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The Left Left Behind

Outspoken Authors: Book 1

Terry Bisson

Sardonic and merciless, this satire of the entire apocalyptic enterprise provides a humorous and timely interpretation of the bestselling Left Behind series--the adventures of those "left behind" to battle the Anti-Christ after all Born-Again Christians have ascended into heaven. From predatory preachers and goth lingerie to Indian casinos and "art cars" at Burning Man, this religious spoof deftly pairs the personal with the fictional. Featuring an extensive author interview and biography, this contemporary parody also includes the unique one-act drama, Special Relativity, which asks the question: When Paul Robeson, J. Edgar Hoover, and Albert Einstein are raised from the dead at an anti-Bush rally, which one wears the dress?

Table of Contents:

  • The Left Left Behind: "Let Their People Go!" - (2008)
  • Special Relativity - (2006)
  • "Fried Green Tomatoes" - (2009) - interview of Terry Bisson by T. B. Calhoun
  • Bibliography

The Lucky Strike

Outspoken Authors: Book 2

Kim Stanley Robinson

Combining dazzling speculation with a profoundly humanist vision, this astounding alternate history tale presents a dramatic encounter with destiny wrapped around a simple yet provocative premise: the terrifying question of what might have happened if the fateful flight over Hiroshima had gone a bit differently. An extensive interview with the author, offering insight into his fiction and philosophies, is also included.

Table of Contents:

  • The Lucky Strike - (1984)
  • A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions - (1991)
  • "A Real Joy to Be Had" - (2009) - interview of Kim Stanley Robinson by Terry Bisson
  • Bibliography
  • About the Author

Mammoths of the Great Plains

Outspoken Authors: Book 4

Eleanor Arnason

Shaggy herds of mammoths still roam the Great Plains--to the delight of President Thomas Jefferson--in this imaginative alternative history in which the beasts thunder over the grasslands as living symbols of the oncoming struggle between the Native peoples and the European invaders. This unforgettable saga soars from the Badlands of the Dakota Territory to the icy wastes of Siberia, from the Russian Revolution to the American Indian Movement protests of the 1960s and one woman's attempt to harness DNA science to fulfill the ancient promises of her Lakota heritage. In addition, this volume includes the essay "Writing During World War Three," a politically incorrect take on multiculturalism from a science fiction point of view and an outspoken interview with the writer of some of today's edgiest and most uncompromising speculative fiction.

Table of Contents:

  • Mammoths of the Great Plains - (2010)
  • Writing Science Fiction During World War Three - (2010) - essay by Eleanor Arnason
  • "At the Edge of the Future" - (2010) - interview of Eleanor Arnason by Terry Bisson
  • Bibliography
  • About the Author

Modem Times 2.0

Outspoken Authors: Book 5

Michael Moorcock

Jerry Cornelius--Michael Moorcock's fictional audacious assassin, rockstar, chronospy, and possible Messiah--is featured in the first of two stories in this fifth installment of the Outspoken Author series. Previously unpublished, the first story is an odyssey through time from London in the 1960s to America during the years following Barack Obama's presidency. The second ;piece is a political, confrontational, comical, nonfiction tale in the style of Jonathan Swift and George Orwell. ;An interview with the author rounds out this biting, satirical, sci-fi collection.

Table of Contents

  • Modem Times 2.0 - (2011)
  • My Londons - (2011) - essay by Michael Moorcock
  • Get the Music Right - (2011) - interview of Michael Moorcock by Terry Bisson
  • Bibliography - (2011)
  • About the Author - (2011) - essay by uncredited

The Wild Girls

Outspoken Authors: Book 6

Ursula K. Le Guin

Newly revised and presented here in book form for the first time, this Nebula Award-winning story tells of two captive "dirt children" in a society of sword and silk, whose determination to find a glimpse of justice leads to a violent and loving end. Also included is the nonfiction essay "Staying Awake While We Read" which demolishes the pretensions of corporate publishing and the basic assumptions of capitalism, and "Outspoken Author Interview," which reveals the hidden dimensions of America's best-known sci-fi author.

