Julie Nováková is a scientist, educator and award-winning Czech author, editor and translator of science fiction, fantasy and detective stories. She published seven novels, one anthology, one story collection and over thirty short pieces in Czech. Her work in English appeared in Clarkesworld, Asimov’s, Analog, and elsewhere. Her works have been translated into eight languages so far, and she translates Czech stories into English (in Tor.com, Strange Horizons, F&SF, Clarkesworld, and Welkin Magazine). She edited or co-edited an anthology of Czech speculative fiction in translation, Dreams From Beyond, a book of European SF in Filipino translation, Haka, an outreach ebook of astrobiological SF, Strangest of All, and its more ambitious follow-up print and ebook anthology Life Beyond Us (Laksa Media, upcoming in late 2022). Julie’s newest book is a story collection titled The Ship Whisperer (Arbiter Press, 2020). She is a recipient of the European fandom’s Encouragement Award and multiple Czech genre awards. She’s active in science outreach, education and nonfiction writing, and co-leads the outreach group of the European Astrobiology Institute. She’s a member of the XPRIZE Sci-fi Advisory Council.


Julie Nováková has the following works available at Clarkesworld:

A Stroll into Unfamiliar Worlds

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 195 – December 2022

“Perhaps it should be called a stroll into unfamiliar worlds; worlds strange to us but known to other creatures, manifold and varied as the animals themselves.” —Jakob von Uexküll, A Stroll through The Worlds of Animals and Men (1934) Science fiction often asks us to imagine the inner states of beings most alien, be it […]

Between Chaos and Order: The (Un)predictability of Evolution

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 193 – October 2022

When the crew of USS Enterprise encounters yet another alien species that looks exceptionally humanlike, we know to suspect the production budget rather than more profound reasons. But the underlying question is an important one: How humanlike, or not, would members of an extraterrestrial civilization be? How familiar would we find walking through a forest […]

Finding Endor: The Quest for Habitable Exomoons

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 187 – April 2022

Endor. Pandora. Acheron. What do these science-fictional places have in common? They’re moons. More precisely, habitable moons. In our own solar system, multiple moons—such as Jupiter’s Europa or Saturn’s Enceladus—host vast oceans of liquid water underneath their icy shells. But we have no moon whose surface would be habitable for life as we know it […]

Zero-g Zoo: Trying to Solve Reproduction in Space

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 184 – January 2022

Shall we go where no one has gone before? However, if we’re to stay there, we need to think about the next generation. Which means procreation in space—an issue we know very little about so far. What do we know, and what could be the potential obstacles of reproducing in space conditions? At least officially, […]

A Universe of Possibilities: Planets of Red Dwarfs

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 183 – December 2021

Live fast, shine brightly, die young: some stars are like that. But they are few. So are, cosmically speaking, stars like our own Sun, though it’s taking its “life” more slowly. By far, the most numerous stars in the cosmos are M dwarfs, also dubbed red dwarfs: tiny, dim stars that will never undergo the […]

Under Pressure: Life's Last Dance?

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 180 – September 2021

In the stifling depths where nothing had been thought to live, life thrives. In the deepest regions of Earth’s oceans or embedded far within its crust, both macroscopic and microbial life flourish despite the pressure that would instantly crush a human. Do you think the Mariana Trench is deep with great pressure at its bottom? […]

An Instance

FICTION by Mlok 5, translated by Julie Nováková in Issue 179 – August 2021

Query: erotic chat @lelek7, m, 31, hip-hop Good evening, I am an instance gtrg.5i6.uihg.vbnrt, and I will be taking care of your satisfactory browsing experience. Gladly. What else can I do? Redirect: adult_content Query: porn @merk.ur, m, 24, student, snowboard Night shift again, I see. Being woken up like this doesn’t do me good. How […]

“We'll Know It When We See It”: The Trouble with Finding (Alien) Life

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 174 – March 2021

Last month, NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars to investigate current and past conditions on the Red Planet and search for life. With it, an old but still burning question inevitably arises: when—if—we find alien life somewhere, are we going to recognize it? The question is far less trivial than it sounds. The odds […]

Endless Forms Most Horrible: Parasites and SF

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 145 – October 2018

“Certain wasp-like insects, which construct in the corners of the verandahs clay cells for their larvae, are very numerous in the neighbourhood of Rio. These cells they stuff full of half-dead spiders and caterpillars, which they seem wonderfully to know how to sting to that degree as to leave them paralysed but alive, until their […]

Deep Down in the Cloud

FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 137 – February 2018

“What is there more sublime than the trackless, desert, all-surrounding, unfathomable sea? What is there more peacefully sublime than the calm, gently-heaving, silent sea? What is there more terribly sublime than the angry, dashing, foaming sea?” Floating freely in the dark cold water, Mariana had lost her sense of direction. Suddenly a flash from somewhere […]

The Undiscovered Country: Planets of Dead Stars

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 137 – February 2018

The solar system is dying. It’s happening slowly, but inevitably. In approximately six billion years, the Sun will become a red giant: a bloated star burning up hydrogen in its outer shell. It will have engulfed Mercury and Venus and, possibly, Earth. While our beloved planet may survive the event, it would do so as […]

An Optimist and Pessimist Tackle the Fermi Paradox

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková and Tomas Petrasek in Issue 133 – October 2017

The universe around us echoes with the Great Silence. It seems oppressive to some, foreboding to others. We have not picked up any alien transmissions; seen any indications of interstellar travel or construction; met any other civilization. Yet even with propulsion systems based on known technological principles, it should be possible to colonize the whole […]

Bugs from Outer Space & Invasive Earth: Planetary Protection

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 123 – December 2016

We have seen this scenario in science fiction a million times: Scientists uncover an alien organism previously buried under ice, or bring bugs from another celestial body to Earth. Before we know it, an apocalypse unveils: It was a deadly pathogen threatening to wipe out all life on Earth! This clichéd scenario is far removed […]

Small Markets, Big Wonders

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 103 – April 2015

How many copies make a bestseller? What does an author need to do in order to have a novel accepted by a publishing house? How does a SF magazine work? We often contemplate these questions but perhaps rarely realize how vastly the answers can differ between national markets. Last summer, I met Neil Clarke at […]

Human Nature: A Conversation with Peter Watts

INTERVIEW by Julie Nováková in Issue 95 – August 2014

Deep sea, deep space, and deep dark corners of the human mind—these are some of the domains in which Peter Watts truly excels. His Hugo-nominated novel Blindsight opens with the main character trapped in a shuttle, reminiscing, escaping . . . from what? As we dive into the story, we encounter one question after another, all of them […]

Realms of Dark, Deep and Cold

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 91 – April 2014

These places never see sunlight, are buried deep under thick ice crusts and warmed mostly by radioactive decay and tidal forces: subsurface oceans of celestial objects far from their stars—if they have any. Decades ago, they were the domain of science fiction, until such places were hypothesized in our solar system thanks in part to […]

The Symphony of Ice and Dust

FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 85 – October 2013

“It’s going to be the greatest symphony anyone has ever composed,” said Jurriaan. “Our best work. Something we’ll be remembered for in the next millennia. A frail melody comprised of ice and dust, of distance and cold. It will be our masterpiece.” Chiara listened absently and closed her eyes. Jurriaan had never touched ice, seen […]