Author Spotlight: Marc Criley

Which author is your biggest inspiration?

China Mieville cracked open my mind, showed me how to imagine things that I didn’t know could even be imagined. That opened the creative floodgates for me, and I’ve been paddling that river ever since.

What’s your favorite science fiction short story, book, movie?

S.B. Divya’s “Binaries”—she crams so much humanity and urgency into a mere 900 words.

Mieville’s “Perdido Street Station” for the aforementioned reasons.

“Arrival” hit all my SF buttons: aliens, brooding artifacts, linguistics, and smart humans capable of wonder, curiosity, and humanity.

What advantages do you think flash fiction has to offer you as a writer?

Honing your words, learning to cleave off the dull, the extraneous, the anything that doesn’t advance the story. This is necessary for any writing, but flash fiction puts it under the hot lights.

What are your greatest challenges with writing flash and micro fiction?

Throwing off all writing inhibitions. You get less than a thousand words, so there’s no words to waste, every word and sentence has to be “pedal to the metal”. That can be wearing to the reader of a short story, but for flash and micro the effect is bracing.

Is your favorite genre to write in sci-fi?

I’ve only been writing for a few years now, having gotten a late start in my 50s (it’s never too late to start writing!), so I’m still trying all the positions. I seem to lean more towards science fantasy, but I’m quite happy with the more middle-of-the-road sci-fi I’ve written as well.

Where can readers find your other work and which story are you the most proud of?

My writing is only now starting to be published, with my first pro-market story, “Shattered Hand”, coming out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies just about…now. It was a bear to write and I’m chuffed at how it came out. Another story, “A Multitude of Sparks Descend”, wrecks me whenever I read it, but I don’t yet have a publication date for it.

I maintain an author website at, with my bibliography at

Are there any links you’d like to share where readers can follow you?

As @That_MarcC I tweet noisily about writing, software, Alabama, archaeology, Tammy the Dog, politics, and whatever shiny things catch my attention. Y’all are welcome to follow along!