Table of Contents:

  • The Wild Girls - (2002)
  • Staying Awake While We Read - (2008) - essay by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Poems
  • The Conversation of the Modest
  • A Lovely Art - interview of Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Bibliography
  • About the Author

Surfing the Gnarl

Outspoken Authors: Book 7

Rudy Rucker

Combining both the fiction and nonfiction of one of the most unique contemporary science fiction writers, this collection offers a rare look into Rudy Rucker's mind as an author and mathematician. Featuring an in-depth interview with Rucker about his ideas, politics, and how his career as a mathematician and scientist overlap with that of a bestselling author, this exclusive compilation is a must-have for any science fiction enthusiast. Infiltrating fundamentalist Virginia to witness the clash between religious fanatics and drug-addled and sex crazed youth, this collection is a one-of-a-kind examination of reality according to Rudy Rucker.

Table of Contents:

  • The Men in the Back Room at the Country Club - (2005)
  • Surfing the Gnarl - (2012)
  • Rapture in Space - (1989)
  • Load on the Miracles and Keep a Straight Face - (2012) - interview of Rudy Rucker by Terry Bisson
  • Bibliography - (2012)

The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

Outspoken Authors: Book 8

Cory Doctorow

In a Disney-dominated future, a transhuman teenager engages in high velocity adventures until he meets the "meat girl" of his dreams and is forced to choose between immortality and sex in one of Cory Doctorow's most daring novellas. Also included in this collection is "Creativity vs. Copyright," a transcript of Doctorow's historic address to the 2010 World Science Fiction Convention, dramatically presenting his controversial case for open-source models not only in information but art as well, and "Outspoken Interview," in which Doctorow reveals the surprising inspirations for his writing.

Table of Contents:

  • The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow - (2011)
  • "Creativity vs. Copyright" - essay by Cory Doctorow
  • Look for the Lake - interview of Cory Doctorow

Download this book for free from the author's website.

Report From Planet Midnight

Outspoken Authors: Book 9

Nalo Hopkinson

Infused with feminist, Afro-Caribbean views of the science fiction and fantasy genres, this collection of offbeat and highly original works takes aim at race and racism in literature. In "Report from Planet Midnight," at the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts, an alien addresses the crowd, evaluating Earth's "strange" customs, including the marginalization of works by nonwhite and female writers. "Message in a Bottle" shows Greg, an American Indian artist, befriending a strange four-year-old who seems wise beyond her years. While preparing an exhibition, he discovers that the young girl is a traveler from the future sent to recover art from the distant past--which apparently includes his own work. Concluding the book with series editor Terry Bisson's Outspoken Interview, Nalo Hopkinson shares laughs, loves, and top-secret Caribbean spells.

Table of Contents:

  • Message in a Bottle - (2004)
  • Report from Planet Midnight - essay by Nalo Hopkinson
  • Shift - (2002)
  • Correcting the Balance - interview of Nalo Hopkinson by Terry Bisson
  • Bibliography

The Human Front

Outspoken Authors: Book 10

Ken MacLeod

Winner of a Prometheus and Sidewise Award, this science fiction novella is a comedic and biting commentary on capitalism and an exploration of technological singularity in a posthuman civilization. As a world war rages on without an emerging victor, the story follows John Matheson, an idealistic teenage Scottish guerilla warrior who must change his tactics and alliances with the arrival of an alien species. This alternate history and poignant political satire flips hero types and expectations, delivering a lively tale of adventure--as dramatic and thought provoking as it is funny. Also included is an interview with the author and two essays that relate his poignant views on social philosophies.

