K.G. Anderson (she/they) writes short fiction — urban fantasy, space opera, alternate history, Weird West tales, near-future science fiction, poetry, and mystery. Many of her stories reflect her Jewish heritage, her work in the tech industry, and time spent living in coastal cities from Genoa to Seattle—as well as her activism on behalf of women, elders, and universal affordable healthcare. She attended Taos Toolbox, Viable Paradise, and Cascade Writers and is a member of SFWA and Broad Universe.
Check out her upcoming and recent appearances and readings. Her short stories and poems, including many available online as text or audio, are listed here:
Stories & Poems
• “Leeli’s Choice”
“Do you realize that if you were to get an abortion—which you will not do—just the fact that you and I even talked about it could put both of us in prison?”
Leeli’s a high school senior, pregnant after a friend of a friend drove her home from a party and they had sex in the back of his car. Her mom, who wrote their state’s extreme anti-abortion statutes, is running for governor.
Read “Leeli’s Choice” in Post Roe Alternatives: Fighting Back from B Cubed Press. With stories, essays, and poems by Jim Wright, Adam-Troy Castro, Jane Yolen, Rebecca McFarland Kyle, Larry Hodges, Liam Hogan, Stephanie L. Weippert, Marlene Barr, Dasola Tewogbade, and more. Available in ebook or paperback.
• “Pieced Together”
Galen’s heart melted at the sight of the tables heaped with Khantian tiles, glass, and ceramic, in the bright blues and greens and coppers of home. She hadn’t seen such beauty since her mother’s workshop. It all rushed back to her; the smell of the glues, the soft clicks and clinks of the tesserae. The snaps of the blades as they cut the mosaic pieces.
Read “Pieced Together” in The Art of Being Human from Fablecroft Press. Edited by Tehani Croft with Stephanie Lai, with stories and poems by Joyce Chng, Aiki Flinthart, Ephiny Gale, Gerri Leen, Spencer Nitkey, Angela Slatter, and others.
• “Yoga for Protestors”
Pose to Protest Inequality: Place your mats on treacherous, uneven ground. Balance on one foot (Tree pose, or, if you are adventurous, Warrior III). Struggle to keep your hips level. Remain on one foot until the imbalance causes you to crash to the ground. Perform this pose in groups, mats close together—note that when one person falls, others are taken down with them.
Read “Yoga for Protestors: A Field Guide” in The Protest Diaries from B Cubed Press. Edited by Vanessa Cozza, with stories and poems by Susan Murrie Macdonald, Liam Hogan, Irene Radford, Rebecca McFarland Kyle, Philip Brian Hall, Mike Adamson, Jane Yolen, and others.
• “A Sign of the Times”
Kate Morales’ office wasn’t much to look at. The dark furniture and leather chairs were new, but you could see peeling paint and hear the old radiators wheezing to keep the place warm on a rainy afternoon. They’d said she was good with my kind of case. And that I could, possibly, afford her.
Joe Henry is caught red-handed, holding a protest sign that violates the new Corporate Hate Crimes statutes. He’s made history, and it may cost him everything.
Read “A Sign of the Times” online in Quaranzine, a publication of Third State Art.
While they cooked on the old black stove in Marissa’s pine-paneled kitchen, the man talked about the distant places where the spices were grown. Places he’d seen in his travels.
A strange man comes to town and wins a woman’s heart, transforming her kitchen with exotic spices and culinary talents that just might be magic. Yet she can’t help but worry about his intentions…and the locked suitcase he keeps in their closet.
“a magical tale of the power of love as an ingredient in preparing meals. Meals that become simply… delicious.” — review on Amazon.com
Buy an updated version of “Delicious” in the anthology Grandpa’s Deep-Space Diner (JayHenge Publishing). Edited by Jennifer Augustsson with stories by Laurence Brothers, Mike Adamson, Holly Schofield, Dawn Vogel, Liam Hogan, Wendy Nikel, Jennifer Lee Rossman, and others.
