STEPHEN GOLDIN is a Nebula Award finalist science fiction and fantasy writer who was born in 1947 in the city of Philadelphia. When he was 13, his parents moved to California and, upon reflection, he decided to accompany them. It was a lucky thing he did, too; otherwise, when he went to college, the commute to UCLA would have been quite difficult. He eventually graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor's degree in Astronomy.
His first job out of college was as a civilian space scientist for the U.S. Navy. The urge to write was strong, though, and after several years he left to try writing full time. He only regretted the move every other Thursday, when he would have gotten paid.
After several years of genteel poverty, he took a job as writer/editor for a pornographic humor paper, the San Francisco Ball. In retrospect, this was a great crucible; because of deadline pressure, he had to learn to make his writing dirty, funny, and one draft.
At about this time, too, he began selling novels on a regular basis. While he has, from time to time, held down other full-time employment (he helped design the Star Trek: The Next Generation computer game "A Final Unity" for Spectrum HoloByte and has also written manuals and game design documents for Maxis), his real love is fiction writing and he continues to pursue it.
His first wife was fellow author Kathleen Sky. Their medieval-style wedding was a Saturday morning program item at the 1972 World Science Fiction Convention in Los Angeles. In the 10+ years of their marriage, in addition to their individual works, they collaborated on a pair of stories ("Painting the Roses Red" and "The Devil Behind the Leaves") about the diMedicis, a family of interstellar swindlers.
Mr. Goldin's current wife is fellow author Mary Mason. Their wedding took place the night before EclectiCon 1 in Sacramento, at which Mr. Goldin was the Guest of Honor. They currently live in the San Francisco East Bay area. So far they have co-authored two books in the Rehumanization of Jade Darcy series: Jade Darcy and the Affair of Honor and Jade Darcy and the Zen Pirates. More books in this series are planned.
Mr. Goldin is an atheist whose interests include Broadway show albums and surrealist art. He has lived with cats virtually all his adult life.
Mr. Goldin served the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America as editor of the SFWA Bulletin and as SFWA's Western Regional Director.
Where to find Stephen Goldin online
Where to buy in print
The Fix Is In
Believers in "intelligent design" say the universe is too complex to have been formed by random chance. By that standard, I can show that every baseball game is rigged!::This essay also includes a sample from the novel POLLY!
Ghosts, Girls, & Other Phantasms
By Stephen Goldin
Published: September 20, 2011 by
GHOSTS, GIRLS, & OTHER PHANTASMS is a comprehensive collection of Stephen Goldin’s solo short fiction, containing most of the stories from his earlier collection THE LAST GHOST AND OTHER STORIES. (The "Angel in Black" stories have been broken out into their own volume.) These stories run the gamut from humor to pathos, and are guaranteed to entertain.
A World Called Solitude
Birk Aaland is a political outcast from Earth's tyranny, and has been living for years on a planet inhabited solely by robots. Now another ship has crashed, and there is again a sole survivor -- a woman desperate to warn Earth of an alien invasion. But Birk is perfectly happy with his current exile -- until a twist of fate intervenes, causing each of them to re-evaluate their lives.
This story is dedicated to the Republican Party. They do so well at drumming up distrust of homosexuals, foreigners and others who are different from their “norm” that one can only imagine what they’ll do when we encounter true aliens.
Treachery of the Demon King
This is Book 4 of the Parsina Saga. Storyteller-cum-wizard Jafar al-Sharif continues his reluctant odyssey through an exotic world of djinni and flying carpets to save his daughter's life as he copes with an island that is not as it appears, the City of Faces, and Mt. Denavan, home of the daevas themselves--as well as betrayal by a trusted member of his own party!
Crystals of Air and Water
This is Book 3 of the Parsina Saga. Storyteller Jafar al-Sharif continues his reluctant odyssey through an exotic world of djinni and flying carpets as he copes with fiendish assassins, a city of apes, the King of the Winds, the Isle of Illusions and a mysterious long-vanished underwater city while attempting to save the life of his beloved daughter.
The Storyteller and the Jann
In the Arabian Nights world of Parsina, Jafar al-Sharif teams up with disinherited Prince Ahmad to battle a sand djinn, the gnome king of an underground realm, and an army of zombies.
When There's No Man Around
Goodyear Tires had an ad campaign in the mid-1970s showing a woebegone young woman kneeling beside her car with a flat tire, all alone on a deserted highway in the middle of the night. The caption read, “When there’s no man around, Goodyear should be.” This science fiction story is dedicated to all those poor, helpless women everywhere.