Table of Contents:

  • The Human Front - (2001)
  • Other Deviations: The Human Front Exposed - essay by Ken MacLeod
  • The Future Will Happen Here, Too - essay by Ken MacLeod
  • "Working the Wet End" - interview of Ken MacLeod by Terry Bisson
  • Bibliography

New Taboos

Outspoken Authors: Book 11

John Shirley

Mixing outlaw humor, sci-fi adventure, and cutting social criticism, this collection draws upon John Shirley's entire arsenal. The title essay, "New Taboos" is his prescription for a radical revisioning of America. A new short story, "State of Imprisonment," is a horrifying and hilarious look at the privatization of the prison industry. The one percent gets their comeuppance in "Where the Market's Hottest." His TEDx address (delivered in Brussels in 2011) presents his proudly contrarian views of the next 40 years. Also featured is an Outspoken Interview showcasing the author's progressive sensibility, deep humanity, and mordant wit.

Table of Contents:

  • New Taboos - (2013) - essay by John Shirley
  • State of Imprisonment - (2013)
  • Where the Market's Hottest - (2013)
  • TEDx address - (2011) - essay by John Shirley
  • Outspoken Interview - (2013) - interview of John Shirley

The Science of Herself

Outspoken Authors: Book 12

Karen Joy Fowler

Widely respected in the so-called "mainstream" for her New York Times bestselling novels, Karen Joy Fowler is also a formidable, often controversial, and always exuberant presence in Science Fiction. Here she debuts a provocative new story written especially for this series. Set in the days of Darwin, "The Science of Herself" is a marvelous hybrid of SF and historical fiction: the almost-true story of England's first female paleontologist who took on the Victorian old-boy establishment armed with only her own fierce intelligence--and an arsenal of dino bones.

Plus... "The Pelican Bar," a homely tale of family ties that makes Guantánamo look like summer camp; "The Further Adventures of the Invisible Man," a droll tale of sports, shoplifting and teen sex; and "The Motherhood Statement," a quietly angry upending of easy assumptions that shows off Fowler's deep radicalism and impatience with conservative homilies and liberal pieties alike.

And Featuring: our Outspoken Interview in which Fowler prophesies California's fate, reveals the role of bad movies in good marriages, and intimates that girls just want to have fun (which means make trouble).

Table of Contents:

  • The Science of Herself - (2013)
  • The Motherhood Statement - (2013) - essay by Karen Joy Fowler
  • The Pelican Bar - (2009)
  • More Exuberant Than Is Stristly Tasteful - (2013) - interview of Karen Joy Fowler by Terry Bisson
  • The Further Adventures of the Invisible Man - (2002)
  • Bibliography
  • About the Author

Raising Hell

Outspoken Authors: Book 13

Norman Spinrad

Taking aim at both Christian fundamentalists and corporate CEOs, Raising Hell is a rousing account of the fight to improve working conditions in Hell, a cause taken up by the likes of Jimmy Hoffa, John L. Lewis, and César Chávez. This volume also features "The Abnormal New Normal," an essay that casts a cold and critical eye on current trends in popular culture, showing how they reflect the domination of the one percent and suggesting a radical fix. The book closes with an Outspoken Interview, a mix of intimate revelation, celebrity gossip, insight, opinion, and outright lies.

Table of Contents:

  • Raising Hell - novella by Norman Spinrad
  • The Abnormal New Normal - essay by Norman Spinrad
  • "No Regrets, No Retreat, No Surrender" - interview of Norman Spinrad by Terry Bisson
  • The Author in 199 Words - essay by Terry Bisson

My Life, My Body

Outspoken Authors: Book 15

Marge Piercy

In a candid and intimate new collection of essays, poems, memoirs, reviews, rants, and railleries, Piercy discusses her own development as a working-class feminist, the highs and lows of TV culture, the ego-dances of a writer's life, the homeless and the housewife, Allen Ginsberg and Marilyn Monroe, feminist utopias (and why she doesn't live in one), why fiction isn't physics; and of course, fame, sex, and money, not necessarily in that order. The short essays, poems, and personal memoirs intermingle like shards of glass that shine, reflect--and cut. Always personal yet always political, Piercy's work is drawn from a deep well of feminist and political activism.

