Ekaterina Sedia

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Ekaterina Sedia
Born Ekaterina Holland
July 9th, 1970 [1]
Moscow, Russia
Pen name E. Sedia
Occupation Novelist, botany and plant ecology professor
Nationality Russian
Alma mater Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-Camden
Genre Fantasy, steampunk, urban fantasy
Notable works The Alchemy of Stone

Ekaterina Sedia was born in Russia on July 9, 1970.[2] She immigrated to the United States and attended college in New Jersey to obtain her Ph.D.[3] She is best known as a fantasy author. Her most famous work is The Alchemy of Stone, a steampunk novel that examines sexism and class bigotry.[4] Sedia’s other novels include The Secret History of Moscow, According to Crow, and The House of Discarded Dreams. She has also written several short fiction stories, poems, and nonfiction books.[5] Several of her publications have been nominated for awards and/or have made a well-known reading list. In addition, Sedia was the editor for Jigsaw Nation and the World Fantasy Award-winning Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy.[6] When Sedia is not busy writing, she teaches several ecology and evolution courses as a professor at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Galloway, New Jersey.[7]

Background and early life[edit]

Ekaterina Sedia was born on July 9, 1973 in Moscow, Russia, as Ekaterina Holland.[2] She grew up in Moscow and attended Moscow State University;[3] at 21, she moved to Boston, where she worked as a research assistant at MIT’s Department of Brain Cognitive Sciences.[3] She later attended graduate school in New Jersey at Rutgers University, where she received a degree in plant ecology.[3] Sedia currently teaches plant ecology and botany at Stockton College and lives with her husband Christopher Sedia and their cats.[3] In her spare time, she blogs about fashion, food, cats, books, television, and feminism.[2]


Ekaterina Sedia attended Moscow State University. She then moved to Boston and worked at MIT’s department of brain and cognitive sciences as a research assistant.[8] After that she moved to New Jersey and went to graduate school at Rutgers University-Camden, which is where she got her degree in ecology and evolution in 2001. Today she works at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey teaching plant ecology and evolution.[9]

Published works[edit]


According to Crow (May 2005)[edit]

In this story set in Sium, Josiah lives in a world where even though the war is over it is still not great times. The war had been over for seventeen years: however, there is no doubt the Meran Empire would expand. Josiah meets Caleb and they become friends. The two boys leave the country for fear of being persecuted and they find a strange world. A war is about to happen and Josiah must choose sides and potentially betray his heritage.[10]

The Secret History of Moscow (November 2007)[edit]

The Secret History of Moscow is a fantasy novel set in the underworld of capitalist Russia. Galina lives in Moscow with her sister who gives birth in a bathroom. She then turns into a jackdaw and flies away. At first Galina is reluctant to report anything because of her history of mental illness. She then meets an alcoholic artist named Fyodor who claims he knows where the bird people go. Galina finally tells Yakov about this strange transformation and he too says he has seen something similar. Fyodor then takes them to a magical doorway to underground Moscow where creatures from Old Russian folklore. They resurrect a dead body who then tells them his old boss might be responsible for the weird things that are going on.[11]

The Alchemy of Stone (July 2008)[edit]

In The Alchemy of Stone skilled alchemist named Mattie, who is a living doll, finds herself in a conflict between gargoyles mechanics, and alchemists. The city is under threat of revolution and Mattie learns of secrets that could change the balance of power in the city. Loharri, Mattie’s creator learns of this and this upsets him. He has the key to Mattie’s heart literally and will do what it takes to stop her.[4]

The House of Discarded Dreams (November 2010)[edit]

The House of Discarded Dreams is set in New Jersey and is considered urban fantasy.[12] College student Vimbai moves out and away from her controlling mother. She moves into a house on the beach with two other roommates where strange things start to happen. Maya is followed by a pack of dog like animals and Felix has a pocket universe instead of hair. Vimbai’s dead grandmother returns as a ghost and starts doing house work. The house one day floats off to sea and starts expanding. Vimbai must find a way home and on her journey she unexpectedly learns about herself culturally.[13]

Heart of Iron (July 2011)[edit]

Heart of Iron takes place in Russia in 1852. Sasha an eighteen year old is enrolled into a university thanks to her aunt. At first, Sasha is concerned with sexism until she starts to notice that the Chinese students are disappearing. A boy with strange powers named Jack helps Sasha stop a kidnapping and this when she learns that a war could break out between China and Russia or China and England or both.[14]

Short fiction[edit]

