Joe Pitkin

Joe Pitkin writes stories about the human, the almost human, and the humanesque.

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Joe Pitkin was born in Logan, Utah, in 1970. A poet in youth, Joe published his first short stories in 2009. His work has since appeared in such magazines and podcasts as Analog, Cosmos, Podcastle, Kaleidotrope, Eclectica, and elsewhere. His stories have been chosen for David G. Hartwell’s Year’s Best SF 18, Gardner Dozois’ The Year’s Best Science Fiction #33, and twice for Rich Horton’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy. Joe wrote Stranger Bird, his first fantasy novel, for his young daughters. The book is an homage to the fantasy authors of his youth—Ursula Le Guin, Richard Adams, Lloyd Alexander—and a nostalgic look back at the dark and mythical tales of an earlier generation. Joe teaches writing at Clark College in Vancouver, WA. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and daughters in the shadow of a small extinct volcano.

Fiction · Posts · Books



A Murmuration of Starlings

Published Mar 14, 2020 · 5,936 words (22 minutes) · 348 views

Science Fiction apocalypse pandemic Invasive Species quorum sensing bacterial computing

Dr. Evelyn Cole has been recruited to eradicate a massive population of starlings in sleepy Fort Clark, Washington, as part of an effort to combat a pandemic. But she soon finds that there is more to these starlings, and to the infection they carry, than she thought...


Did you know that Mozart kept a pet starling? These beautiful birds are often viewed in North America as pests (as they are not native). But I love these birds and the many sounds they make -- they do a very good job of imitating hawks...




Published Jun 30, 2019 · 2,134 words (8 minutes) · 342 views

Fantasy Literary Fiction Science Fiction Almost Human Humanesque Cryptozoology Magical Realism Sasquatch Bigfoot Borgesian

Put on a suit and board the subway. Will anyone notice who you really are?