Buy “Delicious” (original version) in the anthology Triangulation: Appetites (Parsec Ink). Edited by Frank Oreto and Douglas Gwilym. Stories by Holly Schofield, Jack Lothian, and others.
• “Late Bloomers”
While the elderly vertaines chatted over hors d’oeuvres in Master Rem Kardamian’s elegant living room, I stood upright by the door, my face a mask of attention and respect.
Set in a mythical Russian Far East, “Late Bloomers” is a tale of art and romance deferred—and rediscovered.
Buy “Late Bloomers” in Runs Like Clockwork, edited by Mark Bilsborough (Wyldblood Press, UK). With stories by Jennifer Lee Rossman, Dawn Vogel, Holly Schofield, Wendy Nikel, Liam Hogan, and more.
• “The Bodies We Carry”
My husband stopped breathing just after midnight. Kaylee and I sat by the bed for several minutes choking on our sighs and sobs. The wind that had rattled the windows of the house during our vigil had died as well. We were left floating in a pool of silence. My daughter spoke. “Go ahead, Mom. You promised. You promised Dad.”
Buy “The Bodies We Carry” in Alternative Deathiness, edited by Phyllis Irene Radford and Bob Brown (B Cubed Press). With stories by Jim Wright, James Van Pelt, Frances Rowat, Paula Hammond, Larry Hodges, and more.
• “Miss Hackenberry Brews Tea”
“That man renting the Caldwells’ farmhouse doesn’t seem right to me, Mildred.” Sally Parsons tugged her bulky hand-knit sweater closer around her bony shoulders. “They said to watch out for anything unusual, you know.”
Spies? Aliens? In their tiny village? Mildred Hackenberry knows exactly what’s going on—and what she’s going to do about it.
Buy “Miss Hackenberry Brews Tea” in 99 Tiny Terrors, edited by Jennifer Brozek (Pulse Publishing). Featuring chilling stories from the devious minds of Seanan McGuire, Rosemary Claire Smith, Ruthanna Emrys, Bev Vincent, Meg Elison, Bradley H. Sinor, Wendy N. Wagner, Premee Mohamed, Scott Edelman, Cat Rambo, Tim Waggoner, and more.
• “Louie’s Turn”
“Go on, dude.” Carmen Caldoforno tugged a black knit cap over his greasy curls and peered out of the alley. “This one looks loaded. Go on, man. You wanted to try it.”
Pizzaiolos Louie and Carmen have been moonlighting as muggers with a highly unusual modus operandi—one that has thus far baffled the cops. Louie’s the driver, Carmen grabs the cash. But tonight it’s Louie’s turn to take Aunt Philomena’s handgun and conduct the holdup. What could possibly go wrong?
Buy “Louie’s Turn” in Crimeucopia: As In Funny Ha-Ha, Or Just Peculiar from Murderous Ink Press (UK). With stories by Jesse Hilson, Gabriel Stevenson, Maddi Davidson, Brandon Barrows, Robb T. White, Regina Clarke, Martin Zeigler, Andrew Hook, John M. Floyd, and more.
• “Captain Carthy’s Bride”
The mid-day sun seared the rocky shore. Seaweed baked, periwinkles shriveled in their shells, and the acrid smells of life and death rose and fell on the sighing waves. At the sound of a truck stopping on the road above the beach, Sheila O’Farrell lay back quickly on the narrow spit of sand and closed her eyes.
Sheila O’Farrell poses as a selkie so she can be “captured” by a dashing sea captain—thus escaping a life of drudgery in a small coastal town. Then the dark side of her deception comes back to haunt her.
Listen to “Captain Carthy’s Bride” on The Overcast, read by Rebecca Stern.
Buy “Captain Carthy’s Bride” in the Third Flatiron anthology Terra! Tara! Terror!, edited by Juliana Rew. With stories by Marie Vibbert, Steven Mathes, Wulf Moon, SFWA Grand Master Robert Silverberg, and others.
“a pleasing and easy-to-read story that concealed its ending twist well.” — review at Tangent
“a lovely dark twist on a selkie story.” — review in Mad Scientist Journal
• “The Hum of the Wheel, the Clack of the Loom”
She was a fairy—tiny and frail and beautiful with her iridescent wings folded modestly against her shoulder blades. I loved her. I believed her when she said she loved me.
