to the ant-networks. Reiner is a hacker who works on improving the networks. Trish is an activist lawyer who wants to see them regulated. Their irreconcilable differences turn them from being lovers into being political opponents.
    More …


    I, Robot

    This story appears in my collection Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present, 2007

    Infinite Matrix

    Romanian translation (SCI-FI Magazin, September 2007)

    Yo, robot, Spanish fantrans by Fernando Orbis, December 2009

    Hugo Award nominee, 2005 (Novelette)

    Locus Award for Best Novelette, 2005

    Finalist, 2005 British Science Fiction Awards

    Podcast: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V

    Hebrew translation by Haggay Averbuch in Bli Panika magazine, October 2006

    In spring 2004, in the wake of Ray Bradbury pitching a tantrum over Michael Moore appropriating the title of Fahrenheit 451 to make Fahrenheit 9/11, I conceived of a plan to write a series of stories with the same titles as famous sf shorts, which would pick apart the totalitarian assumptions underpinning some of sf's classic narratives.

    Infinite Matrix magazine published one of these, a story called "I, Robot," which describes the police state that would have to obtain if you were going to have a world where there was only one kind of robot allowed and only one company was allowed to make it.
    More …


    Anda’s Game

    This story appears in my collection Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present, 2007

    Salon
    Best American Short Stories, Michael Chabon, ed, 2005

    Podcast read by Alice Taylor of Wonderland: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

    Fan art by Jeremy Shuback

    Free download for Android

    This is a riff on the way that property-rights are coming to games, and on the bizarre spectacle of sweat-shops in which children are paid to play the game all day in order to generate eBay-able game-wealth. When I was a kid, there were arcade kings who would play up Gauntlet characters to maximum health and weapons and then sell their games to nearby players for a dollar or two -- netting them about $0.02 an hour -- but this is a very different proposition indeed.

    There are a lot of firsts in this story:

    • It's the first story I've written since moving to the UK, and the story is told from the point of view of an English girl
    • It's the first in a series of stories I'm writing that riff on the titles of famous SF novels and stories (this one is a play on Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" -- also coming are "I, Robot," "The Man Who Sold the Moon," "Jeffty is Five," and "True Names" -- this last with Ben Rosenbaum). This started as a response to Ray Bradbury's assertion that Michael Moore was a "thief" and a "horrible human being" for using the word "Fahrenheit" in the title of his last movie -- but now I'm just finding it fun to deconstruct the stories of the writers who came before me.
    • It's the first story that Salon has ever published under a Creative Commons license -- which means that you can put it on a P2P network or email it to a friend without running afoul of the law.

    I'm really proud of this one: I read it to an audience at the WorldCon last September and the response was really warm and enthusiastic.
    More …


    Unwirer

    ReVisions, edited by Isaac Szpindel and Julie Czerneda (with Charlie Stross)

    This is the third collaboration I wrote with Charlie Stross -- the other two being Flowers From Alice and Jury Service.

    This time around, though, we did it in public, using a Movable Type blog. We exposed the whole process to the public, letting everyone see (and participate in!) the writing process.
    More …


    Appeals Court

    Argosy Magazine (with Charlie Stross)
    The Infinite Matrix, January 2006

    Charlie and I wrote this sequel to our novella Jury Service as a kind of bookend, and published the two together as a fixup we called The Rapture of the Nerds, a title we nicked off of Ken McLeod.
    More …


    Creative Commons License
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