Rachel Swirsky

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Rachel Swirsky
Born (1982-04-14) April 14, 1982 (age 32)[citation needed]
San Jose, California[citation needed]
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Period 2006-present
Genre Science fiction, fantasy
Notable works "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen's Window," "A Memory of Wind," "Eros, Philia, Agape," "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love"
Notable awards Nebula Award (2010, 2013)

Rachel Swirsky is an American literary, speculative fiction and fantasy writer, poet, and editor living in California. She was the founding editor of the PodCastle podcast and served as editor from 2008 to 2010. She is vice president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.[1]

She has been published in such literary publications as PANK, the Konundrum Engine Literary Review, and the New Haven Review. Her speculative fiction work has appeared in numerous markets including Tor.com, Subterranean Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Fantasy Magazine, Interzone, Realms of Fantasy, and Weird Tales, and collected in a variety of year's best anthologies, including Gardner Dozois's The Year's Best Science Fiction, Rich Horton's The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, Jonathan Strahan's Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, and Jeff & Ann VanderMeer's Best American Fantasy.

Her novella "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window" won the 2010 Nebula Award.[2][3] and was also a nominee for a 2011 Hugo Award[4] and for the 2011 World Fantasy Award.[5][6]

Additionally, Swirsky's "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love", won the 2013 Nebula Award for best short story.[7]


Swirsky was born in California. A graduate of the University of California Santa Cruz and the Iowa Writers Workshop, Swirsky taught undergraduate science fiction and fantasy writing while a teaching assistant at The University of Iowa.[8] In 2005, she attended the Clarion West writers workshop.[9]

In addition to her fiction, Swirsky writes critical essays, reviews, and other non-fiction.

Swirsky has donated her writing to a number of charity anthologies. Her story "Heat Engine" appeared in Last Bird, Drink Head, a flash fiction anthology supporting the ProLiteracy charity. In September 2010, she contributed a story to the online chapbook story collection Clash of the Geeks, presented by Subterranean Press supporting the Lupus Alliance of America.[10]

Swirsky lives in Bakersfield, California.[11]

Awards and critical reception[edit]

In addition to winning the Nebula, Swirsky's work has been nominated for awards and received other critical attention. Her novella "A Memory of Wind" was a finalist for the 2009 Nebula Awards ballot.[12] Her novelette "Eros, Philia, Agape" was nominated for the Hugo,[13] the Theodore Sturgeon Award,[14] the Locus Award,[15] the storySouth Million Writers Award,[16][17] and the Tiptree Award.[18] Her novelette "Portrait of Lisane da Patagnia" was a finalist for the 2012 Nebula Awards ballot.[19] 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novelette,[20] and the 2011 Nebula Award for Best Novelette. Her story "Fields of Gold" was nominated for the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novelette,[21] and the 2011 Nebula Award for Best Novelette.[22]

Her poem "The Oracle on River Street" won third place for the Rhysling Award and was reprinted in the 2008 Rhysling anthology.[23] Other work has also been long-listed for the storySouth Million Writers Award,[24] the BSFA Award, and the Tiptree Award.

Her work has been listed on the annual Locus Magazine's Recommended Reading List.[25][26][27]



Edited works[edit]

Selected short stories[edit]

  • "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen's Window," Subterranean Magazine, Summer 2010
  • "A Memory of Wind," Tor.com, Nov 3 2009
  • "Eros, Philia, Agape," Tor.com, Mar 3 2009 (reprinted in Jonathan Strahan's Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 4 and in Rich Horton's The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2010)
  • "Marrying the Sun," Fantasy Magazine, June 30, 2008 (reprinted in Jonathan Strahan's The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 3)
  • "How the World Became Quiet: A Post-Human Creation Myth," Electric Velocipede, issue 13 (reprinted in audio at Escape Pod, Sep 20 2008 and in Jeff & Ann VanderMeer's Best American Fantasy 2)
  • "A Monkey Will Never Be Rid of Its Black Hands," Subterranean Magazine, Winter 2008
  • "Dispersed by the Sun, Melting in the Wind," Subterranean Magazine, Spring 2007
  • "Heartstrung," in Interzone 210 (reprinted in audio at Pseudopod, Mar 28 2008; reprinted in Rich Horton's Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2008)
  • "A Letter Never Sent," in Konundrum Engine Literary Review
  • "Scene from a Dystopia," in Subterranean Magazine #4, 2006

Selected poetry[edit]

  • "Mundane," Ideomancer, 2010
  • "Evening in Pompeii," Ideomancer, 2010
  • "String Theory," Ideomancer, September 2009
  • "Remembering the World," Electric Velocipede #15-16, Winter 2008
  • "The Passionate Oven," Helix #8 (reprinted in Transcriptase)
  • "Pro-Life Patter," Diet Soap #2 (originally printed on Alas, a Blog)
  • "Terrible Lizards," Diet Soap #1, online edition, February 2008
  • "Invitation to Emerald," Lone Star Stories, December 2007
  • "A Season with the Geese," Abyss&Apex, third quarter 2007 (reprinted in The Best of Abyss & Apex, Volume One)
  • "The Oracle on River Street," Goblin Fruit, Summer 2007


  1. ^ "Current Officers". SFWA. 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  2. ^ "2011 Nebula Award Winners". SFWA. 2011-05-21. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  3. ^ Monica Hesse (2011-05-23). "Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America hold annual convention". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  4. ^ Locus, 2011 Hugo and Campbell Awards Winners (access date August 21, 2011)
  5. ^ "Renovation - Hugo Awards". Renovationsf.org. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  6. ^ "Awards of the WFC". World Fantasy Convention 2011. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  7. ^ "2013 Nebula Awards Winners". Locus. 2014-05-17. Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  8. ^ "Rachel Swirsky". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  9. ^ "Rachel Swirsky". Clarion West. 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  10. ^ Rachel Swirsky (2010-07-01). "The Complex Identity of the Archetypal Hero: A Fictional Treatise with Unicorn Pegasus Kittens | Alas, a Blog". Amptoons.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  11. ^ Swirsky page at Macmillan
  12. ^ Sheila Crosby May 16, 2010 at 4:49 am (2010-05-15). "SFWA announces 2009 Nebula Awards winners". SFWA. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  13. ^ "2010 Hugo Award Nominees". The Hugo Awards. 2010-04-04. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  14. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards: 2010 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award". Locusmag.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  15. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards: Locus Award Nominees List". Mark R. Kelly and Locus Publications. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  16. ^ "storySouth Million Writers Award Notable Stories 2008". Storysouth.com. 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  17. ^ "storySouth Million Writers Award Notable Stories 2008". Storysouth.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  18. ^ "2010 Tiptree Award Long List". James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  19. ^ "2012 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced". SFWA. 2013-02-20. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  20. ^ 2012 Hugo Awards, at TheHugoAwards.org; retrieved June 26, 2014
  21. ^ 2012 Hugo Awards, at TheHugoAwards.org; retrieved June 27, 2014
  22. ^ 2011 Nebula Awards Nominees announced, at SFWA.org; published February 2012; retrieved 27 June 2014
  23. ^ "Science Fiction Poetry Association". Sfpoetry.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  24. ^ "storySouth Million Writers Award". Storysouth.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  25. ^ Karen Burnham (2011-02-03). "Locus Roundtable » 2010 Locus Recommended Reading List". Locusmag.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  26. ^ "Locus Online: Magazine: February 2010: 2009 Recommended Reading List". Locusmag.com. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  27. ^ Locusmag.com

External links[edit]