A herdsman in love with a beautiful fairy is raising the magical creatures whose wool she weaves into cloth. But his loyalties are torn when she sets out to rid their town of evil and the wide net she casts captures his childhood friend.
Buy “The Hum of the Wheel, the Clack of the Loom” in Space and Time (Volume 140). With stories by Mariah Montoya, Louis B. Rosenberg, Maxwell I. Gold, Flavio Troisi, Nick Marone, Grace Chan (fiction), Alina Maciuc, and others. Edited by Angela Yuriko Smith.
Trapped for twenty years in the colony, Jac Wuo had grown to loathe Henge. All of it: the wind-scoured planet, his squabbling fellow colonists, and—especially—the silent, towering boulders that proved so impervious to their research. No one in the station would be surprised when they woke in a few hours to find Jac’s terse suicide note on their battered datapads.
The original version of “Patience” appears in the anthology Reading 5 x 5 , edited by B. Morris Allen, with stories by Caleb Warner, L. Chan, Vanessa Fogg, Beth Goder, Karl Dandenell, and others. The anthology asks the question “What if 5 different authors each wrote the same story?”
“Patience” is K.G. Anderson’s version of this “seed” story: Researchers are left on a remote planet to study the phenomenon of apparently sentient rocks. Their research founders for more than a decade and anger simmers as they await the return of the expedition’s flamboyant—and disturbingly evasive—leader.
You can also buy “Patience” in Allegory Magazine (Volume 37/64, Spring/Summer 2020). Includes fiction by Steve DuBoi, J.L. Royce, Daniel Olivieri, Mike Lyddon, P.R. O’Leary, Joshua Storrs, E.A. Petricone, Joseph Carrabis, Barry Charman, David M. Donachie, and Gina Easton.
• “Heroes of the Bridge”
“‘Well, I’m all for tearing it down.” The speaker was a busty young woman in a leopard-print trench coat. “There’s absolutely no question that it glorifies oppressive dictatorship.”
The friendship of two iconic artworks in Seattle’s Fremont arts district is threatened when one, a bronze statue of Vladimir Lenin, is deemed politically offensive and is slated for removal. The other statue, a concrete troll, urges Lenin to redeem himself by stopping a troubled man’s suicide attempt.
Buy “Heroes of the Bridge” in the ebook The Colored Lens: Winter 2020. With stories by Jamie Lackey, Michael J. Wyant, Jr., Nick Wisseman, Karter Mycroft, Janna Layton, Stephen Taylor, Douglas J. Eboch and Matt Ingoldby.
• “Invasion 101”
Martian Space Force Commander (Ret.) Ekkeron has fond memories of his cadet days, especially the field exercises in the Terran desert. But when the asteroid miner agrees to take on a last-minute substitute teaching gig for the Martian Academy and the schedule includes Invasion 101, he discovers that things have changed considerably.
Buy “Invasion 101” in Space Opera Libretti, edited by Brian McNett and Jennifer Lee Rossman. With stories by stories by James Dorr, Harry Turtledove, Bruce Taylor, Larry Hodges, Dawn Vogel and others. Available in paperback and ebook editions (2019).
• “Where the Train Goes”
Jamie hears trains at night in a dying town that has no tracks. An eccentric teacher tells him where he can find the trains, but warns him: sometimes the train stops and a man invites you to get on…
“A fine little fantasy. Beautifully told.” — review in SFRevue.
“The prose was engaging, and the story’s mystery kept it interesting.” — review in Tangent Online.
“Where the Train Goes” is in the Tangent Online 2019 Reading List.
Buy “Where the Train Goes” in Etherea Magazine #6 (ebook), along with stories by Jeffrey Sims, Michael Simon, Jay Caselberg, and others (January 2022).
Hear “Where the Train Goes” read by K.G. Anderson for Story Hour on Facebook Live.
