Robert Reed is the author of nearly three hundred published stories, plus more than a dozen novels. He is best known for his Great Ship stories, including The Memory of Sky. And for the novella, “A Billion Eves,” which won the Hugo Award in 2007. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife and daughter.


Robert Reed has the following works available at Clarkesworld:


FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 177 – June 2021

1 Security AIs heard whimpering, diagnosed the source, then alerted the rest of the household. A baby moggie had fallen inside one of the nearby recycling hubs. Of course the children hurried outside to see, and being noble souls, they dragged the half-suffocated creature out of the garbage. But the rescue had barely begun. Social […]

Conversations in the Dark

FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 171 – December 2020

1 An absence of visible light: that was the first goal and easily accomplished. But true darkness—profound; enduring; seamless—meant excluding the rest of the electromagnetic spectrum, or masking it, or otherwise rendering it inconsequential. Windowless walls, ceiling, and floor were built from plates of radiologically stable graphene. Hyperfiber boxes and long reaches of frigid vacuum […]

Nameless He

FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 167 – August 2020

1 There was no stepping inside until his caution was disabled. So that was what he did to himself. Then, unburdened by worry, he made himself quite narrow in order to pass through what only pretended to be a conventional fuel line. Quality minds had studied the spherical artifact, but always from respectful distances. The […]


FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 153 – June 2019

JUNE Living with a stranger. For eighteen years, that’s what June had been doing. Which was the second most painful lesson from that brutal Sunday. Tidy was the stranger’s name. Who happened to be June’s quiet child. Always the least happy of her three kids, or at least that’s what she pretended to be. But […]


FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 149 – February 2019

Nobody knows what happened. Except that I was four and standing near the top of the stairs, and then suddenly I had reached the bottom of the stairs. And those were some very bad stairs. Steep and old, made from maple or oak or another tough wood. My mother, who was her own kind of […]


FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 143 – August 2018

1 And then there was quite a long time with nothing to chase. No suggestive tracks in the ice, no hopeful stories told by misinformed strangers. The air didn’t hold any name glancingly resembling her name, and there weren’t even rumors about intriguing places beyond the endless horizon. Without direction, only random motion was possible, […]


FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 137 – February 2018

A lot of people preferred this Mars to all the others. This was the Mars wearing a cobalt blue sea in the north and towering redwood forests across its wilderness south. Ancient volcanoes had been re-plumbed and reinvigorated, helping maintain a deep warm sweetly-scented atmosphere. This was a tourist destination famous for its open-air cities, […]

The Significance of Significance

FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 130 – July 2017

Sarah wasn’t quite two when the world learned what was what. Which is rather like saying that Sarah still didn’t exist. The very young don’t get to keep their memories. That’s normal human development in action, or it’s a nagging bug inside an otherwise lovely system. Either way, she didn’t waste time regretting this supposed […]

Two Ways of Living

FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 126 – March 2017

I’ve eaten everything inside my kitchen, and that’s not enough. That’s barely a beginning. A brightly lit all-night restaurant stands across the street, promising broiled-this and boiled-that. Chasing the next feast, I shuffle to the elevator, dropping four floors before staggering into the hallway. That’s where the woman is. She’s standing in my path, and […]

The Next Scene

FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 121 – October 2016

It’s a normal enough morning. Fresh out of the shower, I’m fending off advances. One girl offers up crying jags while throwing desperate glances in my direction. Will I play the big sister, ask what’s wrong and let her monologue for twenty minutes? Never, and kid, let me tell you how much I hate bottled […]

The Universal Museum of Sagacity

FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 116 – May 2016

Walter Fitzgerald was a rising force in the insurance industry, living in faraway Boston when he met a lovely Bohemian girl named Madeline Furst. The one-week courtship led to a wedding officiated by an Episcopal priest, and the couple settled into an apartment near Beacon Hill. Maddy was my mother’s aunt, but only briefly. That […]

The Algorithms of Value

FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 112 – January 2016

Parchment woke comfortably hungry, a fine dream lingering while she lay inside the bed that knew her utterly. This was the most unremarkable morning. Happy eyes opened to find the expected room. Cockroaches scrambled across cracked plaster walls. Ancient cars roared and a neighbor’s hip hop shook the floor. But there was also a spring […]


FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 108 – September 2015

My hometown wasn’t much, but when I was fourteen I felt as if I lived in the busy center of all things interesting. Several thousand human mouths and who knows how many human urges, and there were no secrets. Three seniors were pregnant, two by the same boy. There was a snobby couple who drove […]

The Empress in Her Glory

FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 103 – April 2015

Fruits ripen and worlds ripen. If not taken at the right moment, any ripe prize falls from its tree and rots away, and nothing is gained. That was how They looked at the situation. Call them “alien.” The word isn’t ridiculous, yet by the same token, no label does justice to their origins or far-reaching […]

Pernicious Romance

FICTION by Robert Reed in Issue 98 – November 2014

There are no suspects. We know the vehicle was serviced by the school motor pool, but there were numerous locations and intervals where clever hands could have added a malicious device. Subsequent investigations have exonerated university employees as well as the student programmer responsible for the custom software piloting the giant football helmet. Investigations continue, […]