Fiction and other works published in other venues, and written by Rajiv Moté. A few of my stories show up on my GoodReads author page. The anthologies I’m in show up on my Amazon author page. I also have stories I didn’t sell, which I’m putting up to read in Unsold Tales.


“The Troubling History of Lord Bodding of the Inlet” in Improbable Quarterly

Short fantasy fiction, 5,000 words, 2022. “Fellow travelers Vijay and Maanvi Sen offered to take a picture of Aga and me in front of the sign. “The Kraken” is one of Mr. Sen’s favorite poems. Mrs. Sen rolls her eyes as her husband declares that Tennyson was really a Hindu.” [Coming in 2022]

“In Roaring She Shall Rise” in Escape Pod

Flash science fiction, 500 words, September 2020. “When the octopuses first came to the city, they learned by manipulating slides, levers, and knobs. They embraced it down to their self-edited RNA, growing strong enough to open doors against the water’s press, sprouting tentacles at the tips of their arms to better manipulate the tools they found. Their brains grew, as did their numbers. The ubiquity of walls gave the octopuses a strong territorial sense, but they became social for defense against a parade of invaders.” [Commentary]

“Local Hero” in Dream of Shadows issue 2

Short fantasy fiction, 1,200 words, June 2020.Across the gallery from Garga stood Sheketh’s massive statue of Borag the Liberator, down on one knee, muscles coiled with power, his massive arms holding up his great shield to the sky as if to blot out the sun. Borag the Rebel, who defied the Dark Lord and shepherded the Halflings to the very Mountain of Fire, destroying the tyrant’s power and freeing the Black Land. Borag the Defiant, who lifted the Halflings on his shield to their rescue, even as a molten river consumed him, leaving only his shield to tell the story.” [Commentary] [Full text for free!]

Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear?” (Reprint) in Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volume 5

Short dark fantasy fiction, 3,500 words, May 2020.Before the arch was the Gatekeeper, tall and sinister in his feathered cloak and tufted helm. He allowed some of those who approached to pass. Others, he punished horrifically, their remains strewn across the courtyard to crawl and knit themselves together. Jaan remembered that, but trying to discern a pattern was like grasping at smoke.” [Commentary] [Full text for free!]

GOP Talking Points For President Trump’s Fifth Avenue Massacre” on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Satire, 400 words. “MYTH: “The President stood in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot [somebody].” FACT: It was East 57th Street, the President was on the sidewalk, and there were multiple targets.” [Commentary]

The Old Ones, Great and Small” in Diabolical Plots Year 5

Short weird fiction, 2,800 words. “School’s out, and everybody wants to see the Great Old Ones in their new, “natural” habitats: the line into the Miskatonic Zoo doubles back and winds out the gates.” [Commentary]

L’Appel du Vide” in Metaphorosis 39

Short fabulist fiction, 3,900 words. “Isaac rode the wind, banking between buildings and circling landmarks laid out below him. At this height, the noise of the city was drowned out by the rush of air past his ears. Nobody could touch him here. Nobody could reach him. City blocks become patterns of multicolored geometry.” “The Call of the Void” is a phenomenon where a person standing at a precipice has the unreasonable, outrageous urge to step out into the abyss. [Commentary]

Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear?” in Honey and Sulfur

Short dark fantasy fiction, 3,500 words.All eyes drew skyward. The black, jumbled shapes of wings, beaks, and talons burst through the sooty clouds in utter silence. There were birds and there were Birds, and these were the latter. Insufficiently tormented souls eventually drew Birds. They were living voids, bird-shaped holes in the universe, and they inspired primeval horror beyond all torture when they appeared.” [Commentary] [Full text for free!]

Matchstick Reveries” in Truancy 5

Short fantasy fiction, 2,700 words. The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth. The X-Men meets “The Little Match Girl” in the Retributive Social Justice Phoenix Saga. [Commentary]

Ready” in Friday Flash Fiction

Flash fiction, 100 words. “He has the edge now. He spreads himself out in his seat, reclaiming space. The inside-waistband holster presses into his gut, damp where it touches skin.”

Remember the Ifrit” in Cast of Wonders 242

Flash science fiction, 500 words. The video just doesn’t capture it. Do you remember that time we took a skyboat through the candy-colored clouds of Hyperion and saw a live Ifrit? [Commentary]

Old Customs” in Unlikely Story 12.5

Fabulist fiction, 2,000 words. Sometimes the brightest festivals can be born from darkness. Now it’s a huge celebration of color and music, attracting tourists from all over the world, but looking back through the generations reveals painful origins. [Commentary]


“Rajiv’s Threads In the Pattern: A Turning of the Wheel” on Dragonmount

Nonfiction, 1,300 words, November 2021. The Amazon Prime Video adaptation of The Wheel of Time is an interpretation, not a translation of the books. And that’s exciting. SPOILERS for the book and the show trailers.