Also featured is our Outspoken Interview, in which the author lays out her personal rules for living on Cape Cod, finding your poetic voice, and making friends in Cuba.


  • A Dissatisfaction without a Name
  • The More We See the Less We Know
  • Headline: Lawmaker destroys shopping carts
  • Gentrification and Its Discontents
  • What they call acts of god
  • Statement on Censorship for the Pennsylvania Review
  • Fame, Fortune, and Other Tawdry Illusions
  • Housewives without Houses
  • The hows; there is no why
  • "Living off the Grid" Outspoken Interview with Marge Piercy
  • Touched by Ginsberg at a (Relatively) Tender Age
  • Tabula Rasa with Boobs
  • Nice words for ugly acts
  • Why Speculate on the Future?
  • My Life, My Body
  • Behind the war on women
  • Never Catch a Break
  • Port Huron Conference Statement
  • Who has little, let them have less
  • Bibliography


Outspoken Authors: Book 16

Carter Scholz

Since his debut in Terry Carr's legendary Ace Specials of the 1980s, Carter Scholz has occupied an enviable, if demanding, position on the cutting edge of modern speculative literature (vulgarly called SF).

Proudly debuting in this volume, Gypsy is his first major work since his 2002 nuclear thriller Radiance. An interstellar adventure grounded in the hard science of accurate physics and biology, Gypsy soars far beyond the heliosphere of conventional science fiction. Jettisoning the easy warp-drives of fantasy and space opera, Scholz chronicles with chilling realism the epic voyage of a team of far-seeing scientists, who crowdsource a secret starship and abandon the doomed Earth for the Alpha Centauri system, our nearest stellar neighbor and last desperate chance. Heartbreak and hope collide in this moving and visionary tale.

Plus... An epistolary story about a story, "The Nine Billion Names of God," uses a classic SF text to deconstruct literary deconstruction itself, with hilarious results. In the wickedly droll "Bad Pennies," a spy tasked with trashing a foreign economy testifies before a complacent Congress. Quietly furious, "The United States of Impunity" is an alarming look under the tent of today's political sideshow. Adults only.

And Featuring: "Gear. Food. Rocks." -- our Outspoken Interview, in which a postmodern Renaissance man charts the synergies and dissonances of a career that embraces both literary and musical composition, reveals the hidden link between winemaking and deep space astronomy, and tells you how to steal his car.

Table of Contents:

  • Gypsy - (2015)
  • The Nine Billion Names of God - (1984)
  • The United States of Impunity - essay by Carter Scholz
  • Bad Pennies - (2009)
  • Gear. Food. Rocks. - interview of Carter Scholz by Terry Bisson

Miracles Ain't What They Used to Be

Outspoken Authors: Book 17

Joe R. Lansdale

Arguably (and who doesn't like to argue?) the world's bestselling cult author, Joe R. Lansdale is celebrated across several continents for his dark humor, his grimly gleeful horror, and his outlaw politics. Welcome to Texas. With hits like Bubba Ho-Tep and The Drive-In the Lansdale secret was always endangered, and the spectacular new Hap and Leonard Sundance TV series is busily blowing whatever cover Joe had left.

Backwoods noir some call it; others call it redneck surrealism. Joe's signature style is on display here in all its grit, grime, and glory, beginning with two (maybe three) previously unpublished Hap and Leonard tales revealing the roots of their unlikely partnership.

Table of Contents:

  • The Parable of the Stick - short story
  • Apollo Red - short story
  • Short Night - short story
  • Miracles Ain't What They Used to Be - essay
  • "That's How You Clean a Squirrel" - interview of Joe R. Lansdale by Terry Bisson
  • Dark Inspiration - essay
  • The Drowned Man - essay
  • Darkness in the East - essay
  • Doggone Justice - essay
  • The Day Before the Day After - essay


Outspoken Authors: Book 18

Elizabeth Hand

The title story, "Fire." written especially for this volume, is a harrowing postapocalyptic adventure in a world threatened by global conflagration. Based on Hand's real-life experience as a participant in a governmental climate change think tank, it follows a ragtag cadre of scientists and artists racing to save both civilization and themselves from fast-moving global fires.