“Please, Moira! The exopsychologists here at the Council want to study the ambassador, not help zhirm. Please—anything you can do.”
Therapist Moira Clark meets her most challenging client—the surviving half of the alien dyad that serves as the Vedan ambassador to Earth.
Listen to “Grief” on The Overcast podcast, narrated by Rebecca Stern and hosted by J.S. Arquin.
Buy “Grief” in Pioneers and Pathfinders, edited by Jessica Augustsson of JayHenge Publishing. This speculative fiction anthology includes stories by Katherine Quevedo, Linda H. Codega, Wendy S. Delmater, Holly Schofield and others (2019).
Read the review at All Our Words: Diverse Science Fiction.
“For me the best was ‘Grief,’ which involves an alien race where two entities function as one—not quite Trill, but you get the point. When one dies, the other part is inconsolable, so they get a human grief counselor to help.” — review on Amazon.com
“But don’t you have grandparents, Representative Podestra?” The talk show host leaned forward in an eager posture of faux concern. “How will you explain your proposed Age Equity Act to them?”
Vivian Podestra’s politician grandson has a plan to save the country a lot of money on Social Security and Medicare. It’s probably going to cost Vivian her life.
“The plot winds most satisfactorily to a conclusion that proves that not only politicians can be deceitful and devious.” — review in Tangent Online.
I’ve never seen an ocean, but I grew up playing ‘Rowboat’ in my family’s cramped living module on level C of Xinxin Colony. The worn blue carpet was the water, the concrete floor beyond it, a sandy shore. With a broomstick as an oar, I pretended I was Gramma Jen, rowing hard against the tide to get us home…
Listen to “Rowboat” on StarShipSofa, a District of Wonders podcast. Narrated by Farah Naz Rishi.
Buy “Rowboat” in Metaphorosis (February 2016).
• “I Know How You’ll Die”
I know how you’ll die. Not when, or why, or even where—though I could make a good guess. Based on what I can see. Because what I can see is what you’ll see—in the final moments before you die.
Drownings, car accidents, peaceful passings surrounded by loving family — she can foresee them all, and she’s learned to live with the knowledge. Until she meets a man whose violent death she must try desperately to prevent.
“I Know How You’ll Die” appears in Weirdbook #41 (2019) along with stories and poems by Adrian Cole, Darrell Schweitzer, S. L. Edwards, Aracibo Campeche, Marina Savila and others.
• “The Judge’s Chair”
The door to the Mercantile creaked, interrupting Sissy Davis’ reading of a massive oak dining table from last weekend’s estate sale. It was a strong, hearty piece of furniture, despite some scratches to the finish. Sissy was looking forward to placing it in a good home—once it had told her its whole story.
Sissy’s Antiques in Fraightsville, Texas, teeters on the brink of eviction for failure to pay rent. If only Sissy would stop listening to the strange stories her second-hand furniture tells.
“The Judge’s Chair” appears in Two Hour Transport Anthology 2019, a compendium of science fiction, fantasy, horror and literary fiction from Seattle-area authors including Elly Bangs, Keyan Bowes, Seelye Martin, Patrick Hurley, J. G. Follansbee, Nisi Shawl, Derek Fetters, Tod McCoy, Jon Lasser, Mitchell Shanklin, Andy Dudak, Oscar McNary, Evan J. Peterson, Theresa Barker, Nicole Bade, and Eileen Gunn.
• “Politics As Usual”
As the 2020 elections approach, “lone shooters” stage attacks in major cities. An obscure blogger spots a connection between the killers.
