Nathaniel Williams was born in Kansas City and currently operates out of California, teaching professional writing and literature at UC Davis. He is the author of Gears and God: Technocratic Fiction, Faith, and Empire in Mark Twain’s America (U of Alabama Press, 2018). His research articles have appeared in American Literature, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Utopian Studies and elsewhere. His speculative fiction has appeared in venues such as Fantasy Magazine, The Sockdolager, Abyss & Apex, Perihelion, and Poor Mojo’s Almanac(k). He has been awarded a Quarry Farm Fellowship (for Mark Twain research), a Horatio Alger Fellowship (for popular culture research), and honorable mention for the Norman Foerster Prize from the Modern Language Association’s American Literature Section. He serves on the advisory board for the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at University of Kansas and belongs to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He has been (and sporadically continues to be) a grant writer and musician.
Other Fun Facts from Nate’s PR Department
- He grew up in the same small Missouri town where the outlaw Jesse James was born. This is merely a fact and not a commentary on the James Gang legend. For the record, he does not condone killing people for money in any of its myriad forms.
- His love of pulp fiction was re-kindled after attending college about ten minutes north of La Plata, Missouri, hometown of the legendary writer Lester Dent (who wrote most of the Doc Savage novels under the pseudonym “Kenneth Robeson”).
- He worked as a singer/songwriter in Kansas City, founding a band and sustaining minor injuries during the failed Alt-Country Insurgency of ’01.
- His first tech writing job involved crawling through knee-deep dust inside chemical plant ventilation equipment and writing reports about it. This experience yielded his first paycheck for writing and his lifelong aversion to Tyvek.™
- He’s worked in radio on-and-off, beginning with a midnight to 2 a.m. shift in college. He also hosted a weekly show on the “secret origins of alternative music” on KMVC-FM in Marshall, MO, for two years.
- He is not the guy who yells “Kansas City” on Wilco’s live album, Kicking Television. He has, perhaps, yelled other obnoxious stuff on bootlegs of other live shows.
- He’s a graduate of the Speculative Fiction Writers Workshop hosted by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas.
- His first paid short story, in Jay Lake and Eric T. Reynolds’s Footprints anthology, featured eight-legged aliens with psychometric senses who experience 1960s America when they discover U.S. astronauts’ footprints on the moon.
- He likes dogs, electric guitars, and butterscotch milkshakes.
- It’s OK to call him Nate.