  • "Alphabet Angels" (with David Bartell) in Analog Science Fiction and Fact (March 2005)
  • "Smiling Vermin" (with David Bartell) in Analog Science Fiction and Fact (May 2005)
  • "Kamikaze Bugs" (with David Bartell) in Analog Science Fiction and Fact (January/February 2006)
  • "Daniel Dreams" in Fortean Bureau #29 (March 2005)
  • "Spiders&Saints" in Bare Bone 7 (April 2005, Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  • "Frederick Finds God" (flash) in Fusing Horizons (September 2004)
  • "Making Ivy" in Poe's Progeny (May 2005)
  • "Just Chutney" in Aeon Magazine #3 (May 2005)
  • "Every Eight and Eleven" in The Elastic Book of Numbers (February 2005, Elastic Press)
  • "Animals That Belong to the Emperor" in Between Kisses (February 2005)
  • "Memories of The Fog" in Potter's Field (May 2005, Sam's Dot Publishing)
  • "Still Life in the Mirror" in Panic (August 2005, Sam's Dot Publishing)
  • "Tapestry in Black and White" in Dream the Dark Majestic (August 2005, Ragemachine)
  • "Huni's Love of Clay" in Travel a Time Historic (September 2005, Ragemachine)
  • "Walrus Skin" in The Walri Project (forthcoming)
  • "Heart of the Scarab" in Lenox Avenue #6 (May/June 2005)
  • "Yakov and the Crows" in Book of Dark Wisdom #10 (December 2006)
  • "The Mermaid Collector" in Book of Dark Wisdom (forthcoming)
  • "Hector Meets the King" in New Writings in the Fantastic (Fall 2007, Pendragon Press)
  • "Torsion" in Nemonymous 7 (2007)
  • "Kikimora" in Jabberwocky #1 (July 2005, Prime Books)
  • "God's Chosen" in Oceans of the Mind #XVIII (2005)
  • "Fistula" in Liquid Laughter Volume 1: Medicine Show (November 2006)
  • "Hydraulic" in Spicy Slipstream Stories (forthcoming, Wheatland Press)
  • "Sagekites' Land" in Strange Pleasures #6 anthology (forthcoming, Prime Books)
  • "Manuel and the Magic Fox" in Fantasy Magazine #3 (2006, Prime Books)
  • "A Thousand Cuts" in Other Than #1 (forthcoming)
  • "Munashe and the Spirits" GrendelSong # 1 (September 2006)
  • "Cherrystone and Shards of Ice" HP Lovecraft's Magazine of Horror (forthcoming)
  • "A Play for a Boy and Sockpuppets" in The New Book of Masks (February 2007, Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  • "Simargl and the Rowan Tree" in Mythic # 2 (September 2006)
  • "The Clockmaker's Daughter" in Horrors Beyond II: Stories of Strange Creations (December 2007, Elder Signs Press)
  • "Redemption of Nepheli" in Jim Baen's Universe (April 2007)
  • "Ebb and Flow" in Japanese Dreams a (2008, Prime Books)
  • "Zombie Lenin" in Fantasy Sampler (Spring 2007, Prime Books)
  • "Out of Her Element" in Magic in the Mirrorstone (2008, Mirrorstone Books)
  • "Seas of the World" in Sybil's Garage #4 (May 2007)
  • "Virus Changes Skin" in Analog Science Fiction and Fact (October 2007)
  • "The Taste of Wheat" in Clarkesworld Magazine #11 (August 2007)
  • "The Rats That Didn't Sing" in Cats With Wings #3 (January 2008)
  • "The Disemboweler" in Lone Star Stories (February 2008)
  • "By the Liter" in Subterranean Magazine (Spring 2008)
  • "A Short Encyclopedia of Lunar Seas" in The Endicott Studio Journal of Mythic Arts (August 2008)
  • "Two of Cups" in Behind the Wainscot # 15 (August 2008)
  • "Herding Vegetable Sheep" in Clarkesworld Magazine #30 (March 2009)
  • "Citizen Komarova Finds Love," in Exotic Gothic 3 (2009, Ash-Tree Press)
  • "Helena" in Exotic Gothic 4 (2012, PS Publishing)


  • "The Sandman's Sestina" in Dream the Dark Majestic (August 2005, Ragemachine)
  • "The Inquisitor's Villanelle" in Goblin Fruit #1 (April 2006)
  • "Mermaid" in Goblin Fruit (Spring 2007)


  • "Making Neologisms Work in Speculative Literature" in Reflection's Edge (February 2005)

