- “The Magic in the Machine,” Part of Orion magazine’s Summer 2023 issue, devoted to fairytales for the climate crisis.
- “The Age of Stories,” part of Orion magazine’s Summer 2022 issue, which is also the special 40th Anniversary issue whose theme is “renaming the Anthropocene.”
- “A Measure of Good Faith,” part of “What Money Can’t Buy,” the Washington Post‘s 2020 guide to imaginary gifts that don’t, but should, exist.
- “In the Beginning Is a Story,” an essay commissioned by The EUGENE Studio on sustainable futures and storytelling, November 2020 (the commission was occasioned by Goldwin x Spiber’s plant-derived protein material project but isn’t directly related to it).
- I contributed to “Writing the Finale: 21 Fever-Dream Endings for the Trump Show,” Vanity Fair, October 29, 2020.
- “Selling Short Fiction Translations to English Markets: Best Practices and Pitfalls,” The SFWA Bulletin, 2020 (Issue 214).
- “Hand-Knit Sweater,” Guernica, June 22, 2020, in which I tell a story about how a sweater made by my grandmother changed the way I think about love. The essay is part of the magazine’s “Fashion in Isolation” issue.
- “Messages on the Moon From a World Turned Upside Down,” The New York Times, July 14, 2019, in which I reflect on the meaning of the Apollo missions, entangled as they were inextricably with terrestrial politics (read).
- “Staying human in the cataclysm” (part of the six-author essay-series on “Science fiction when the future is now”), Nature, December 20, 2017 (read).
- “Manipulable Geometry: The Mathematics of Paper-Folding,” Tor.com, March 7, 2016 (read).
- “Let’s Write a Story Together, MacBook.” Clarkesworld, January 1, 2015 (read).
- “It’s Good To Be Lazy and Foolish.” Clarkesworld, May 1, 2015 (read).
- “The ‘Heroic Translators’ Who Reinvented Classic Science Fiction In China.” io9, April 10, 2015 (read).
- “Selling Short Fiction Translations.” The SFWA Bulletin, Summer 2014 (Issue 205).
- “China Dreams: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction.” Clarkesworld, December 2014 (read).
- “A Second Bite at the Apple: Termination Rights for Writers.” The SFWA Blog, August 31, 2013 (read).
- “Gathered in Translation.” Clarkesworld, April 2013 (read).
- “The DMCA Takedown Notice Demystified.” The SFWA Blog, March 6, 2013 (read).
- “The Benefits of Copyright Registration.” The SFWA Blog, February 11, 2013 (read).
- “When Ebooks Are the Only Books.” LOGOS: The Journal of the World Book Community, Volume 21, Numbers 3-4, 2010 , pp. 123-132.
- “Forbidden Works: The ‘free speech’ rights of secondary authors.” LOGOS: The Journal of the World Book Community, Volume 20, Numbers 1-4, 2009, pp. 110-123.
- Reprinted by QuestionCopyright.org, May 28, 2011 (read).
- “Staying Sensitive in the Crowd: A Conversation with Chen Qiufan,” Clarkesworld, March 2015 (read).
- “The Spurred Storyteller: A Conversation With Tang Fei,” Clarkesworld, February 2015 (read).
- “Exploring the Frontier: A Conversation with Xia Jia,” Clarkesworld, January 2015 (read).
- “Sonnet 20: From Nikola Tesla’s Clockwork Assistant to Thomas Edison’s Automaton” — Mythic Delirium, issue 27, November 15, 2012 (read).
- “Mother, I Always Knew It Was You” — Scape, January 2012.
- “Seven Haikus by Ye Xian” — Scape, January 2012.
- “The Mesozoic Tour Guide” — Strange Horizons, July 11, 2011 (read).
Selected Commissions and Artistic Collaborations
- “Shanghai in 48 Hours, a Weekend Itinerary for International Visitors by Romaing Planets Guides, 2116” — a commission for the Shanghai Project / 上海种子, an exhibition by the Shanghai Zendai Himalayas Museum, curated by Yongwoo Lee and Hans Ulrich Obrist, April 22, 2017.
- “A Brief And Inaccurate But True Account of the Origin of Living Books” — commissioned for Tales of Our Time, the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum) catalogue, November 4, 2016 (read).
- “Of Trees” — a story commissioned as part of artist Herman Chong’s solo exhibit, “Ifs, Ands, or Buts” from January 23 to May 3, 2016 at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai.
- Commissioned stories for weddings and other occasions: You can provide me with a theme, keyword, or other details, and I will craft a story for you. I generally retain rights in the stories (sorry, I don’t do works-for-hire), but will grant you first publication and performance rights (and you can choose to be credited or not in subsequent publications).
- I collaborated with dance troupe BalletCollective (founded by New York City Ballet soloist Troy Schumacher) to write an essay that became the basis for their performance Translation, presented at the NYU Skirball Center on October 25-27, 2017. You can read more about this collaboration here.
- I collaborated with artist Qiu Anxiong in an AR piece for the Shanghai Project / 上海种子, an exhibition by the Shanghai Zendai Himalayas Museum, curated by Yongwoo Lee and Hans Ulrich Obrist, April 2017.
- “Legal Bookshop” — a collaboration with artist Heman Chong for the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai as part of his show, “Ifs, Ands, or Buts.” Heman asked me to curate the books that would be sold in a temporary bookshop at the museum to help readers navigate the Chinese legal system, and I interpreted “law” in a non-literal manner.