About Rick

Short Bio

Rick Wilber is an award-winning writer, editor and college professor with a half-dozen novels published or under contract, more than fifty short stories in print, and several college textbooks on writing and the mass media in print. He is on the faculty of Western Colorado University’s low-residency MFA/MA in Creative Writing, where he teaches and advises theses in the Genre Fiction program. He is co-founder and director of the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing. He is co-founder and co-judge for the award with Sheila Williams, editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine.  

Longer Bio

Rick Wilber has published a half-dozen novels and short-story collections, several college textbooks on writing and the mass media, a memoir about caregiving and his father’s life in baseball, and more than fifty short stories in major markets, including the Sidewise Award winning “Something Real,” and the poignant “Today is Today,” reprinted in The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2019 (Prime Books, 2019) edited by Rich Horton. Both stories and seven more tales of determination are in the collection, Rambunctious: Nine Tales of Determination (WordFire, March 2020). Another WordFire collection, The Wandering Warriors, came out in July 2020. The collection is a collaboration with writer and physicist Alan Smale and includes two bonus stories, one from each author.

Wilber is the editor of several reprint anthologies, including Field of Fantasies: Baseball Stories of the Strange and Supernatural (Nightshade, 2014), Future Media (Tachyon, 2011), and Making History: Classic Alternate History Stories (New Word City, 2018) among others.

Wilber’s novel, Alien Morning (Tor, 2016), was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 2017, and the sequel, Alien Day, will be out in June 2021 from Tor Books.

The son of a major-league baseball player and coach, and a three-sport college scholarship athlete himself, Wilber often incorporates sports into his fiction. He is the father of a Down syndrome son and often incorporates the disabled in his fiction, as well.

He is a Visiting Professor and Thesis Coordinator in the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing-Genre Fiction at Western Colorado University, and he is the co-founder and co-judge with Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine Editor Sheila Williams of the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing, awarded annually at the International Conference on the Fantastic in Orlando, Florida.

Longest Bio

Rick Wilber is an award-winning writer, editor, and college professor who has published a half-dozen novels and short-story collections, several college textbooks on writing and the mass media, a memoir about caregiving for his parents, and more than fifty short stories in major markets, including the Sidewise Award winning “Something Real,” and the poignant “Today is Today,” reprinted in The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2019 (Prime Books, 2019) edited by Rich Horton. Both stories and seven more tales of determination are in the collection Rambunctious: Nine Tales of Determination (WordFire, 2020). Included in the collection is the Sidewise Award-winning “Something Real,” about a fictional version of famous World War II spy and baseball player Moe Berg, as well as the stories, “Several Items of Interest,” and “Today is Today,” that were reprinted in best-of-the-year anthologies. Locus magazine reviewer Paul Di Filippo said of the collection that “Wilber’s fiction...is rich with sensory specificity, historical verisimilitude, deep psychological kennings, compassion, and plain old joie de vivre. While honoring the stern realities of science—and science fiction—he is also not afraid to exhibit an intuitive, mythic sense of life’s mysteries.... I’d say he’s one of Fantastika’s All-Stars.”

Another WordFire collection, The Wandering Warriors (WordFire 2020), came out in July 2020. The collection is a collaboration with writer and astrophysicist Alan Smale and includes two bonus stories, one from each author.

The novel Alien Morning (Tor, 2016) is based on his long-running S’hudonni Empire series of stories, featuring a jovial but deadly alien named Twoclicks, his shape-changing sidekick, and an all-too-human journalist from Earth, Peter Holman, a one-time professional athlete turned celebrity journo who goes to work for the S’hudonni as their media interface with Earth. The novel was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 2017. The sequel, Alien Day (Tor Books), will be out in June 2021.

Wilber is the editor of several reprint anthologies, including Field of Fantasies: Baseball Stories of the Strange and Supernatural (Nightshade, 2014), Future Media (Tachyon, 2011), and Making History: Classic Alternate History Stories (New Word City, 2018) among others.

Wilber’s most recent college textbook is the introductory text, Media Matters: An Introduction to Mass Communications and Today’s Integrated Media (Kendall Hunt 2018), now with a second edition in production. The book introduces students to the history, societal impact, business structure and possible futures of books, newspapers and magazines, sound recording, film, television, public relations, advertising, mass media research, free speech issues, social media, and more. Previous college textbooks from Wilber include Magazine Feature Writing (St. Martin’s Press, 1994), Modern Media Writing (Cengage Learning, 2002) with Randy Miller, and The Writer’s Handbook for Editing and Revision (NTC, 1996).

Among Wilber’s most recent short fiction is the novelette “Tin Man,” in the May/June 2021 issue of Asimov’s magazine, co-authored by Wilber and writer/physician Brad Aiken. The novelette, “The Hind,” co-authored by Wilber and best-selling novelist Kevin J. Anderson, appeared in the November/December issue of Asimov’s and is a finalist for the magazine’s annual Readers Award. The novelette, “Ithaca,” appeared in Asimov’s May/June 2020 issue, co-authored with Brad Aiken. The short story, “False Bay,” appeared in the anthology Monsters, Movies & Mayhem (WordFire Press, 2020) and has been reprinted in Black Cat magazine. The short story, “Donny Boy,” appeared in the anthology Alternate Peace (ZNB, edited by Steven Silver, 2019). His 2018 story in Asimov’s Science Fiction, “The Secret City,” was runner-up for the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History-Short Form. This story was the fourth in a series of alternate-history stories about famous World War II baseball player and spy, Moe Berg. The fifth story in the series, “Billie the Kid,” will appear in Asimov’s in 2021. The stories have all appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, and include the novelette “Something Real,” which won the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History—Short Form, in 2013.

Wilber is notable as an award-winning and prolific writer in the field of baseball fantasy, with some two dozen baseball-influenced stories published in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Elysian Fields Quarterly, Spitball, and elsewhere. He is the editor of the anthology Field of Fantasies: Baseball Stories of the Strange and Supernatural (Night Shade/Skyhorse, 2014), featuring nearly two dozen classic baseball fantasy stories by writers ranging from Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan to Karen Joy Fowler, Jack Kerouac, Rod Serling, John Kessel, Harry Turtledove, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Robert Coover, Kim Stanley Robinson, Louise Marley, Ron Carlson, W.P. Kinsella, and many others. Other baseball-themed work includes the baseball mystery novel, Rum Point (McFarland, 2009) and the memoir, My Father’s Game: Life, Death, Baseball (McFarland, 2007) about the caregiving role and about his father’s career in baseball. Broad Street Review said the memoir is a book “about the mythology of baseball...written with fine observation and wry understatement, and [it] may well become a classic in the literature.”

The son of a major-league baseball player and coach, and a three-sport college scholarship athlete himself, Wilber often incorporates sports into his fiction. He is the father of a Down syndrome son and often incorporates Down syndrome characters into his fiction, as well.

Wilber is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Western State Colorado University, where he teaches in the Genre Writing area of the low-residency Creative Writing MFA/MA program. A longtime professor of journalism and creative writing, he is administrator and co-founder with Sheila Williams, editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, of the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing, awarded annually at the Conference on the Fantastic in Orlando, Florida.

Wilber lives in the St. Petersburg, Florida area of the West Coast of Florida and that area’s barrier islands have often figured into his stories and novels. Rum Point, Alien Morning, and Alien Day all have significant scenes set in that area. Important parts of the Alien Morning and Alien Day also take place in Ireland, where Rick and his wife led college students on for-credit study tours every summer for more than twenty years. He is married to Robin Wilber, a finance professor at St. Petersburg College, and they have two adult children.