“While all the stories are worth your time, I really appreciated those by Louise Marley and K. G. Anderson. B Cubed Press knocks another one out of the park. — John A. Pitts, Amazon.com review
“KG Anderson’s vision of 2020 kept me awake last night as I considered the prophetic nature of her visions.” — review at Amazon.com
“The chilling ‘Politics as Usual’ by K.G. Anderson hit close to home for me, as I often drive past the Pittsburgh Synagogue used as a backdrop for this story. Interestingly, this is not for a debate about gun control, but rather a cleverly woven timetable that illustrates how voter suppression might evolve.” — review at Amazon.com
“‘Politics As Usual’ by K.G. Anderson, provides a cautionary tale describing a sad end to everything that opposes the current radical conservatism. It could herald a time of sticking your head under the covers, or a time of activism and sharp monitoring. The endgame this story foresees is a continuation of politics as usual. Anderson provides a peek at the road map that goes there.” — review at Amazon.com
Buy “Politics As Usual” in Alternative Truths III: Endgame from B Cubed Press. The anthology includes Louise Marley’s eerie prescient “The First Lady Is Missing” and Debora Godfrey’s hilarious “No Excuse,” about the revolving door at the Attorney General’s office (2019).
It wasn’t that people deliberately ignored me. They just didn’t notice me. Or half the time they thought I was somebody else. “Why did you guys make me so…average?”
Cait’s immigrant parents selected robust but generic DNA so their child could blend in with the dominant population. Now a teenager, Cait refuses to blend in. She’s about to discover the dangers of embracing the family’s ethnic heritage.
Read “Unnoticed” at the Factor Four Magazine website.
Buy “Unnoticed” in Issue #5 of Factor Four, with stories by D.A. Xiaolin Spires, Rebecca Birch, Stephen S. Power and others.
I’d said barely a word to anyone all the way from New York to Santa Fe, but the cowboy’s toothy grin disarmed me. “Where you from, miss?”
Mail-order bride Shulamit Pelz flees New York with her grandfather’s golem, pursued by Kabbalists seeking the creature’s magic. When her stagecoach is robbed in the New Mexico desert she meets a handsome outlaw and embarks on a path that makes Wild West history.
“I very much enjoyed this Jewish speculative Western — the first I’ve ever read of such a genre.” — review at SFFReviews.com
Read “Escape” at Luna Station Quarterly online.
Buy “Escape” in Issue 35 of Luna Station Quarterly with tales by Beth Goder, Wendy Nikel, Izzy Varju, Erin K. Wagner and others.
“Escape from the Lincoln County Courthouse” first appeared in 2016 in the Weird West anthology Story Emporium, featuring cover art by M. Wayne Miller.
K.G.’s essay on the lure of the Weird West appears in Nicole Givens Kurtz’s blog Other Worlds Pulp.
• “Different Meaning” (flash fiction)
Screw symbols. Put no faith in them. That arrow carved hastily—or artfully—into a tree? It points the way…
Read “Different Meaning” online at The Drabble.
• “Bad Memories, 2032”
An all-too-plausible glimpse into our future, “Bad Memories, 2032” imparts a shiver of recognition, a twinge of grief, and—perhaps—even a flash of empathy.
Buy “Bad Memories, 2032” in the anthology After the Orange: Ruin and Recovery (B Cubed Press; edited by Manny Frishberg). Stories by 29 science fiction authors including Brenda Cooper, John A. Pitts, Bruce Taylor, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Paula Hammond, J.G. Follansbee, Kara Dalkey, Edd Vick, Janka Hobbs, Keven David Anderson and Su J. Sokol.
• “The Right Man for the Job”
The chief of staff for a U.S. Senator paused in the kitchen doorway, a bottle of chilled Sauterne in each hand. “I can’t believe we’ve come to this,” he said.
Desperate Democrats on Capitol Hill hold a seance to ask Molly Ivins, Adlai Stevenson II, and Walter Cronkite to do something about the current administration. They send back LBJ—with boots, Scotch, and beagles—to haunt the White House.
Buy “The Right Man for the Job” in the anthology More Alternative Truths (B Cubed Press). Stories, poems and essays by Lou J Berger, David Brin, Adam-Troy Castro, Esther Friesner, Manny Frishberg, Philip Brian Hall, Rebecca McFarland Kyle, Vonda N. McIntyre, John A. Pitts, Irene Radford, Mike Resnick, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Edd Vick, Jim Wright, Jane Yolen and many others.