“Rajiv’s Threads In the Pattern: Teaser Trailer Analysis” on Dragonmount

Nonfiction, 1,900 words, September 2021. The teaser trailer for Amazon Prime’s adaptation of The Wheel of Time is full of hints about what has changed from the books. (SPOILERS for The Eye of the World.)

“Rajiv’s Threads In the Pattern: Out Of a Gleeman’s Tale” on Dragonmount

Nonfiction, 2,300 words, July 2021. The Wheel of Time is metafiction: story about stories, a story that’s aware it is a story. And that lets it takes the levers and gears of storytelling and expose them as elements of the fictional universe, turning the destiny of plot into a kind of dharma for its characters.

“Rajiv’s Threads In the Pattern: The Apocryphal Epic of Bao the Wyld” on Dragonmount

Nonfiction, 1,300 words, April 2021. Demandred–where he was and what he was up to–was one of the biggest, most consequential mysteries in The Wheel of Time. But somewhere between Lord of Chaos and Winter’s Heart, Robert Jordan changed the truth behind the mystery. In the deleted sequence “River of Souls,” Brandon Sanderson provides a look into the world-building to support the new revelation, and why it all couldn’t be included in A Memory of Light. (SPOILERS for all things Demandred.)

“Rajiv’s Threads In the Pattern: Wanda and the Wheel” on Dragonmount

Nonfiction, 1,700 words, March 2021. “Comparing WandaVision to The Wheel of Time suggests the ingredients for fandom-level engagement: Hang a lampshade on the mysteries, use each installment to recontextualize the previous, create a story world rich enough for scholarship, and pause between installments to invite fans into the storytelling. (SPOILERS for The Wheel of Time and very minor spoilers for WandaVision.)”

“Rajiv’s Threads In the Pattern: A Different Dance” on Dragonmount

Nonfiction, 1,600 words, January 2021. “Fantasy readers may think they know the steps to Rand’s and Egwene’s dance, but the Wheel weaves them a different fate, as the opposing forces that together weave the Pattern.”

“Rajiv’s Threads In the Pattern: The Dad Also Rises” on Dragonmount

Nonfiction, 1,200 words, November 2020. “Conventional genre wisdom says for that the son to rise, the father must fall. But The Wheel of Time has other plans. Rajiv Moté explores how Tam al’Thor was a dad with more to do than set his son on the path. He had an arc to complete that began long before he and his son saw a dark rider in the Westwood.”

“Rajiv’s Threads In the Pattern: The Chosen One’s Legacy” on Dragonmount

Nonfiction, 1,900 words, September 2020. “These days, it’s not enough for the Chosen One to defeat the Dark Lord and claim the throne. Our hero must leave the world a better place. Rajiv Moté explores how Rand al’Thor left a legacy for the Fourth Age in The Wheel of Time. “

“Rajiv’s Threads In the Pattern: Unaffiliated Evils” on Dragonmount

Nonfiction, 1,900 words, August 2020. “The Dark One is the source of evil in The Wheel of Time, and his army of monsters is formidable. Hulking man/beast soldiers, eyeless swordsmen, soul-sucking bat-men, unnoticeable assassins, evil hounds, Power-resistant gumbies, giant worms, and the giant insects they become. But the scariest monsters in the saga are creatures without a direct link to the Dark One, unaffiliated evils who haunt the corners of the Pattern, with nefarious purposes beyond the battle between the Dark One and the Dragon. Let’s look at five of them.”

“Rajiv’s Threads In the Pattern: Prologues and Epilogues” on Dragonmount

Nonfiction, 1,000 words, August 2020. “I love prologues and epilogues. They let authors–and their readers–play at the edges of the story. They bridge the installments, expand the world, or just provide more emotional build-up and release. The early-release Wheel of Time prologues, beginning with ‘Snow’ from Winter’s Heart, were like trailers for long-awaited movies. The epilogues of comic books–and the post-credits scenes of the movies comic books inspire–suggest possibilities sometimes more exciting than the stories themselves. ‘The Grey Havens’ in The Lord of the Rings taught grade-school-age me the notion of beautiful melancholy.”

Lord of Chaos (Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time) Book and Chapter Summaries on Dragonmount

Nonfiction resource. Book and chapter summaries for the sixth book of Robert Jordan’s the Wheel of Time. Dragonmount has assembled summaries as a resource for new fans before the release of Amazon Prime’s television adaptation.

New Spring (Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of TimeBook and Chapter Summaries on Dragonmount

Nonfiction resource. Book and chapter summaries for the prequel book to Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time. Dragonmount has assembled summaries as a resource for new fans before the release of Amazon Prime’s television adaptation.

Artisanal Software: Fostering a Culture of Ownership” in Tech Blog

Nonfiction, 1,200 words. If you want software developers to own their work, their workplace should be more like a craftsman’s workshop than an assembly line.