Under my own name and various pseudonyms and working in numerous genres, I have published in more than 100 venues. The industry is not an easy one, and unfortunately I’ve heard from many editors who are watching it fall from its literary beginnings and devolve into a vapid marketing catalog. Being a writer today is closer to being a gladiator, at the whims of bean-counter Caesars more interested in a quick applause than in a lasting monument.
Nonetheless, we write because we have to. We read for the same reason.
“Time is the stream I go a-fishin’ in.” — Henry David Thoreau in Walden
* Lady Philosopher: The Story of Hypatia – based on the true story of a brilliant female philosopher murdered on the eve of the Dark Ages, in the multicultural city of Alexandria, Egypt. Hypatia was brilliant, bold, and beautiful, a teacher at the Great Library and a warrior against the rising tide of religious fanaticism. Available on Kindle here.
* Never Grow Old: The Novel of Gilgamesh – a novelization of the world’s oldest story. In the purple predawn of history before pyramids and coliseums, here is an adventure/drama in ancient Mesopotamia. It is a tale of friendship, of loss, and of a desperate quest for immortality.
The Theseus Woman and Other Tales – A short story collection containing 18 of my most popular stories and the ones I am especially proud of. Ranging from post-cyberpunk to alternate history, from visions of optimistic futures to hellish descents into madness, here are worlds within worlds to explore. SLATED FOR PUBLICATION IN OCTOBER, 2013.
A regular contributor to The Humanist magazine, my work covers a diverse spectrum of subjects in the fields of politics, science, technology, and culture.
* America’s Addiction to Belief – published as the cover piece for the July/August 2010 issue of Humanist. A look at the dangerous culture of belief in the so-called Information Age, from conspiracy theories and beyond. Also republished in Utne Reader’s Jan/Feb 2011 issue.
* The Future of Immortality – published as the cover story for the May/June 2004 The Humanist. An overview of the philosophical, societal, and cultural ramifications of longevity research. If you could live forever, would you? And how would things change?
* Lost Chance: Greek and Chinese Philosophy’s Unrealized Romance – published in the January 19th 2009 edition of Strange Horizons. How would history have been different if Ancient Greece and Ancient China had established contact with each other? It was going to happen, if not for Alexander the Great’s premature demise. Both cultures offered the height of artistic, scientific, and philosophical Golden Ages. Would their cross-pollination have produced something even better — a Platinum Age for civilization?
* Censorship and the Digital Razor -We talk about book burnings, while precious little attention is paid to what I call the “Digital razor.” Rather than summarize the linked article, I’ll pose its thesis: “Yesterday’s burnings required at least 451 degrees. Tomorrow’s censorship will be done not with torches, but with a search-and-replace command.”
Was There Ever a Dinosaur Civilization? – Almost certainly not. This article was a thought-experiment, wondering aloud if civilization could have hatched at any point during the 160 -million-year reign of the dinosaurs. Published in the July 13, 2009 edition of Strange Horizons.
Eternal Lives on Hard-Drives – Published in Clarkesworld, Issue 35. Computer power effectively doubles every year. Will it ever be so complex as to store a human consciousness? I interview Dr. Christoff Koch of the California Institute of Technology in Southern California (and visiting Professor at the Institute for Neuroinformatics at the University of Zurich) on Switzerland’s controversial Blue Brain Project.
Video Game Sci-Fi Comes of Age – published in Clarkesworld, Issue 40. Artistic expression has manifested on the painter’s canvas, the writer’s page, and the filmmaker’s frame. What about electronic entertainment? Do modern video games (which bear immense budgets, detailed scripts, and provide the opportunity for a player to explore the varied levels of virtual Arcadias) qualify as art? With regards to speculative fiction, has the world of gaming made legitimate contributions to the genre in the way that films and books have?
War Hero – a soldier’s victorious homecoming is interrupted when he realizes the war is far from over. Winner in the International Writers of the Future Contest for 2012, this story received praise from bestselling science-fiction writer Dave Wolverton.
The Theseus Woman – a tale of obsession and irony. A man who drove his wife to suicide is now laboring at reconstructing her. This is a wicked twist on the story of Pygmalion, and was published in both OG’s Speculative Fiction and Orion’s Child.
* Humanity and the Historical – published in The Copperfield Review. An essay on historical fiction writing.
* Circles – published in Bewildering Stories. The final hours of history’s supergenius, Archimedes.
* Motherhood – published in The Copperfield Review. The legendary Empress Jingo in fifth century Japan. A historical fiction piece and winner of the Honorable Mention prize by Writer’s Digest.
Everywhere After All – published in Bewildering Stories. In a future where mind-uploading is common, Leet is on the run from the codecops. Leet is a codeworm — a person who replicates themselves into multiple bodies. He has been running into other versions of himself for years, exchanging information, and growing from each encounter. With the codecops closing in, Leet realizes that there is something else lurking in the dark corners of the world.
A Holiday in Necropolis – published in Dreams and Nightmares. A science-fiction poem.
A Rupture in Ragnarok – published in Ascent Aspirations, and follows the daily walk of a man in the post-nuclear apocalypse who stumbles upon a glimpse into time. But which way?
The Titans of Camp Four – The moon is host to several fledgling colonies. One of them is run by a wealthy eccentric who appears to be involved in something illegal, but Earth authorities aren’t sure what. Randall McCallister always wanted to live on the moon and be part of an exciting new frontier. His only ticket is to agree to go undercover and investigate what’s really happening up there. What is being covered up? Published in COSMOS.
Down Memory Line – A group of passengers sips wine and witnesses the destruction of Earth, comfortable aboard their luxurious vessel and wrapped in technological wonders. But a unique horror is lurking nearby. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2010, and published in the Winter 2010 Issue of Dark Valentine.
The history we know was the result of choices and chances, and sometimes a single factor could have resulted in a wildly different world. Hitler winning World War II, the Mongols continuing their sweep into Europe, the Confederacy winning the Civil War, the Enigma codebreakers failing to crack Germany’s encryptions…
Alternate history is an exercise in imagination and extrapolation. It’s the love child of historical fiction and sci-fi. And it can be a lot of fun.
Checkmate – a Victorian England which never happened. Wars are no longer fought with armies, but by elite agents known as “Chessmen.” Sir Edward Oakshott is a Knight of Her Majesty, tasked with defending London from an invading Rook. Oakshott knows the odds are stacked against him — but odds aren’t everything. Published in the award-winning Electric Velocipede.
The Empire Never Ended – What if the Roman Empire never fell? What if it kept growing and expanding and, eventually, linked with Chinese civilization? This story postulates such a theoretical time-line. The good? Scientific and cultural evolutions resulting from this cross-pollination have resulted in a mighty empire. The bad? An absolutely implacable enemy has arisen in consequence. Published in the award-winning Electric Velocipede.