"The Woman Men Didn't See" is an expansion of Hand's acclaimed critical assessment of author Alice Sheldon, who wrote award-winning SF as "James Tiptree, Jr." in order to conceal identity from both the SF community and her CIA overlords. Another nonfiction piece, "Beyond Belief," recounts her difficult passage from alienated teen to serious artist.

Also included are "Kronia," a poignant time-travel romance, and "The Saffron Gatherers," two of Hand's favorite and less familiar stories. Plus: a bibliography and our candid and illuminating Outspoken Interview with one of today's most inventive authors.

Table of Contents:

  • The Saffron Gatherers - (2006) - short story
  • Fire. - short story
  • Beyond Belief: On Becoming a Writer - (2004) - essay
  • Coda (Beyond Belief: On Becoming a Writer) - essay
  • Kronia - (2005) - short story
  • "Flying Squirrels in the Rafters" - interview of Elizabeth Hand by Terry Bisson
  • The Woman Men Didn't See - essay
  • Tom Disch - (2008) - essay


Outspoken Authors: Book 19

John Crowley

John Crowley's all-new essay "Totalitopia" is a wry how-to guide for building utopias out of the leftovers of modern science fiction. "This Is Our Town," written especially for this volume, is a warm, witty, and wonderfully moving story about angels, cousins, and natural disasters based on a parochial school third-grade reader. One of Crowley's hard-to-find masterpieces, "Gone" is a Kafkaesque science fiction adventure about an alien invasion that includes door-to-door leafleting and yard work. Perhaps the most entertaining of Crowley's "Easy Chair" columns in Harper's, "Everything That Rises" explores the fractal interface between Russian spiritualism and quantum singularities--with a nod to both Columbus and Flannery O'Connor. "And Go Like This" creeps in from Datlow's Year's Best, the Wild Turkey of horror anthologies.

Plus: There's a bibliography, an author bio, and of course our Outspoken Interview, the usual cage fight between candor and common sense.

Table of Contents:

  • This Is Our Town - short story
  • Totalitopia - (2011) - essay
  • Everything That Rises - (2016) - essay
  • Gone - (1996) - short story
  • In the Tom Mix Museum - (2012) - short story
  • And Go Like This - (2011) - short story
  • Paul Park's Hidden Worlds - (2016) - essay
  • "I Did Crash a Few Parties" - interview of John Crowley by Terry Bisson

The Atheist in the Attic

Outspoken Authors: Book 20

Samuel R. Delany

Appearing in book form for the first time, The Atheist in the Attic is a suspenseful and vivid historical narrative, recreating the top-secret meeting between the mathematical genius Leibniz and the philosopher Spinoza caught between the horrors of the cannibalistic Dutch Rampjaar and the brilliant "big bang" of the Enlightenment. Also Delany's "Racism and Science Fiction" combines scholarly research and personal experience in the unique true story of the first major African-American author in the genre. This collection features a bibliography, an author biography, and the candid and uncompromising Outspoken Interview.

Table of Contents:

  • The Atheist in the Attic - novella
  • Racism and Science Fiction - (1998) - essay
  • "Discourse in an Older Sense" - interview by Terry Bisson

Thoreau's Microscope

Outspoken Authors: Book 21

Michael Blumlein

The politics and terrors of biotech, human engineering, and brain science are given startling fictional form in a selection of short stories with Michael Blumlein's signature mix of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and wicked humour. The title piece, 'Thoreau's Microscope,' is a stunning mix of hypothesis and history, in which the author inhabits Thoreau's last days to explore the politics of impersonal science and personal liberation - a journey as illuminating as it is disturbing. On a lighter note, 'Fidelity' coolly deconstructs adultery with the help of an exuberant tumour, a guinea pig, and a swimsuit. 'Y(ou)r Q(ua)ntifi(e)d S(el)f' will reset your Fitbit and your personal goals as well. 'Paul and Me' is a legendary love story writ extra-large; and in 'Know How, Can Do' a female Frankenstein brings romance to life in the cold light of the lab.

