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.

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.

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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.
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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

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

New Voices in Science Fiction (with Charlie Stross)

Resnick emailed me just as I was finishing up Jury Service with Charlie Stross and asked me if I'd be interested in writing something for New Voices in Science Fiction, an anthology he was putting together for SFWA to feature up and coming new genre writers. I wanted to work with Stross again, so I pitched him on a collaboration, and he took it.

This was originally titled "Flowers from Algernon" (which is a lot snappier, but didn't make a lot of sense in the context of the story). I wrote my bits during a period of intensive travel, mostly squatting in airport departure lounges and hotel lobbies.
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Pathological Instrumentation Disorder

The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases (Jeff Vandermeer and Mark Roberts, eds.)

My old Clarion classmate Jeff Vendermeer asked me to write something for his anthology of fictional, fantastical diseases and I came up with this -- a twenty-first century illness that speaks to our ability to inaccurately sense our environment.
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Creative Commons License

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