Cat Rambo lives, writes, and edits from atop a hill in the Pacific Northwest. Her most recent novel is Hearts of Tabat (Wordfire Press) but 2018 also sees the debut of her writing book Moving From Idea to Finished Draft (Plunkett Press). Information about her online school, The Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers (, along with links to many of her 200+ story publications can be found at her website ( She has swum with sharks and ridden an elephant, performed the hula at the Locus Awards, danced with the devil in the pale moonlight, and is currently serving her second term as the President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Cat Rambo has the following works available at Clarkesworld:

Another Word: Stories that Change the World

NON-FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 149 – February 2019

I run an online writing school, and part of that means coming up with new class ideas, ones that interest and engage and allow people to find new tools for their writerly use. Classes such as How to Write Steampunk and Weird Western, Using Literary Techniques in Genre Writing, and How to Write Flash Fiction. […]

Another Word: The Future, Ordinary

NON-FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 141 – June 2018

I love me a space epic full of improbability drives and warp mechanics as much as any science fiction reader, and I’ve written more than a few stories in that milieu, gleefully flinging about concepts like living spaceships, FTL, and galaxy-spanning brains. But I will admit that my affection is most firmly claimed by quieter, […]

Another Word: Saving Throw Vs. Boredom: How RPGs Taught Me Storytelling

NON-FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 138 – March 2018

Last year I returned to one of my old loves. I’d put it aside for a while: things were busy, there was never time, it took so much energy from writing efforts. And then a friend asked about it and, well . . . I speak of tabletop role-playing games, and the empress of them all, Dungeons & […]

Another Word: The Subtle Art of Promotion

NON-FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 131 – August 2017

The old perception of how publishing works goes something like this: the author delivers the finished work to their publisher, goes through a few editing passes, and after that, their responsibility is done, aside from having to appear wherever the publisher or their agent books them. There’s room for the reclusive genius in this model: […]

Another Word: Reading For Pleasure

NON-FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 126 – March 2017

I have a friend—more than one of them, really—who complains about having encountered a phenomenon that I personally would consider a fate worse than death. They are always writers, and they complain that “writing has spoiled reading for them.” They’re just too aware of the mistakes, they say. The nuts and bolts are way too […]

Another Word: Peacetalk, Hate Speech

NON-FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 119 – August 2016

Clarkesworld was kind enough to solicit another essay and so, I’ve been mulling over what to say and letting that reflection guide my reading. A particular reread finally moved me to start jotting things down, prompted by the wealth of empty-headed and hateful rhetoric that’s marked some of the recent dust-ups, certainly in the sphere […]

Left Behind

FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 116 – May 2016

Her office doorway was one of the many things that annoyed Shi about her job. It wasn’t a proper door, one that could be closed, but an open arch. She’d complained about it more than once, but been told that doors were antithetical to the institute’s brand. “It signifies openness,” the director had said, smiling […]

Another Word: On Reading, Writing, and the Classics

NON-FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 111 – December 2015

In many ways I’m glad that I didn’t have the Internet when growing up; among them is the effect it had on my reading. I was a rapid reader and I read all over the place, frequently re-reading if it was something interesting or I was driven to it by boredom and lack of other […]

Another Word: #PurpleSF

NON-FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 100 – January 2015

The recent bizarre events of Gamergate have had me musing about feminism a lot in the past few months. (If you’re unfamiliar with the Gamergate phenomenon, it’s a recent controversy among video gamers that different sides have said is about different things, but which, no matter what you believe, seems to involve a great deal […]

Tortoiseshell Cats Are Not Refundable

FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 89 – February 2014

Antony bought the kit at Fry’s in the gray three months after Mindy’s death. He swam in and out of fog those days, but he still went frequently to the electronics store and drifted through its aisles, examining hard drives, routers, televisions, microphones, video games, garden lights, refrigerators, ice cream makers, rice cookers, all with […]

Whose Face This Is I Do Not Know

FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 56 – May 2011

I glance in the glass wall’s reflection. It faces me twenty feet away as I walk up the stairs, marble slab steps showing grainy pink underneath my red sneakers. My fingers clutch the railing’s chrome. I’m feeling shaky, that internal quiver where your body announces that it may not be up to this. I focus […]

The Mermaids Singing Each to Each

FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 38 – November 2009

Niko leaned behind me in the cabin, raising his voice to be heard over the roar of engine and water, “When you Choose, which is it going to be? Boy or girl?” I would have answered, if I thought it really mattered to him. But we were off shore by then, headed for the Lump, […]

Worm Within

FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 24 – September 2008

The LED bug kicks feebly, trying to push itself away from the wall. Its wings are rounds of mica, and the hole in its carapace where someone has tacked it to the graying boards reveals cogs and gears, almost microscopic in their dimension. The light from its underside is the cobalt of distress. It flutters […]

I'll Gnaw Your Bones, the Manticore Said

FICTION by Cat Rambo in Issue 10 – July 2007

Even Duga the Prestidigitator, who never pays much attention to anything outside his own hands, raised an eyebrow when I announced I’d be hooking the manticore up to my wagon. “Isn’t that dangerous?” my husband Rik said. He steepled his fingers, regarding me. “The more we have pulling, the faster we get there,” I pointed […]