Editing work[edit]

-She was an intern non-fiction editor for the Clarkeswood magazine, in the fall of 2008[5]

-She was also an editor for the Award winning An Anthology of Urban Fantasy

-Paper Cities [15]

-Circus Fantasy: Fantasy Under the Big Top.[15][16] Mutilated warrior women, dead boys, mechanical dogs, and escape artists are just some of the wonders and horrors explored in this bizarre assembly of works from voices new and old.[16]

Introducing stories of circuses traditional and bizarre, futuristic and steeped in tradition, joyful and heart-breaking! And among the actors you will find old friends, be they sad clowns or free-spirited gymnasts, as well as new ones - mammoths, mechanical piano men, and things best not described at all.


Ekaterina Sedia has six published novels based in a fantasy, urban fantasy, or “steampunk” aesthetic. Her best-known work is “The Alchemy of Stone”, which was on the 2008 James Tiptree, Jr. Award Honor List. The scenes in this book reminded readers of the September 11th attacks[citation needed]. The book was praised for its imagery and great sense of emotion[citation needed].


Academic career[edit]

She is the associate professor of biology at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in Galloway, New Jersey.

Academic Publications[edit]

Sedia has specialized in the different characteristics of the New Jersey Pinelands and how the population of lichens, mosses, and grasses affect the forests and the succession of the forest. She coauthored an influential papers on the differential effects of lichens, mosses, and grasses on respiration and nitrogen mineralization,[17] how it promotes an alternate plant community,[18] and decomposition of litter in the New Jersey Pinelands.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Ekaterina Sedia was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. Her family and friends still reside there while her, her husband and two cats live in New Jersey.[20] Sedia teaches botany and plant ecology at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.[7] Sedia has written many novels, short stories and occasionally edits anthologies.[20] Additionally, Sedia enjoys social networking accounts such as Twitter, Facebook and Blogger. She enjoys catching up on these accounts while relaxing at coffee shops however, she does not write there because they are too distracting.[20] Besides writing, Sedia also has an interest in gardening, cooking, and feminism.[20] Sedia is also very interested in fashion. In her blog she writes about different fashion styles and also her particular style. She states that her style is Indie with some mainstream pieces mixed in.[7]


  1. ^ On Turning Forty
  2. ^ a b c http://ekaterinasedia.com/index.php/biography/. Retrieved 21 October 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d e Joyce, Graham (April 2009). "locus online: Ekaterina Sedia". Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Newitz, Annalee. "A Living Doll Tries to Survive a Workers' Revolution in "The Alchemy of Stone"" Io9. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.
  5. ^ a b "ekaterinasedia.com". ekaterinasedia.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Kelly, Mark. "sfadb: Ekaterina Sedia Awards". Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c Sedia, Ekaterina (September 2013). "On summer, The Virgin Suicides, with some outfit pics.". Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Interview". Locus Online. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Billectric Interview". 
  10. ^ Sedia, Ekaterina. "Novels." Ekaterina Sedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2013.
  11. ^ "The Secret History of Moscow." Kirkus Reviews 75.17 (2007): 895‐896. Academic Search Complete.
  12. ^ Penn, Joanna. "Writing Fiction. What Is Urban Fantasy Anyway?" The Creative Penn RSS. N.p., 3 Apr. 2013. Web. 09 Oct. 2013.
  13. ^ "The House of Discarded Dreams." Publishers Weekly 257.23 (2010): 40. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Oct. 2013.
  14. ^ "Heart Of Iron." Publishers Weekly 258.23 (2011): 29. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.
  15. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  16. ^ a b "Circus: Fantasy Under the Big Top edited by Ekaterina Sedia |". Prime Books. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  17. ^ Ehrenfeld J.G., Sedia E.G., 2005. Differential effects of lichens, mosses and grasses on respiration an nitrogen mineralization in soils of the New Jersey Pinelands. Oecologia 144:1:137-147.
  18. ^ Ehrenfeld J.G., Sedia E.G. 2003. Lichens and mosses promote alternate stable plant communities in the New Jersey Pinelands. Oikos 100:3:447-458.
  19. ^ Ehernfeld J. G., Sedia S. G. 2006. Differential effects of lichens and mosses on soil enzyme activity and litter decomposition. Journal of Biology and Fertility of Soils 43:2:177-189.
  20. ^ a b c d Sedia, Ekaterina (September 2013). "Ekaterina Sedia". Retrieved 26 October 2013. 

External links[edit]