John Chu is a microprocessor architect by day, a writer, translator, and podcast narrator by night. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming at Boston Review, Uncanny, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and among other venues. His translations have been published or is forthcoming at Clarkesworld, The Big Book of SF, and other venues. He has narrated for podcasts such as EscapePod, PodCastle, and Lightspeed. His story “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” won the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Short Story.


John Chu has the following works available at Clarkesworld:

No Way Back

FICTION by Chi Hui, translated by John Chu in Issue 171 – December 2020

Master Hacker 11:30 a.m. knock, knock, knock. “Hey, Xuejiao, someone’s knocking at the door.” Aksha puts its paw on my face. “I know.” I roll over to my other side, pull the blanket over my head, and continue to dream happy dreams. knock, knock, knock. Aksha burrows out from under the blanket, stretches gracefully, and […]

The Calculations of Artificials

FICTION by Chi Hui, translated by John Chu in Issue 121 – October 2016

Introduction: Some numbers In the year 2042, 2248 Actual people but 11.26 million Artificial people lived in the city of Mian on the continent of Asia. Meanwhile, 7.2 billion Artificials lived in the world as opposed to only 1.44 million Actuals. Out of those, only 127 people knew the truth about the world. 1 - […]

The Sentry Branch Predictor Spec: A Fairy Tale

FICTION by John Chu in Issue 118 – July 2016

Introduction Once upon a time1, one single processor filled five whole rooms, one per pipeline stage. Myriad pinballs flooded through the processor and (so I’ve been told) you could chase them from one stage to another to see its machinations in action. The pinballs clicked, clacked, and crunched through gates and slammed into the maws […]

Another Word: The Vaguely Picaresque Adventures of a New Writer

NON-FICTION by John Chu in Issue 105 – June 2015

In 2012, a contingent of Chinese fans go to ChiCon 7. I think I may have chatted with all of them. The Three Body Problem, Liu Cixin’s hard SF trilogy comes up again and again. (Yes, the actual name of the trilogy is Remembrance of Earth’s Past but no one I talk to ever calls […]

Mrs. Griffin Prepares to Commit Suicide Tonight

FICTION by A Que, translated by John Chu in Issue 104 – May 2015

When LW31, a domestic model robot, brought Mrs. Griffin’s dinner into her bedroom, it found her preparing to commit suicide. She was trying to tie a rope to the pendant lamp, but, at her age, her eyes were too weak and her hands were no longer steady. She tried again and again but she couldn’t […]

A Universal Elegy

FICTION by Tang Fei, translated by John Chu in Issue 100 – January 2015

I love you, stranger, but not because the world is hurting me. Before my love froze, it once flew. —The Elegy of Alia Alia Calendar 6th month, 87th year Brother, it’s not until my tongue stumbles over these two syllables that I realize how long it’s been since we last talked. Julian and I kept […]


FICTION by Tang Fei, translated by John Chu in Issue 93 – June 2014

“Let’s go to the amusement park.” As Pepe speaks, a ray of red light scratches her face. Her face looks wounded then healed, welcoming some other color of light. “But we’re already here.” I look silly holding the cigarette, but I’m holding it anyway. We stand in the shadow of a Ferris wheel. Pepe’s white […]
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