If you’re looking for non-fiction writing about games, you should check the Game Design section instead.



Realistic fiction and a dollop of magical realism, science fiction and fantasy, and even some improvised stories told live around a virtual Halloween campfire.



Just a few samples, from formal and free verse to limericks.


Literary criticism

Essays on various literary topics.

“Oh, I’m a writer…”

I’ve been writing fiction for as long as I can remember. In college, I split my time between being a writer of fiction and a poet. My undergraduate thesis was a collection of short stories. When the time came for me to decide what I wanted to study in graduate school, I chose to study poetry, because I felt I had more to learn about it. This may have been an arrogant assessment of my ability as a fiction writer, but it turned out to be somewhat true, in that I learned I wasn’t really a very good poet yet.

I have a great deal of affinity for science-fiction and fantasy, and a lot of my stories are of one of these two genres. But writing programs being what they are, I had to write realistic stuff, or have it dismissed as meaningless lowbrow claptrap. Now for all I know, that’s what it turned out to be when I actually wrote the story, but darn it, I didn’t want it dismissed that way in advance!

The stories here are all old. Once I finished my MFA, I had become so disgusted with the writing career (not the kind that makes money–the college-circuit one) that I basically stopped writing, except for fiction related to my new job as a game designer for Ultima Online. That fiction isn’t here on this website, but you can find it on any of the many UO fansites. Years later, I picked it up again when I joined Turkey City, the famous SF writing workshop. None of those stories are posted here, however.

For what it’s worth, I studied fiction writing under Robert Day at Washington College, and Lex Williford at the University of Alabama.


Ah, the academic life!

I hated writing papers. But I loved teaching at the college level. Unfortunately, you can’t do one without the other.

I now have fairly little respect for the whole process of academic writing. There are reams of paper filled with verbiage about topics like these, and damn few people who read the results. What’s more, I suspect most of those who do read the stuff are doing so because they need to have citations for their next paper, not because they care passionately about the topic under discussion.

I did eventually escape graduate school. My MFA diploma sits in the closet. I pull it out and dust it off every once in a while. I don’t really feel that I learned much from the curriculum proper, though I learned an awful lot about human nature, currying favor, backstabbing, political maneuvering, and personal obsessions from just being in the program. I learned that everything you need to know to get a PhD in Literature is taught to you around 9th grade, when you first have to read a book with the intent of analyzing it, and write about it in an organized fashion. All the rest they can teach you is kind of like the key to a city: it’s pretty and looks good hanging on your wall, but there aren’t any doors it’ll open that you couldn’t have opened on your own.