Profile of Tony Pi

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Dr. Tony Pi is a Taiwanese-Canadian writer with a PhD in Linguistics.  Currently a graduate administrator at the Cinema Studies Institute, University of Toronto, he finds that both linguistics and film find their way into some of his stories.

He is a winner in the Writers of the Future Contest (appearing in volume XXIII). Also, his novelette "Metamorphoses in Amber" was a 2008 Prix Aurora Award finalist in the "Best Short-Form Work in English" category and a Notable Short Story of 2007 as selected by Story South.

He has been nominated for the 2009 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.


Short Stories

"The Gold Silkworm"Fantasy Magazine, December 13
"The Curse of Chimère"Beneath Ceaseless Skies #53
"The Character of the Hound"The Dragon and the Stars, DAW Books
"The Paragon Lure"Alembical 2, Paper Golem LLC
"Cygnet's Shadow"On Spec #80
"A Sweet Calling"Clarkesworld #44
"Night of the Manticore"Abyss & Apex #33
"The Shadow-Witch"Cinema Spec, Raven Electrick Ink

"Come-From-Aways", ON SPEC #76, vol 21 no 1, 2009.
"Stilts and Straw", Flashing Swords #12 (2009).
"Tekkai Exhales His Avatar", Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show #11 (March 2009).
"Silk and Shadow", Beneath Ceaseless Skies #11, 2009, reprinted in The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies Online Magazine, Year One
"Sphinx!", Ages of Wonder (DAW anthology), (March 3, 2009)
"Come Frost, Sun, and Vine", Tales of the Unanticipated #29, 2008
"Aesop's Last Fable", ON SPEC #72, vol 20 no 1, 2008
"The Stone Cipher", Writers of the Future Vol. XXIII, 2007
"Metamorphoses in Amber", Abyss & Apex #24, 2007; also reprinted in The Best of Abyss & Apex: Volume One (2009)
"The Pinocchio Cantatas", Tales of the Unanticipated #28, 2007
"Zeno's Last Paradox", Abyss & Apex #16, 2005
"Dynamics of a Hanging", Shred of Evidence vol 3 no 2, 2005; a revised version appears in The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (September 2009)
"The Mirror King", Flash Me Magazine #9, July 2005
"He Immortal, Evergreen She", ON SPEC #62, vol 17 no 3, Fall 2005
"A Gorgon Comes for Hades' Helm", Aoife's Kiss #14, 2005


"An Enchantment, With Apples", ON SPEC #60, vol 17 no 1, Spring 2005.

"The Shadow-Witch", Cinema Spec (third-quarter 2009).
"Cygnet's Shadow", ON SPEC (TBD).
"The Paragon Lure", Alembical 2 (TBD).
"Dynamics of a Hanging" (reprint), The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Night Shade Books (September 2009)


Publishers Weekly
"The Stone Cipher"

Fresh names worth watching include Tony Pi, who presents a chilling story of the world's end...

The Fix Online (Audiobook Fix)
"The Stone Cipher"

Two stories really stood out to me. In "The Stone Cipher" by Tony Pi (read by Stefan Rudnicki), every stone statue in the word starts to speak, in unison, silently and very slowly. Once this is noticed, cameras are brought in so that the speech can be played at normal speed. Lipreaders translate, and ... it's a countdown. The story perhaps is a little highhanded in message, but the payoff is well worth the time. Rudnicki gives the story just the right ominous tone.

The Fix Online
"Metamorphoses in Amber"

Tony Pi has composed an elegant, multilayered tale in "Metamorphoses in Amber". Jewel thief Felix Lea is one of a small group of humansthe Elect, named after the Greek word for amber: electronwith the ability to tap into the lightning inside amber, shedding his body like a cicada sheds its shell. In the middle of waging his centuries-long war against nemesis Mantis, Felix contracts a debilitating disease, one which will ultimately change him from male to female. Only [with] the help of longtime friend and lover, Spider, and the aid of his hated enemy might he be able to halt a transformation that is not only permanent, but dreaded...The action in "Metamorphoses in Amber" never lets up, and the plot advances at a fast clip without sacrificing details. But the strongest feature of this work is the themes that Pi has interwoven; he touches upon gender, and what it means to be male or female, and what it means to stay true to yourself and your purpose while staying flexible enough to survive the fluctuations that occur with time...I really loved this story. The characterization and the descriptive language worked especially well.

