Children of Arkadia is now available in ebook and paperback everywhere. Find out more.


Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll find something you like here.

If you want to read something short, check out the free stories available here or the links under “Publications” on the right go to other places my stories have been published. Some of those are free to read online.

If you prefer longer works, I have free samples of all my novels available on the site. Beautiful Red was my first book, and is a standalone cyberpunk story. Self Made, Act of Will and The Beauty of Our Weapons are a series (in that order) about future detective Andersson Dexter.

My newest novel, Children of Arkadia, a political space station epic, is available now at most online booksellers or ask for it at your local bookshop.

Notes from the Cyborg-Messe

Notes from the Cyborg-Messe

On Nov 6-8, I had the great honour to be a part of the “world’s first cyborg fair” in Düsseldorf, Germany. Held jointly by the NRW-Forum and Cyborgs e.v., the event brought together artists, academics, philosophers and technologists in an exploration of the current state of the art of human/technology integration.

I gave the keynote address on Friday evening to an enthusiastic audience. I’ll have a video up soon of the talk (slides and audio only, I’m afraid). The abstract is:

Humans have always used technology and one of the most ancient tools we use is storytelling. Science and fiction are a conversation and science fiction in particular lets us try out new futures before we build them. Stories teach us about the past, they create the future and they can be as a personal enhancement technology to change our lives.

After I blathered on, the event continued with a wide variety of items, including

  • an amazing philosophical discussion on citizen science and the moral imperative of enhancing human bodies to become more ethical animals by Tim Cannon,
  • a reading and discussion of her German steampunk books by author Anja Bagus,
  • notes on the current and near future state of the art in consumer implantable technologies by Hannes Sjöblad
  • an academic talk about human enhancement versus body modification by Stephanie Rembold

plus an exhibition of incredible body and skin inspired jewelry by Nadja Buttendorf and a fashion show.


There were also a handful of companies exhibiting their goods, the main draw being implantable NFC chips, which were available to purchase and receive onsite (I got mine!).

On the Saturday afternoon the press was in full force as Tim Cannon and Shawn Sarver from Grindhouse Wetware were implanted with the first North Star under the skin LED system. Jowan Österlund of Biohax International did the work (and also did my implant — he’s an artist with a needle). There’s a safe for work write-up at Gizmodo and a more extensive one with some graphic images at Motherboard.

All in all it was an incredible experience. Everyone was intelligent and lovely and the diverse mix of people made for a thought-provoking and inspiring time.

I want to thank Elle Nerdinger and Enno Park of Cyborgs e.V. for asking me to be a part of this amazing event and Nicola Funk, Alain Bieber and the team at NRW-Forum for all their hard work in making it all happen.

“Wings of Sorrow and Bone: A Clockwork Dagger Novella” by Beth Cato: Excerpt

“Wings of Sorrow and Bone: A Clockwork Dagger Novella” by Beth Cato: Excerpt

Steampunk author and baker extraordinaire Beth Cato is back! This time, she’s given me an excerpt from her new novella Wings of Sorrow and Bone. Enjoy!

Wings of Sorrow and Bone: A Clockwork Dagger Novella

A few months after the events of The Clockwork Crown

After being rescued by Octavia Leander from the slums of Caskentia, Rivka Stout is adjusting to her new life in Tamarania. But it’s hard for a blossoming machinist like herself to fit in with proper society, and she’d much rather be tinkering with her tools than at a hoity-toity party any day.

When Rivka stumbles into a laboratory run by the powerful Balthazar Cody, she also discovers a sinister plot involving chimera gremlins and the violent Arena game Warriors. The innocent creatures will end up hurt, or worse, if Rivka doesn’t find a way to stop Mr. Cody. And to do that means she will have to rely on some unexpected new friends.

In this excerpt from Chapter 2, Rivka and Tatiana have just met and escaped from Balthazar Cody’s party. Their nosiness has guided them to a basement laboratory full of peculiar creatures…

“Yes. Gremlins. My God, they are ugly,” said Tatiana, shuddering. She had to speak loudly to be heard.

The creatures mewed, cackled, and banged on the copper and wood bars of their enclosures. Nothing was made of silver. Rivka stepped closer.

The bright electric lighting showed the green gremlins well. Some had tint variations, like patches in a quilt. Their sizes ranged from pigeon to husky tomcat. Long, bat-like wings folded along their sides. Hideous hybrid faces featured round, black eyes, some of their noses compressed and others more elongated. Their arms tended toward long and skinny, hind legs stubby.

Gremlins had split lips, just like her.

Rivka traced her upper lip with her tongue. Doctors in Tamarania could fill the gap that partially exposed her front teeth. She was slowly saving up money for that very surgery.

“Hi there.” Rivka reached out. A gremlin’s three small fingers clutched her fingertips. There were no claws, nor did it try to lurch her off balance. The little gremlin pressed its face to the bars. Long, whiskered ears trembled. Rivka felt a vibration against her hand, and with a start realized that the creature was purring.

“A lot of them—no, all of them—are injured.” Tatiana pointed.

She was right. The gremlin whose hand Rivka held had bandages girthing most of its torso. The one to the left had no ear, just a rounded stub. The one below had no wings, and therefore, no arms. A cage over, the gremlin actually had separate arms, but its wings were gone as well.

“Is this like a medical ward for maimed gremlins?” Rivka frowned and looked around as she wiggled her hand free. It certainly seemed like a sterile surgical space. She pulled out her trusty little screwdriver again.

“What are you doing?”

“Being nosy. There has to be a ledger or something around here that chronicles their injuries.”

