Thursday, December 3, 2015

My Story in "Dear Robot: An Anthology of Epistolary Science Fiction"

In a time when I should be writing letters to the editor or Congress on serious topics such as gun control and abortion rights, it seems a little frivolous to talk about what inspired me to write a little piece of flash fiction for “Dear Robot: An Anthology of Epistolary Science Fiction,” edited by Kelly Ann Jacobson, but here goes.

I called my story “Considerations of Having Royalty as Namesake.” I myself was named after the queen of the Netherlands, Koningin Juliana. At the time, only 40 in 1,000,000 babies got that name. My namesake’s weakness for the preternatural landed in the headlines: she invited to the palace a crackpot from California who numbered among his friends men from Mars, Venus, and other solar-system suburbs ( Understandably, it was much more popular in that era to name your daughter after Queen Elizabeth or Queen Victoria.

However, upon closer inspection, I see that popularity of my name has increased tenfold since I was born. Go me!

Oh, I personally have nothing to do with it, you say? That was the kernel of the inspiration for the story. I tried to picture a future galactic civilization that can extrapolate one’s future actions based on the history of one’s name (a la psychohistory in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, see

Well, let’s just say that based on the long-term scientific evidence, people with royal names just haven’t turned out to be good eggs, so our protagonist receives a detailed letter explaining why he’s about to be terminated.

For a chance to win a copy of Dear Robot and read it for yourself, comment on this or any other Dear Robot blog post by my fellow contributors or Kelly herself (the blog roll is at by midnight on Friday, December 4. Include your email address in the post (deconstructed as, for example, dearrobot (at) gmail dot com to thwart the spambots!). You can also check out Goodreads by December 10 for another chance to win. Or just go ahead and buy a copy on Amazon (; it works out to less than fifty cents per story!

1 comment:

  1. That's hysterical about your name sake and a great origin for a story; I can't wait to read your tale!