Shane Halbach

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Shane Halbach lives in Chicago, where he writes software by day and avoids writing stories by night. His fiction has appeared in Analog, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and The Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction, among others. He blogs at, or can be found on Twitter @shanehalbach.

Stories · Posts

Random Play All and the League of Awesome

Jan 17, 2019 · 4,908 words (18 minutes)

Fantasy Humor

I have always been a huge fan of superheros, but I never liked the idea of guys like Superman or Thor. I don’t want an unstoppable goody-two shoes. Show me a guy who doesn’t have it so easy. Show me a guy with just a *little* bit of power, and the wit and courage to use that little bit at just the right moment to make a *huge* difference.

white Samsung Android smartphone turned beside white earbuds on brown board
Human in the Loop

Jan 10, 2019 · 1,627 words (6 minutes)

Science Fiction

If an automated vehicle had a crash, say, and someone dies, who is responsible? The “driver” who was behind the wheel at the time? The manufacturer who perhaps installed faulty software? The regulatory agency who allowed these vehicles on the road? The software developer who wrote the algorithm? What about in the case of emergent behavior; actions that were not explicitly programmed by anybody but instead emerged organically from an artificial neural network?

white DJI phantom-series quadcopter flying during daytime
An Engineered Product

Jan 7, 2019 · 868 words (4 minutes) · 1 like

Humor Science Fiction

Sometimes the future is actually the past

herd of dairy cattles on field
My Heart is a Quadratic Equation

Jan 4, 2019 · 1,568 words (6 minutes) · 1 like

Humor Science Fiction

Even mad scientists need love.

black haired woman wearing jacket
Exit Strategy

Jan 3, 2019 · 4,382 words (16 minutes)


“Exit Strategy” is Ocean’s Eleven meets High Fantasy. What happens when a dwarf, a mage, and a thief conspire to steal a dragon’s horde? The same things that always happen during a heist: complications, quick improvisation, and double crosses. Oh, and did I mention the dragon?

person holding gold-colored ching coins
Her Path Lay Forward

Sep 22, 2017 · 1,287 words (5 minutes) · 1 like


My children were looking at the scorecard of the excellent game Dixit, and they were debating about the character facing down the dragon in the picture. I overheard their discussion: “I think it’s an old woman,” said my daughter. “No,” said my son, “it must be a boy. An old woman can’t fight a dragon.” Not only CAN an old woman fight a dragon, but she may be the PERFECT person to fight a dragon!

person's hand in shallow focus