In 2001 Jack Skillingstead submitted a story to Stephen King’s “On Writing” contest. He won and not long afterward began selling regularly to major science fiction and fantasy markets. To date he has sold more than forty stories to various magazines, Year’s Best volumes and original anthologies. In 2003 his story “Dead Worlds” was a finalist for the Theodore Sturgeon Award and in 2009 his novel Life on The Preservation was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. Jack lives in Seattle with his wife, writer Nancy Kress.


Jack Skillingstead has the following works available at Clarkesworld:

The Sum of Her Expectations

FICTION by Jack Skillingstead in Issue 133 – October 2017

Amrita stabilized the escape pod. Her hands were shaking; she had barely gotten out. The Meghnad Saha, a Class B planet surveyor she’d called home, retreated from the aft view screen, dropping rapidly from the orbital plane, pulled down by a force from the planet. “Tripp?” Amrita said. After a moment, a voice from the […]


FICTION by Jack Skillingstead and Burt Courtier in Issue 125 – February 2017

It will be a particularly brutal kill, even by her standards. She sat in warm shade at an outdoor café along the Calle de las Huertes, not far from the Prado Museum. Sonia needed to work in public spaces, needed to witness the human cost. Tourists, students, illegals, and the unemployed crowded the surrounding tables—all […]

The Despoilers

FICTION by Jack Skillingstead in Issue 120 – September 2016

Sometimes Allegra had to get away from the dying man. Inevitably her steps brought her to Destiny. The lander stood in a field of high grass, the last unnatural thing on 51 PegesiD. Of course, the dying man would say Allegra herself must stop challenging the natural order. Wind moved the grass in purple waves, […]

Salvage Opportunity

FICTION by Jack Skillingstead in Issue 114 – March 2016

“Sometimes I wish I could touch you,” I said, lying on my bunk, not touching anyone. I was alone on Kepler-186f. My bodiless Companion voice, replied, “You’ve mentioned that before.” “I don’t think so.” “Actually, Badar, you have. Five times in the last twenty-two days.” “It couldn’t be that many times.” “Couldn’t it? I can […]