Rick Wilber is an award-winning writer, editor and teacher who has published more than fifty short stories, several novels and short-story collections, three edited anthologies, a memoir, and a half-dozen college textbooks on writing and the mass media.
Alien Morning, his recent novel for Tor Books, is the first of a trilogy based on his long-running S’hudonni Empire series of stories, featuring a jovial but deadly alien named Twoclicks, his shape-changing sidekick, and an all-too human journalist from Earth, Peter Holman, a one-time professional athlete turned celebrity journo who goes to work for the S’hudonni as their media interface with Earth. The novel was a finalist for the 2016 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction novel of 2016. Rick is at work on the next book in the trilogy, Alien Day.
Among works in progress for 2018 are the books Making History: Classic Alternate History Stories (New Word City, 2018); an ebook and trade paperback edition of The Wandering Warriors (New Word City, 2018) co-authored with Alan Smale; the short-story collection Several Items of Interest and Other Stories (New Word City 2018); and the collection Something Real: Alternate Histories of Baseball Player and Spy Moe Berg (New Word City, 2018).
The Making History reprint anthology includes classic stories from Karen Joy Fowler, Gregory Benford, Sheila Finch, Rich Larson, Lisa Goldstein, Kathleen Goonan, Harry Turtledove, Eileen Gunn and Michael Swanwick, Maureen McHugh, Nisi Shawl, Alan Smale, Walter Jon Williams, Michaela Roessner, Louise Marley, Ben Loory, Nicholas DiChario, and Michael Bishop.
Rick’s most recent college textbook is the introductory text, Media Matters (Kendall Hunt 2018), which introduces students to the history, business structure and possible futures of books, newspapers and magazines, sound recording, film, television, public relations, advertising, mass media research, free speech issues, social media and more. The book was written with significant help from colleagues Edward Jay Friedlander, Kelli Burns, Roxanne Watson and Kenneth Killebrew. Previous college textbooks from Rick include Modern Media Writing (Cengage Learning, 2002), with Randy Miller; The Writer’s Handbook for Editing and Revision (NTC, 1996) and Magazine Feature Writing (St. Martin’s Press, 1994).
Rick’s most recent short fiction is the novella, “The Secret City,” scheduled for the September/October issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. The story is the fourth in a series of alternate-history stories about famous World War II baseball player and spy, Moe Berg. The stories have all appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, and include the novelette “Something Real,” which won the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History—Short Form, in 2012.
Other recent short fiction includes the short story, “Today is Today,” in issue #9 (July 2018) of The Stonecoast Review; the co-authored (with Alan Smale) novella, “The Wandering Warriors,” which was the cover story in the May/June 2018 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine; the novelette, “In Dublin, Fair City,” in the same magazine’s November/December 2017 issue; “Rambunctious” in the June/July 2016 issue of Asimov’s; and the novelette “Walking to Boston” in the October/November issue of the same magazine.
Rick is notable as an award-winning and prolific writer in the field of baseball fantasy, with some twenty baseball-themed stories published in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Elysian Fields Quarterly, Spitball and elsewhere. He is the editor of the recent anthology Field of Fantasies: Baseball Stories of the Strange and Supernatural (Night Shade/Skyhorse, 2014), featuring nearly two-dozen classic baseball fantasy stories by writers ranging from Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan to Karen Joy Fowler, Jack Kerouac, Rod Serling, John Kessel, Harry Turtledove, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Robert Coover, Kim Stanley Robinson, Louise Marley, Ron Carlson, W.P. Kinsella, and many others. Other baseball-themed work includes the baseball mystery novel, Rum Point (McFarland, 2009) and the memoir, My Father’s Game: Life, Death, Baseball (McFarland, 2007) about the caregiving role and about his father’s career in baseball. Broad Street Review said the memoir is a book “about the mythology of baseball … written with fine observation and wry understatement, and may well become a classic in the literature.”
Rick is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Western State Colorado University, where he teaches in the Genre Writing area of the low-residency Creative Writing MFA program. A longtime professor of journalism and creative writing, Rick is administrator and co-founder with Sheila Williams, editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, of the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing, awarded annually at the Conference on the Fantastic in Orlando, Florida. The award will celebrate its twenty-fifth year at ICFA in March of 2019.
Rick lives in the St. Petersburg, Florida area of the West Coast of Florida and that area’s barrier islands have often figured into his stories and novels. Alien Morning is set primarily on one of those islands. Important parts of the novel also take place in Ireland, where Rick led college students on for-credit study tours every summer for more than twenty years. He is married to Robin Wilber, a finance professor at St. Petersburg College, and they have two adult children.