Table of Contents:

  • Paul and Me - (1997) - short story
  • Y(ou)r Q(ua)ntifi(e)d S(el)f - (2018) - short story
  • A Preface (Thoreau's Microscope) - essay
  • Thoreau's Microscope - essay
  • Fidelity - (2000) - short story
  • Know How, Can Do - (2001) - novelette
  • "A Babe in the Woods" - interview by Terry Bisson

The Beatrix Gates

Outspoken Authors: Book 22

Rachel Pollack

A queer cult favorite, The Beatrix Gates is a colorful mix of science fiction, magic realism, memoir, and myth exploring themes of spirituality and transformation. Courage and cowardice contend in a literary odyssey unlike any other. Written especially for this volume, "Trans Central Station" is Pollack's personal and political take on the transgender experience then and now--and tomorrow? "Burning Beard" is a fiercely revisionist Bible tale of plague and prophecy told through a postmodern prose of many colors. "The Woman Who Didn't Come Back" is about just what it says. And there is of course PM Press' usual and unusual Outspoken Interview.

Table of Contents:

A City Made of Words

Outspoken Authors: Book 23

Paul Park

Paul Park is one of modern fiction's major innovators. With characters truly alien and disturbingly normal, his work explores the shifting interface between traditional narrative and luminous dream, all in the service of a deeper humanism. "Climate Change," original to this volume, is an intimate and erotic take on a global environmental crisis. "A Resistance to Theory" chronicles the passionate (and bloody) competition between the armed adherents of postmodern literary schools. "A Conversation with the Author" gives readers a harrowing look behind the curtains of an MFA program. In "A Brief History of SF" a fan encounters the ruined man who first glimpsed the ruined cities of Mars. "Creative Nonfiction" showcases a professor's eager collaboration with a student intent on wrecking his career. The only nonfiction piece, "A Homily for Good Friday," was delivered to a stunned congregation at a New England church. Plus: a bibliography and a candid Outspoken Interview with one of today's most accomplished and least conventional authors.

Table of Contents:

  • A Short History of Science Fiction, or The Microscopic Eye - (2015) - short story
  • Blind Spot - (2016) - short story
  • A Conversation with the Author - (2019) - short story
  • Climate Change - (2019) - short story
  • "Punctuality, Basic Hygiene, Gun Safety" - (2019) - interview of Paul Park by Terry Bisson
  • A Resistance to Theory - (2019) - short story
  • A Homily for Good Friday - (2019) - essay
  • Creative Nonfiction - (2018) - short story
  • Bibliography - (2019) - essay

Talk Like a Man

Outspoken Authors: Book 24

Nisi Shawl

In these previously uncollected stories, Shawl explores the unexpected horizons (and corners) opened up by science fiction and fantasy's new diversity. In her worlds, sex can be both business and religion, complete with ancient rites, altars, and ointments ("Women of the Doll"); a virtual reality high school is a proving ground for girlpacks and their unfortunate adversaries ("Walk like a Man"); and a British rock singer finds an image in a mirror that reflects both future hits and ancient horrors ("Something More"). With her trademark wit passing for wisdom, Shawl lights up our Outspoken Interview and then, in a talk given at Duke University, explores the connections between ancient Ifa and modern science fiction.

