James L. Cambias

James L. Cambias

James Cambias was raised in New Orleans, studied the History of Science at the University of Chicago, and currently lives in western Massachusetts with his family. He began as a roleplaying game designer, writing sourcebooks and articles for Game Designers' Workshop, Steve Jackson Games, HERO Games, R. Talsorian Games, and Pinnacle Entertainment Group. He sold his first science fiction story in 2000, and since then has published a dozen more. His first novel, A Darkling Sea, was published in 2014, followed by Corsair in 2015. He is a partner in Zygote Games, a company specializing in science-based card games.


"A Diagram of Rapture" (F&SF, April 2000)

"The Alien Abduction" (F&SF, September 2000)

"Return to Skull Island" (Journal of Pulse-Pounding Narratives #1, 2001)

"Train of Events" (F&SF, January 2003)

"Apocrypha" (Journal of Pulse-Pounding Narratives #2, 2004)

"The Ocean of the Blind" (F&SF, April 2004; also collected in Year's Best Science Fiction, 2005; preliminary Nebula award nominee for 2005)

"See My King All Dressed in Red" (Crossroads:  Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic, Tor, 2004)

"The Vampire Brief" (Odder Jobs, Dark Horse Books, 2004).

"The Eckener Alternative," (All Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, Wheatland Press, 2004).  (Also collected in Year's Best SF 5, 2005.)

"Parsifal (Prix Fixe)" (F&SF, February 2006)

"The Barbary Shore" (Shimmer pirate issue, 2007)

"Balancing Accounts" (F&SF, February 2008; accepted for both Dozois's and Horton's Year's Best for 2008, and collected in the anthology Twenty-First Century Science Fiction, edited by David Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden)

"The Dinosaur Train" (F&SF, July 2008)

"Murder in Messidor" (Of Dice and Pen, Flying Pen Press, 2008)

"Makeover" (Nature, July 16, 2009)

"The Wolf and the Schoolmaster" (Shimmer, issue 11, 2009)

"How Seosiris Lost The Favor of the King" (F&SF, September/October 2010)

"Object Three" (F&SF, November/December 2011)

"Periapsis" (Hieroglyph, HarperCollins, 2014)

A Darkling Sea (Tor Books, 2014)

Corsair (Tor Books, 2015)

"Golden Gate Blues" (F&SF, March/April 2016)

"Rene Descartes and the Cross of Blood" (Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, forthcoming)


Awards and Memberships

Member, SFWA

John W. Campbell Award nominee, 2001

Related Experience

Degree in History of Science, University of Chicago (1988)

Experience as a newspaper writer and proofreader, Gambit Magazine, Ithaca Times, and Greenfield Recorder.

Aviation History writer

Roleplaying Game designer since 1992

Science Fiction writer since 2000

Amateur astronomer

Accessibility Needs


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