Writing

The Scary Ham

Tor.com, 2014

As Toastmaster for the Nebula Awards, Klages held an audience spellbound with the delightful, terrifying story which involves two middle-aged sisters sorting through 50 years’ worth of family memorabilia, including their late father’s ham, which loomed in his basement for decades. Surely, the only reasonable approach is an improvised Viking funeral, complete with fuzzy monkeys and a hunting horn. Side-splittingly funny. (Memoir)

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Wakulla Springs

(Co-written with Andy Duncan)
tor.com, New York, 2013

A novella about four generations of an African American family and their ties to the beautiful and mysterious Wakulla Springs, the deepest submerged freshwater cave system in the world, in the jungle of the Florida panhandle. This remarkable work encompasses a unique history of the fantastic, featuring Tarzan, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, overlaid with the shadow of Jim Crow laws in the Deep South. Ranging from the late 1930s to the present day, “Wakulla Springs” is a tour de force of the human, the strange, and the miraculous, a masterpiece of American magic realism.

 

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The Green Glass Sea

Viking, New York, 2006

It’s 1943, and eleven-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is en route to New Mexico to live with her mathematician father. Soon she arrives at a town that, officially, doesn’t exist. It is called Los Alamos, and it is abuzz with activity, as scientists and mathematicians from all over America and Europe work on the biggest secret of all–“the gadget.” None of them–not J. Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Manhattan Project; not the mathematicians and scientists; and least of all, Dewey–know how much “the gadget” is about to change their lives.

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Wicked Wonders

Introduction by Karen Joy Fowler
Tachyon Publications, San Francisco, 2017.

A rebellious child identifies with wicked Maleficent instead of Sleeping Beauty. Best friends Anna and Corry share one last morning on Earth. A solitary woman inherits a penny arcade haunted by a beautiful stranger. A prep-school student requires more than luck when playing dice with a faerie. Ladies who lunch―dividing one last bite of dessert―delve into new dimensions of quantum politeness.

Whether on a habitat on Mars or in a boardinghouse in London, discover Ellen Klages’ wicked, wondrous adventures full of wit, empathy, and courage.

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White Sands, Red Menace

Viking, New York, 2008

It’s 1946. World War II is over, ended by the atomic bomb that Dewey Kerrigan?s and Suze Gordon’s scientist parents helped build. At the White Sands Missile Range, Phil Gordon is working on rockets that will someday go to the moon; at home, Terry Gordon is part of the scientists’ movement against the Bomb. Meanwhile, Dewey and her “sister,” Suze, share secrets, art, and science as they adjust to junior high in an isolated desert town. Then, like a different kind of dropped bomb, Dewey’s long-lost mother, Rita Gallucci, reappears in their lives. And she wants to take her daughter away.

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The Science Explorer Out and About

(with Pat Murphy and Linda Shore).
Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1997.

Family science-experiment ideas presented by San Francisco’s Exploratorium, a museum that supports the principle of “hands-on, minds-on.” Youngsters will appreciate the “wow” value of the various activities, from taking things apart to building structures, examining shadows, or growing different kinds of crystals or molds. (Kid’s science activities)

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The Science Explorer

(with Pat Murphy and Linda Shore).Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1996.

The Exploratorium in San Francisco is “a museum of science, art, and human perception” founded in 1969 by physicist Frank Oppenheimer. This delightful book allows you to create your own Exploratorium at home. It’s got loads of experiments that, in the best Exploratorium tradition, are fun and educational. Highly Recommended for the curious and playful of any age. (Kid’s science activities)

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The Brain Explorer: Puzzles, Riddles, Illusions and Other Mental Adventures.

(with Pat Murphy, Linda Shore, and Pearl Tesler).
Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1999.

Follow the Exploratorium’s intrepid Science-at-Home team on an exciting adventure into an amazing and mysterious world– inside your own brain!

Memory experiments, brain-bending puzzles, and tips to make you a great puzzle solver, new tricks and twists for playing games you already know, and optical illusions that will fool your eyes and your brain. (Kid’s science activities)

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Portable Childhoods

Introduction by Neil Gaiman
Tachyon Publications, San Francisco, 2007.

Emerging from a unique and powerful voice, this innovative collection offers a tantalizing glimpse of what lies hidden just beyond the ordinary, skirting the border between childhood and adulthood. Mysticism, heroism, cruelty, and compassion thread through these multifaceted tales — which range from the origins of the Manhattan Project to a culinary object-lesson, from 1950s corruption to a slight glitch in Creation. Collected here for the first time and including an excerpt from her breakout first novel The Green Glass Sea, and an introduction from Neil Gaiman, these stories are timeless and delightful, chilling and beautiful.

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Passing Strange

Tor.com, New York, 2017

San Francisco in 1940 is a haven for the unconventional. Tourists flock to the cities within the city: the Magic City of the World’s Fair on an island created of artifice and illusion; the forbidden city of Chinatown, a separate, alien world of exotic food and nightclubs that offer “authentic” experiences, straight from the pages of the pulps; and the twilight world of forbidden love, where outcasts from conventional society can meet.

Six women find their lives as tangled with each other’s as they are with the city they call home. They discover love and danger on the borders where magic, science, and art intersect.

Inspired by the pulps, film noir, and screwball comedy, Passing Strange is a story as unusual and complex as San Francisco itself.

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