Table of Contents:

  • Walk Like a Man - (2015) - short story
  • Women of the Doll - (2007) - novelette
  • Something More - (2011) - novelette
  • An Awfully Big Adventure - (2016) - short story
  • Ifa: Reverence, Science, and Social Technology - essay
  • "The Fly in the Sugar Bowl" - interview of Nisi Shawl by Terry Bisson
  • Bibliography
  • About the Author

Big Girl

Outspoken Authors: Book 25

Meg Elison

Meg Elison is one of the fearless "bad girls" in science fiction, fantasy, and transgressive humor. She is an iconoclast, using a caustic new talent to spotlight hitherto off-limits subjects like gender roles, body shaming, female oppression, and political correctness.

Table of Contents:

  • "El Hugé" (2017) reveals how small-town, small-time teens can accomplish Big Ugly Things on their own.
  • "Big Girl" (2017) chronicles the media's fascination with the towering anxieties of a sixty-foot tall teen.
  • "The Pill" is the collection's previously unpublished centerpiece, which celebrates a "miracle cure" for obesity that sends society to a grimly delightful new utopia.
  • "With Such People in It" is also new to readers, and welcomes us to a brave new world where cowardice is a virtue.
  • "Gone with Gone with the Wind" (2018) is a nonfiction analysis of privilege, denial, literary classics, and personal honesty.
  • "Afterimage" is a one-way trip into a VR world that's more "real" than our own.
  • "Guts" is about just what its title suggests: this volume's characteristically frank and thought-provoking Outspoken Interview.

The Planetbreaker's Son

Outspoken Authors: Book 26

Nick Mamatas

Upending and recombining familiar genres with fearless abandon, Nick Mamatas is known for his wicked satires in which Horror rides shotgun with SF as they power through Fantasy's rush-hour traffic. Lanes are crossed, speed limits exceeded, and minds often blown.

Our title piece, original to this volume, is something entirely new. Trust me. "The Planetbreaker's Son" is a starship novella in which interstellar emigrants maintain their stadium-sized vessel with dreams and play. On the fly. Think Pinocchio meets Ender's Game.

"Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring" is a cautionary tale about the perilous interface between ancient wizardry and modern ringtones. And it's for you. "The Term Paper Artist" is Nick's celebrated and hilarious how-to on embellishing the academic establishment with equal parts imitation and duct tape. Based on a true story of lies.

And Featuring: of course, our casually candid Outspoken Interview, in which Greek sailors, Japanese manga mavens, Doc Martens, Lovecraft, Grandma, and Kerouac mingle and mix. Care to dance?


  • The Planetbreaker's Son - novella
  • The Term Paper Artist - (2008) - essay
  • "Put Your Twist in the Middle" - interview of Nick Mamatas - interview by Terry Bisson
  • Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring - [Punktown] - (2018) - short story

The First Law of Thermodynamics

Outspoken Authors: Book 27

James Patrick Kelly

James Patrick Kelly is known for finding the future unnervingly nearby, and he enters with his deep empathy and dry humor at the ready. A longtime favorite of SF readers is at the top of his game here. In the title story, a college acid trip becomes a window into an unexpected and apparently unavoidable future. In "Itsy Bitsy Spider" a disappointed woman's robotic girlhood takes her by the hand and leads her back to the destiny that eluded her. Two short plays render alien invasion terrifyingly mundane and death annoyingly impermanent. "The Best Christmas Ever" is celebrated by sims and droids instead of the usual jolly elves. Our Outspoken Interview and a bibliography round out this long-awaited new collection.


  • 1 - Someone Else's Problem - short story
  • 9 - Itsy Bitsy Spider - (1997) - short story
  • 25 - "Encounter with a Gadget Guy" - interview of James Patrick Kelly - interview by Terry Bisson
  • 39 - The First Law of Thermodynamics - (1996) - short story
  • 67 - Donut Hole - short story
  • 75 - Who Owns Cyberpunk? - (2013) - essay
  • 93 - The Best Christmas Ever - (2004) - short story

Utopias of the Third Kind

Outspoken Authors: Book 28

Vandana Singh

"Arctic Sky" tells of a young climate activist who discovers her own courage in the frozen depths of a Russian prison. "Palimpsest" is set on a bionic (living)space station that launches explorers into the farthest reaches of Time and Space. In "The Room on the Roof" an ancient culture meets modern mysteries with unexpected results. Our non-fiction title piece, "Utopias of the Third Kind," is a first look at actual utopias that are responding to our looming dystopian nightmare. "Hunger" is a short story that finds both understanding and forgiveness for humankind's original sin. Our Outspoken Interview and a bibliography round out this new collection.