The cages were numbered and denoted with colorful flags; not all were occupied. Most of the cabinets and drawers held tools and blades with purposes she didn’t wish to contemplate. No paperwork had been left out. She pulled a cart from beneath a steel table. Lifting the hinged lid, she found a snarled pile of dead gremlins. She gasped.

“What?” called Tatiana from across the room.

“Bodies.” Rivka shoved the cart away. She’d seen all kinds of dead things before, people included, but there was something especially disturbing about a haphazard knot of that nature.

Like that sample? Read the whole novella for just 99-cents

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play | iTunes


Beth Cato hails from Hanford, California, but currently writes and bakes cookies in a lair west of Phoenix, Arizona. She shares the household with a hockey-loving husband, a numbers-obsessed son, and a cat the size of a canned ham.

She’s the author of The Clockwork Dagger (a 2015 Locus Award finalist for First Novel) and The Clockwork Crown from Harper Voyager.

Follow her at and on Twitter at @BethCato.

Enter to win signed books!

Enter to win signed books!

I’m giving away two prizes of signed copies of anthologies in which I have stories.

First prize is a signed copy of Contact Light plus a signed copy of the absolutely beautiful Science Fiction Short Stories anthology from Flametree Publishing. This nearly 500-page volume is gorgeous, and packed with classic and contemporary SF stories. You’ll find work by Jules Verne and Mark Twain alongside stories by some of the best writers working today.

The second prize is a signed copy of Contact Light, the newest anthology of space-themed stories from Silence in the Library.

Enter here

I’m Giving a Keynote Address at the Science+Fiction Cyborg Expo in Düsseldorf Nov 6-8

I’m Giving a Keynote Address at the Science+Fiction Cyborg Expo in Düsseldorf Nov 6-8

Attention folks in Europe: I’m thrilled to be giving a keynote talk at the Science+Fiction Cyborg Expo in Düsseldorf, Nov 6-8 2015.

My talk will be about the relationship between science and fiction, how stories are a future-building technology and how they can be used for personal enhancement.

I am currently scheduled to speak at 6 pm on Friday Nov 6. The event is hosted by Cyborgs e.V. and the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf and is taking place at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf in conjunction with the Ego Update art exhibition.

The talk may be live-streamed and will likely be recorded, so watch this space for more information about that. If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there!

Interview with Sherrida Pope, author of An Owl goes Trick-or-Treating

Interview with Sherrida Pope, author of An Owl goes Trick-or-Treating

Just in time for the most wonderful time of the year, here is an interview with Sherrida Pope, author of the fun kids’ book An Owl Goes Trick-or-Treating.

Meet Arthur He’s smart, shy, determined and… oh yes… he’s an owl. Arthur wants more than anything to go trick-or-treating, but can he make his dream a reality when the humans don’t even notice him?

Can you describe your writing for someone who is unfamiliar with it?

I write for children, so I try to tap into the natural curiosity and sense of wonder that characterizes childhood. My books are about straightforward problems, but I try to handle them in a way that is anything but simplistic. Most of all, I try to write characters that children can identify with, who yearn for things in ways we can all understand.

Why did you write *this* story? What is compelling about it for you?

Ironically, with this book, the cover came first. I was poking around on the internet and discovered this beautiful image of an owl sitting on a crooked wooden sign, with pumpkins and a bright turquoise background.

They say a picture tells a thousand words, and to me, that picture demanded a story. Of course, the image that inspired the story looks somewhat different than what ended up on the cover. The owl on the actual cover image looks younger, more innocent, and more inquiring than the stodgy old fellow on the original image.

Would you want to live in the world of your book? Why or why not?

I suppose I already do.

In my books, hope conquers fear, friendship dispels loneliness, happy endings are a given, and mistakes can always be corrected. The real world isn’t always like that, but I try to create a microcosm for myself and my family where those principles hold true.

What surprised you while writing it?

Arthur. I mean, he’s this shy little spotted owl who barely dares leave his tree branch – and yet he ventures off into crazy neighborhood adventures because he’s simply so fascinated by the magic of Halloween.

I didn’t expect that to happen. When I started jotting down the opening pages, I had no idea who Arthur was or what he wanted, except that he found Halloween costumes intriguing. He came to life on the page beautifully. I love the way his curiosity overcomes his shyness, and his determination overpowers his fear.

How will reading it make people feel?

I hope they’ll smile. I hope they’ll giggle at a couple of the messes Arthur gets into, and sigh with relief when he gets back out of them. I hope they’ll see Halloween, and their fellow humans, a bit differently than they did before reading the book.

Was there anything you did deliberately while crafting this novel? Why?

I focused a lot on language. I wanted the book to have a smooth, natural feel without using a lot of big words. So you’ll find a lot of images rendered in straight, simple prose. At the same time, I made a conscious decision not to avoid complex language completely. Arthur feels dejected at a point near the end of the book, so I went ahead and used the word ‘dejected’. Kids are smart enough to figure things out from context, so even when a word is outside a readers’ vocabulary, I’ll go ahead and use it if I feel it adds value to the story.

I spent a lot of attention on the artwork, as well. I do my own interior pictures, and for this book I wanted to maintain the innocence and vulnerability of Arthur’s personality. I kept the drawings simple – which is usually a good choice for me because I am not a photorealistic artist. I tried to give each drawing a clear emotional context. I wanted Arthur’s experience to jump off the page, to become real in a way that words alone could not accomplish.

Since the book’s only just been released, it’s too soon to say whether I succeeded. But my hope – my goal – was to create emotional resonance in my readers.

Sherrida Pope lives and writes in the scenic area near Utah Lake. She has three children, a pet hedgehog, and a transient appreciation for classical music.