Nathaniel Williams

Nathaniel Williams

Nathaniel Williams writes speculative fiction and studies nineteenth-century American SF (Ph.D., English). Previous presentation topics include Mark Twain, dime novels, pulps, steampunk, Edgar Allan Poe, & teaching SF. He teaches professional writing at UC Davis and is an advisory board member for the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction.



Gears and God: Technocratic Fiction, Faith, and Empire in Mark Twain's America (non-fiction, University of Alabama Press, 2018).

Research Articles:

  • “War Machines and Child Geniuses: American Edisonades.” The Cambridge History of Science Fiction.  Eds. Gerry Canavan and Eric Carl Link (book chapter, forthcoming)
  • Frank Reade, Jr., in Cuba: Dime-Novel Technology, U.S. Imperialism, and the ‘American Jules Verne.'” American Literature (June 2011)
  • Reconstructing Biblical History: Garrett P. Serviss, Pauline Hopkins, and Technocratic Exploration Novels.” Nineteenth-Century Contexts (September 2012)
  • George Lippard’s Fragile Utopian Future and 1840s American Economic Turmoil.” Utopian Studies (2013)


  • “River Styx Leads to Athens” (short story), Sockdolager, Summer 2016
  • “Have You Seen Lucky?” (short story), Abyss & Apex, April 2014
  • “Eyesores” (short story), Perihelion, December 2013.
  • “The Return of Old Warpaint” (short story), Bronies (original anthology) Ed. L. Lambert Lawson. Kazka Press, 2012.
  • “Tenientes” (short story), Fantasy Magazine, February 2010.
  • “End of the Punch Line” (short story), Poor Mojo’s Almanac(k), February 2010.
  • “Rural Suburban” (short story), 10 Flash Quarterly (1:3), January 2010.
  • “Relics of Interesting Times” (short story), Footprints (original anthology) Ed. Jay Lake and Eric T. Reynolds. Hadley Rille Books, 2009.

Awards and Memberships


  • Second Place, Best Fantasy Magazine Story, 2010 Readers Poll (for "Tenientes")
  • Honorable Mention, Norman Foerster Prize for Best Essay in American Literature, 2011 (for "Frank Reade, Jr., in Cuba")
  • Horatio Alger Fellowship in American Popular Culture, Northern Illinois University Libraries, 2011
  • Anne Marie Turner Award (for Outstanding Research in U.S. Literature), KU, 2010
  • Outstanding Instructor Award, KU Department of English, 2009
  • James E. Gunn Award for Science Fiction Writing, 2008, 2007


  • Science Fiction Research Association
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
  • C19
  • Mark Twain Circle

Related Experience

Nathaniel Williams's presentations have included radio interviews, discussion panels, conference lectures, and day-long teaching workshops.

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