“My favorites of the lot are K.G. Anderson’s, ‘The Right Man for the Job,’ in which frustrated Democrats hold a séance in an attempt to find a solution to our Trump problem. It’s witty and fun!” — review on Amazon.com
• “Everything Is Fixed Now”
The device Samantha’s company makes for corporate fitness programs is collecting medical data — without employees’ knowledge. Are “health risks” being fired — or allowed to die?
Buy “Everything Is Fixed Now” in the anthology Welcome to Dystopia: 45 Visions of What Lies Ahead edited by Gordon Van Gelder (OR Books, 2017) (available in print and audio). Stories by 45 authors including Elizabeth Bourne, Ron Goulart, Eileen Gunn, Les Howle, Janis Ian, Barry N. Malzberg, David Marusek, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Ruth Nestvold, Marguerite Reed, Robert Reed, Madeleine E. Robins, Geoff Ryman, James Sallis, J. M. Sidarova, Harry Turtledove, Ray Vukcevich, and Jane Yolen. Reviewed in Publishers Weekly. Reviewed in Strange Horizons.
• “The Light of Two Moons”
Jan’s hopes had faded like the old graffiti scrawled on the mud wall of the Dein compound. The throbbing of a rotor overhead sparked no thought of rescue. He had long forgotten his plans for escape.
“The Light of Two Moons” appeared in Ares Magazine online.
• “Patti 209”
She designed “the elder-care environment of the future,” but finds herself, 30 years later, a numbered inmate in the place. With Medicare and Social Security long gone and dignity a luxury, Patti 209 confronts life-and-death decisions.
Buy “Patti 209” in the Alternative Truths anthology. 24 authors had 100 days to write about the 45th president; stories by Jim Wright (of Stonekettle Station), Blaze Ward, Daniel Kimmel, Janka Hobbs, Marleen Barr and Adam Troy-Castro. Edited by Phyllis Irene Radford and Bob Brown.
“‘Patti 209,’ by K.G. Anderson, is a sad story—and one that may stick with you a while. Like its predecessor, it’s written—and well written, too—from an “if this goes on” perspective.” —review at AmazingStories.com
“‘Patti 209’ and ‘Relics: A Fable’ are good old-fashioned New Wave-style dystopian tales.” — review at Amazon.com
(POEM – 2017)
“From the sky
to the lake
to the pipes
to the tap…”
Hear (or read) “Soup” online at Poetry on Buses.
• “My Job Is Hell”
Up at 5, take the hellhound walkies, then catch the Underground to Styxbridge for a bagel with sulfur spread. They say Hell is other people, but somehow I’m always alone. I trot along the hot lavawalk to the office, clutching my flaming triple espresso. Sure, we’ve got Eternity here, but I’d rather not be late…
Read “My Job Is Hell” online at Every Day Fiction.
“Corporate Hell, what a concept, with just the right amount of bureaucratic red tape and cynicism.” — comment at Every Day Fiction
A distraught mother of a runaway teen visits her great-aunts’ decaying summer cottage. The great-aunts reveal magical talents and disturbing family secrets, tempting Ellie with glimpses of what her life might have been — and yet could be.
Buy “Unraveling” in the anthology Triangulation: Beneath the Surface. Stories by James Van Pelt, Sandra M. Odell, Manny Frishberg, and others.
• “The Bookman” (flash fiction)
The stranger at the bus stop held a tattered book with a faded pink-and-white dust jacket — a $950 first American edition…
Read “The Bookman” online at The Drabble.
• “His Last Victim”
Puryear snickered as I took a turn about the hall, swishing my skirts. I came to a stop beside the burly plain-clothes man and smacked him on the arm with a worn kid glove. “That’s ‘Inspector Judy’ to you, Sergeant.”
A young police officer volunteers for a novel undercover role, one for which he is uniquely suited. Thus disguised, he witnesses the Ripper’s last horrific crime — and glimpses the high-level cover-up that drew the curtain over the killer’s identity.
Buy “His Last Victim” in The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories. Edited by Maxim Jakubowski. Stories by Carol Anne Davis, Martin Edwards, Barbara Nadel, William Meikle, Steve Rasnic Tem, and others.