Derek Künsken’s “Water and Diamond” was inspired by discussions of technology and societal change in China at the 2017 “Technology and the Good Future” SF workshop, which was jointly hosted by Ant Financial Services Group and Future Affairs Administration (Guokr Publishing) in Hangzhou, China. The story takes place in the same universe as Derek’s novel The Quantum Magician, which was serialized in Analog and just released in book form by Solaris in October.
Nick Wolven’s science fiction has appeared most recently in the themed anthology Infinity’s End and The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, both edited by Jonathan Strahan. His fiction usually examines the unsavory knock-on effects of rapid technological advance, but in his latest yarn, he draws on the classic SF blend of optimism and curiosity, turning his eyes to the clouds in search of adventure.
Julie Novakova <www.julienovakova.com> is an award-winning Czech author of science fiction and detective stories. She’s published seven novels, one anthology, one collection, and over thirty stories in Czech. Her work in English has appeared in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, Analog, and other magazines and anthologies. Her work has been translated into Chinese, Romanian, German, Filipino, Estonian, and Portuguese. She’s also active in science outreach and education, nonfiction writing, and translation.
William Ledbetter <www.williamledbetter.com> is a Nebula-award-winning SF author with a long career in the aerospace industry. He is an avowed technology geek, fascinated by robotics, AI, humanity’s future, and space travel. He also administers the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award contest for Baen Books and the National Space Society. William’s debut novel, a science fiction thriller titled Level Five, published by Audible Originals, is available in audio format at audible.com. The prompt for his first Asimov’s story was a sculpture vaguely resembling a macramé squid created by Texas artist Stacy Tompkins for the annual Art & Words show.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch inadvertently took a few months off writing for a move from the Oregon Coast to Las Vegas. She always seems to pick extremes—from a rainy coastal environment to a sunny desert. Kris is enjoying the sunshine more than she expected. Her recent publications include Searching for the Fleet, a Diving novel, that appeared in September. “Joyride” is part of an as-yet-untitled side novel set in the Diving universe, but without the regular characters. Kris tells us she often writes stories to explain things to herself. This time, she had to explain an entire world. For updates on her work, and a free short story every Monday, go to kriswrites.com.
Linda Nagata has lived most of her life in Hawaii, where she’s been a writer, a mom, a programmer of database-driven websites, and an independent publisher. She lives with her husband in their long-time home on the island of Maui. Linda is a Nebula and Locus-award-winning writer, and the author of many high-tech science fiction novels including The Red: First Light, a near-future military thriller that was a finalist for both the Nebula and John W. Campbell Memorial awards. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo, Locus, and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial awards, and has appeared in several best-of-the-year anthologies. Her Campbell Memorial-nominated novel, Memory, was the inspiration for her latest tale.
David Ebenbach <davidebenbach.com> is the author of six books of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, including the novel Miss Portland and the short story collection The Guy We Didn’t Invite to the Orgy and Other Stories. He lives with his wife and son in Washington, DC, where he teaches creative writing at Georgetown University. David’s first story for Asimov’s is set in the same milieu as his just-completed novel How to Mars.
Tom Purdom says, “For most of my life I’ve been beguiled by two incompatible lifestyles: the life of achievement and the life of leisure. I’m still trying to balance those two conflicting visions of the good life now that I’m eighty-two, but I’m taking a more relaxed approach. Nowadays, I do just enough work to keep the compulsive achiever happy and spend the rest of my time enjoying the pleasures of city life, including the luxury of idling in public places like parks and bookstore coffee shops.”
Ray Nayler’s January/February 2017 story, “Winter Timeshare,” was selected for inclusion in Volume 35 of The Year’s Best Science Fiction, edited by Gardner Dozois, in Gardner Dozois’s The Very Best of the Best: 35 Years of the Year’s Best Science Fiction, and in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018, edited by Rich Horton. A Foreign Service Officer, Ray speaks Russian and Azerbaijani Turkish and has lived and worked in Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus for over a decade. His most recent post was as Press Attaché at the United States Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan. Ray is currently studying Albanian at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia, in preparation for his posting to Pristina, Kosovo. In his new story, Ray turns to the old west.