  • 1 - Lamentations in a Lost Tongue - short story
  • 9 - Arctic Sky - (2014) - short story (variant of Arctic Light)
  • 19 - Utopias of the Third Kind - essay
  • 37 - Hunger - (2007) - short story
  • 61 - "A Source of Immense Richness" - interview of Vandana Singh - interview by Terry Bisson
  • 71 - The Room on the Roof - (2002) - novelette
  • 97 - True Journey Is Return: A Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin - (2018) - essay

Night Shift

Outspoken Authors: Book 29

Eileen Gunn

Wry, dark humor burnishes visionary SF in these often prophetic, sometimes troubling, but always fascinating tales that combine and masterfully conflate the disparate worlds of corporate tech and literary art.

"After the Thaw" is a hi-tech take on an ancient idea: immortality. "Terrible Trudy on the Lam" based on actual events, is a modern fable about a zoo escape, a private eye, a vaudeville act and keeping your mouth shut. "Night Shift at NanoGobblers," written for a NASA website, is about asteroid-altering AIs and their world-weary earthbound handlers. "Transitions" deals with jet lag when your flight is decades late. Gunn's long-awaited third collection is rounded out by incisive and affectionate portraits of her SF colleagues, mentors, and friends, beginning with Ursula Le Guin. All illuminated of course by our artfully intimate interview.


  • Ursula and the Author - essay (variant of "The Author" and the Author and the Aspirant 2010)
  • Review: The Author of the Acacia Seeds and Other Extracts from the Journal of the Association of Therolinguistics by Ursula K. Le Guin - (2010) - review
  • After the Thaw - (2011) - short story
  • The Quiet Gardner Dozois - (2018) - essay
  • Promised Lands - essay (variant of J. T. Stewart 2013)
  • Night Shift at NanoGobblers - short story (variant of Night Shift 2017)
  • "I Did, and I Didn't, and I Won't" - interview of Eileen Gunn - interview by Terry Bisson
  • Transitions - (2017) - short story
  • Joanna Russ Has Your Back - essay (variant of Visions of Joanna: Remembering Joanna Russ 2011)
  • ["Carol Emshwiller's stories, and ...] - essay by William Gibson
  • Into the Wild with Carol Emshwiller - essay (variant of Do Not Remove This Tag 2005)
  • Terrible Trudy on the Lam - (2019) - short story
  • Author's Note (Terrible Trudy on the Lam) - (2019) - essay

The Collapsing Frontier

Outspoken Authors: Book 30

Jonathan Lethem

Having stormed mainstream literature from the outskirts, Lethem has won a readership both wide and deep, all of whom appreciate his literary excellence, his mordant but compassionate humor, and the cultish attentiveness of his SF origins. He has earned the right to tread anywhere, and his many admirers are ready to follow.

This collection compiles his intensely personal takes on the most interesting and deplorable topics in post-postmodern America. It moves from original new fiction to insights on popular culture, cult and canonical authors, and problematic people.

"David Bowman and the Furry-Girl School of American Fiction" is a personal true adventure, as Lethem tries (with the help of a seeming expert) to elbow his way into literary respectability. "The Collapsing Frontier" is a brand-new fictional journey into an ominous new unmapped realm. "Calvino's 'Lightness' and the Feral Child of History" is an intimate encounter with a literary legend, where Calvino's Italy and Lethem's Brooklyn meet cute. In "My Year of Reading Lemmishly" and "Snowden in the Labyrinth" he explores courage, art, and the search for truth, with wildly different results. A bibliography is also provided as well as our usual Outspoken Interview.