Apollyon Ex Machina
Apollyon, the Angel of Death, has a rough job, but somebody's got to do it.
Grim Fairy Tale
Not everything in life is the way it appears in children's books. **A fairy tale for adults.**
Crossroads of the Galaxy
Young Alex Bredakoff always wanted to be a star trader. But it wasn't until his family moved to the Nexus space colony and he met Kasinda Venderling--daughter of a trader, and someone who's been plying the star lanes her entire life--that he realized how truly exciting--and dangerous--his life could become.
And Not Make Dreams Your Master
Wayne Corrigan and his colleagues at Dramatic Dreams can broadcast dreams directly into your mind as you sleep. But when a malfunction occurs, Wayne must find a way to rescue tens of thousands of people--including the woman he loves--from death or insanity by wresting control of the Dream away from a mad genius.
The exciting sequel to Mindflight. Richard and Mara Cheney are second-generation telepaths seeking to help first generation telepaths cope with telepause. But something else is hunting them--something not very nice.
A sexy interstellar romp. Tyla deVrie and her brother Bred race across the galaxy to find rare objects on exotic worlds. The Hunt killed their parents 20 years ago and, as they zoom through the galaxy in Bred's decadent space yacht with its all-woman crew, they learn that the stakes are no less somber this time around. Will the reward of eternal glory be worth the possible price of their lives?
Earth uses telepathic spies in its cold war with its former colony worlds. But what even the spies don't know is that, once they reach their late thirties, they begin exhibiting mental instability and must be eliminated. Alain Cheney is one of Earth's best telepaths, but this only makes him more susceptible. He has to battle both his physical condition and his own agency in order to survive.
Assault on the Gods
On a trading mission to a backwater planet, starship captain Ardeva Korrell finds herself with a fight on her hands; she and her small crew must battle an army of robots and defeat the tyrannical, god-like beings who have enslaved the native population. The task before them is straightforward: to storm the gates of Heaven itself!
Magazine Contracts and Permissions
Theodore Sturgeon called THE BUSINESS OF BEING A WRITER "the second best reference book a writer can have,after the dictionary." Harlan Ellison said, "It may not make you a better writer, but it will keep you from being a poorer one." This excerpt discusses the terms you're likely to encounter in magazine contracts, and how to write permission letters when your work is reprinted in new markets.
Theodore Sturgeon called THE BUSINESS OF BEING A WRITER "the second best reference book a writer can have,after the dictionary." Harlan Ellison said, "It may not make you a better writer, but it will keep you from being a poorer one." This excerpt discusses fair use and permissions for quotes, obscenity, libel and invasion of privacy, writers' wills and estates, and public lending rights.
The Last Ghost
This was a Nebula Award finalist for Best Short Story of 1971.::Solitude is corrosive. Love and companionship can heal wounds, but they take time. And even with all eternity to work in, there may never be enough time to do the job.
Dealing with Editors
Theodore Sturgeon called THE BUSINESS OF BEING A WRITER "the second best reference book a writer can have,after the dictionary." Harlan Ellison said, "It may not make you a better writer, but it will keep you from being a poorer one." This excerpt discusses how to maintain good relations with magazine and book editors, and how to go about negotiating the terms of sales to your publishers.
Marketing Your Work
Theodore Sturgeon called THE BUSINESS OF BEING A WRITER "the second best reference book a writer can have,after the dictionary." Harlan Ellison said, "It may not make you a better writer, but it will keep you from being a poorer one." This excerpt discusses how an author should narrow the field of potential markets, and the criteria to use when making his submission list for each work.
The Mechanics of Submission
Theodore Sturgeon called THE BUSINESS OF BEING A WRITER "the second best reference book a writer can have,after the dictionary." Harlan Ellison said, "It may not make you a better writer, but it will keep you from being a poorer one." This excerpt discusses proper manuscript format, and how to submit your writing to an editor/publisher.
Rights and Copyrights
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Theodore Sturgeon called THE BUSINESS OF BEING A WRITER "the second best reference book a writer can have,after the dictionary." Harlan Ellison said, "It may not make you a better writer, but it will keep you from being a poorer one." This excerpt discusses the different kinds of rights an author can license, as well as the basic ins and outs of copyright law in the United States.
A Career in Writing
Theodore Sturgeon called THE BUSINESS OF BEING A WRITER "the second best reference book a writer can have,after the dictionary." Harlan Ellison said, "It may not make you a better writer, but it will keep you from being a poorer one." This excerpt discusses finances, work habits, pen names, and other points an author should seriously consider before starting a career in writing.
Angel in Black
Five supernatural tales from a master storyteller.
