Writer of Short Stories & Novels
“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare
More
“The Last Novelist (or A Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Bifrost
More
“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
More
“The Last Novelist (or A Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
More
“One Spring in Cherryville”
Available in most ebook formats
More
“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
XB-1
More
“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
科幻世界 (Science Fiction World)
More
“The Problem of Meat”
Grendelsong
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
More
“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
World Chinese SF Association
More
“The Thing in the Refrigerator That Could Stop Time”
Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest
More
“Marie and the Mathematicians”
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #26
More
“The Writing’s on the Wall”
Farrago's Wainscot #5
More
“The Sembla”
A Field Guide to Surreal Botany
More
“The Girl in the Basement”
Hatter Bones
More
“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
More
“The Spaces Between Things”
Electric Velocipede 17/18
More
“The Girl in the Basement”
Apex Magazine, Vol 3, Issue 3
More
“The Suffering Gallery”
Beneath Ceaseless Skies - Issue 57
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
More
“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
More
“The Hands That Feed”
Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories
More
“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
More
“The Hands That Feed”
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
More
“The Suffering Gallery”
The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year Three
More
“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
More
“The Last Probe”
Launch Pad
More
“Pheth’s Aviary”
Beneath Ceaseless Skies - Issue 133
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
XB-1 Issue 8/2014
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Космопорт (Kosmoport)
More
“The History Within Us”
XB-1 Issue 11/2014
More
“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
More
“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
More
Locus Review of “Love Engine Optimization”

Mercurio D. Rivera informs me that my story “Love Engine Optimization” got a nice write-up in Locus from Rich Horton: “[The story has] a timely central notion: a way of using deep data (with realtime help) to attract romantic partners. The question, of course, is how “real” such a romance would be. Kressel makes the story work by focusing on the character and drives of the protagonist, with an honest and dark twist of the knife at the end.” Here’s the story if you want to check it out.


New Story in Lightspeed & Other Stuff

My near-future cyber-hacking seduction story “Love Engine Optimization” is now out at Lightspeed Magazine.

I came up with the idea of “Love Engine Optimization” after reading a blog post from Hugh Howey where he suggests that privacy is obsolete. The common refrain I hear from people who don’t understand internet privacy is this: “If you do nothing wrong, what do you have to hide?”

That’s an absurd concept if you think about it for half a second. Especially now with all these cloud-connected devices that record everything from our heart rates to our locations to the number of hours we sleep. Add to that our detailed psychological profiles that social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google and others gather on us, and you have a pretty clear picture of what makes a human being tick.

I wanted to tell a story of someone who uses this data to manipulate another, in this case, to seduce them. (Data that anti-privacy advocates think should be in the public domain.) I wanted to show what such a bad actor might do with such information. I wrote this story last spring, long before the revelations that Russia might have done this very thing in the most recent U.S. elections. To me, it seems clear that we are offering up our personal data by the terabyte into the cloud, and yet we are not clearly thinking through the ramifications of giving all this personal data away. “Love Engine Optimization” is a horror story, then, encased in a near-future science fictional shell.

If you read the story, please consider writing an online review (good or bad) and/or sharing a link to the story on social media. I can never state enough how much that helps.

In an experiment in self-publishing, I’ve released my short story “One Spring in Cherryville” across several digital e-book markets.

“One Spring in Cherryville” chronicles the adventures of Mitch and his friends who live in a tumble-down rust-belt American town, with little prospects for their future, when they discover a treasure hidden in the basement of an old factory. But there is more to uncover in Cherryville, a dark past that just might change all their lives forever.

Amazon | Apple iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo

I’ve also been working on a new novel, a YA thriller about AI and the Singularity. In the past I’ve spoken a lot about my boredom with dystopian fiction. We’ve seen a glut of dystopian stories these past few decades (and I’ve written my fair share). And so I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is and write an optimistic SF novel. This is not to say there is no conflict. No, there will be a lot of conflict. (The future of the planet is at stake.) But the ultimate message will be a hopeful and optimistic one. I can’t say more without spoiling it.

As for my short fiction, I have one story coming out in December called “In Memory of a Summer’s Day.” That will appear in Ellen Datlow’s Mad Hatters and March Hares, an anthology with stories based on the characters from Alice in Wonderland. I envision Wonderland as a kind of dilapidated theme park, where visitors take Disney-like tours through the famous scenes. Except there is something rotten at its very core.

Right now I have three short stories out with editors. “The Words That Maketh Murder” is about a former military drone engineer who begins hearing strange sounds at a train yard where she lives. “The Marsh of Camarina” is about AI, job replacement, and universal basic income. And “The Walk to Distant Suns,” which I co-wrote with Mercurio D. Rivera is about a woman who works as an engineer for a wormhole that allows people to migrate to another star system. I am also writing a ghost story.

So what about you? What are you working on? I would love to hear from you guys, to see what exciting things you’ve been up to.

 


New Story “Love Engine Optimization” out in Lightspeed

My internet privacy story “Love Engine Optimization” is out in this month’s Lightspeed. You can buy the issue now or wait until June 27th and read it for free. Looks like lots of good fiction here from Vandana Singh, Elizabeth Bear, Carlos Hernandez, plus non fiction from Amal El-Mohtar, Carrie Vaughn, and lots of others. Check it out!

A little hint on the theme of my story: when we talk of internet privacy, we usually assume the actors are large players: corporations, governments, and large criminal enterprises exploiting software flaws and human gullibility for profit. But we know from Snowden and WikiLeaks the actors can be small as well. What could one person do with full access to another’s data that a large body could not?

You can read “Love Engine Optimization” now if you buy the issue, or you can read it for free on June 27th!