Visit the Shop, where the mysterious proprietor will take you on journeys into the second sphere--a land of nightmares, the mystical realm where legendary creatures battle for the souls of humans, and where every victory has its price. But do you dare NOT pay?
Galactic Collapse: Agents of ISIS, Book 10
Finally the evil conspiracy reveals itself in all its true power, bringing the Empire to its knees. Even the Imperial Special Investigation Service is helpless in the face of the unexpected, overwhelming attack. But the Empire strikes back with all the resources at its disposal--hoping against hope that will be enough to save humanity.
Outworld Invaders: Agents of ISIS, Book 9
For centuries, now, humanity has expanded into space without encountering an alien civilization. Suddenly, the peaceful outlying planet Omicron is attacked by an ominous outside threat--and the Imperial Special Investigation Service finds itself joining forces with the conspiracy it's been battling for years to save mankind from external danger.
Counterfeit Stars: Agents of ISIS, Book 8
Having had its plans thwarted too many times by the Imperial Special Investigation Service, the evil conspiracy declares war directly on the brave men and women who serve in the agency. Impostors sabotage the Service's work, and the Commissar himself falls under suspicion. ISIS must confront itself to prevent being torn apart from within.
Traitors' World: Agents of ISIS, Book 7
Space pirates harass interstellar shipping On the frozen world of Gulag--where the Empire's worst traitors have been exiled for centuries--dangerous plots are hatching. Time is running out for agents of the Imperial Special Investigation Service to save the Empire from the most serious revolt in its centuries-long history.
Purgatory Plot: Agents of ISIS, Book 6
An armed cadre of fundamentalist extremists threatens the security of the interstellar Empire, while uprisings of separatist traitors spark outrage on dozens of planets around the galaxy. The agents of the Imperial Special Investigation Service must find the common thread and de-fang these vipers before the wildfire of revolution engulfs the galaxy.
Stellar Revolution: Agents of ISIS, Book 5
A hidden conspiracy is plotting to use the tsaritsa's wedding as the occasion to start a bloody revolt to take over the throne. Meanwhile, in the depths of interstellar space, a flotilla of space pirates is gathering. Is it coincidence, or a coordinated attack to topple the Empire? The Imperial Special Investigation Service must unravel the plots and thwart these plans before it's too late.
Sanctuary Planet: Agents of ISIS, Book 4
The galaxy's top criminals have not only been getting away from police, they've disappeared from sight entirely. Suspecting something far more sinister than a mere crime wave, the top agents of the Imperial Special Investigation Service delve into the matter--only to discover this is the tip of a galaxy-spanning conspiracy that threatens to undermine the stability of the Empire itself.
Robot Mountain: Agents of ISIS, Book 3
By sheer accident, the Imperial Special Investigation Service stumbled across a fiendish plot against the Empire--using a time bomb to blow up the tsaritsa and throw the galaxy into chaos.Now, to learn the truth, its agents must infiltrate a hollow mountain, the lair of a mad robotic genius, while simultaneously protecting Her Majesty from a hidden assassin. And somewhere, a time bomb is ticking
Treacherous Moon: Agents of ISIS, Book 2
Hundreds of thousands of people have visited the pleasure moon Vesa and simply vanished without a trace. Is this part of some vast galactic conspiracy? To find out, the Imperial Special Investigation Service dispatches its two top agents to look into the matter--and the shocking truth they reveal leads to discoveries that eventually threatens the stability of humanity's entire interstellar Empire.
Deborah Raboinowitz is a literary broker. She travels to alien worlds via virtual reality and sells the rights to publish Earth books on other planets. But when an alien is murdered right before her eyes, there's no way she can keep from being involved and solving the murder herself. Then, when an old friend is accused of a murder on a different world, Deborah has to solve that one, too.
An alien is visiting Earth invisibly by astral projection when he inadvertently witnesses a murder. He now faces two problems: Should he report the crime to the authorities--and if so, how?
Can houses be haunted by some other forces besides hatred, fear and anger?
Creationism vs. the Lightbulb
Religious believers try to claim that "Creationism" is a science. But if that's true, can they explain why a lightbulb works?::This essay also includes a sample from the novel POLLY!
The Djinn Garden
In a world of Arabian Nights adventure, a band of heroes is on a quest to reunite the Crystal of Oromasd and save the world. One of their number, the beautiful young djinn named Cari, vanishes on a mysterious island in the Central Sea and the others must avoid being enslaved themselves and defeat a powerful invisible demon if they hope to rescue her.
(This is a story from The Parsina Saga.)
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