Tangent Online
"Zeno's Last Paradox"

The other Zeno tale, Tony Pis Zenos Last Paradox, is the best piece of short fiction in the issue. Zeno himself narrates. Intending to rid the city of Elea from the rule of the Gorgon, whose eyes turn all to stone, he ends up falling in love with her and helping her with a quest of his own...You know its a rewrite of a Greek myth; you know its a variation on a Trickster tale, but Pis skillful twisting of mythic and Trickster tropes carry you alongespecially when he sends the Gorgon on a heroic quest for her own mortality. I especially appreciate Pis characterization of the Gorgon as an intelligent, sympathetic riddler, worthy of Zenos respect, even love. Paradox reminds me of Ovids Metamorphoseswry, grandiloquent, and intelligent. I wouldnt be surprised if this tale ends up anthologized in a collection of modern myths; its a consummately crafted and entertaining gem.

The Fix Online
"The Pinocchio Cantatas"

In The Pinocchio Cantatas by Tony Pi, a magical carousel of mythical creatures, including a unicorn named Chivaree, partner with a family of carousel knights who magically jump from the carnival ride into open air, their poles becoming lances. In the opening, Chivaree spies a recent victim, Crooner, who acts as the catalyst to this heroic tale. The imagery of this surreal fantasy engages deeply, though the descriptions can, at times, read a bit too thickly. Mitch, Chivarees rider, is sympathetic, and he is intriguingly used in a subplot that explores choices and change. The Pinocchio Cantatas is recommended for fantasy readers who like dark elements without a dark ending.

SF Crowsnest
"Aesop's Last Fable"

More good stuff from the colonies. 'Aesop's Last Fable' by Tony Pi is an untold ancient Greek story about Aesop's death, based on fact and his afterlife, which is not so well documented. The Delphians killed him on trumped up charges of stealing a sacred cup after he lambasted them for being greedy thieves. They chuck him off a cliff and his body dies but his spirit is captured by the Sphinx. He has to solve a riddle for her before his soul can be released and go off to the Elysian fields. This is quite good fun.

The Sci Fi Catholic
"The Stone Cipher"

Tony Pi's "The Stone Cipher" has a new and brilliant idea: all the statues in the world simultaneously begin speaking, and the story surrounds a linguist, Pierre, and his wife, Marie-Claire, who are trying to figure out what the statues are saying.

Baryon Online 106
"The Stone Cipher"

Imagine that all the statues started talking and it took half a day to say one syllable and the message was a warning; Tony Pis "The Stone Cipher" is a thought-provoking story.

The Fix Online
"The Stone Cipher"

Tony Pi sums up the premise of The Stone Cipher with, What if the whole history of human sculpture has been a conversation between the planet and humanity? And what if one day, a careful observer discovers that the sculptures are speaking, albeit slowly, almost imperceptibly, but forming voiceless words nonetheless? Pierre and Marie-Claire are horrified to discover that the statues are counting down. Presenting dual religious views, Marie-Claire believes what is happening stems from the Roman-Catholic God, a message of doom or blessing; Pierre believes its a message from Gaia to humanity, a warning perhaps. The ideas and theories of what the countdown itself means play parallel with the theories of what will happen when the statues reach zero. The religious aspects are handled well, neutrally, and the story itself leaves the reader with a feeling of both damnation and potential hope.

Rich Horton, LOCUS Magazine
"The Stone Cipher"

Tony Pi's "The Stone Cipher" has one of the wildest ideas: statues around the world begin to move, apparently in unison, but very slowly.

L.A. Sorensen
"The Stone Cipher"

Another high point of this years anthology is Tony Pis The Stone Cipher. A modern-day sci-fi tale whose premise, that the stone statues of the world are trying to communicate with humankind, captivated me from the start and held me all the way through to its conclusion. The story is a must-read.

Rich Horton, LOCUS Magazine
"Metamorphoses in Amber"

A colorful and different adventure.

"Metamorphoses in Amber"

The first story in the Table of Contents is "Metamorphoses in Amber" by Tony Pi. Felix Lea is by day an art dealer. He is also one of the Elect, people who can change their shape within certain limits by using amber with insects caught inside. After a night of stealing a Faberge Egg from his bitter rival, he realizes he is undergoing a metamorphosis that he does not want, The Widowing, in which a male Elect becomes a woman and cannot change back. He must go to his rival to stop the change. Pi creates an interesting culture here and details the science of the shape-changing to make quite a nice novelette.

The Fix Online
"Aesop's Last Fable"

In the case of the current issue, its first story is one of the strongest. Aesops Last Fable by Tony Pi uses Aesops death as a launching point for a tale that pits the Greek storyteller against the legendary Sphinx...While I generally lack enthusiasm for reworked Greek mythology, this story won me over by being well-told and delivering exactly what it promises...a compact and enjoyable read.

Flash Me Magazine
"The Stone Cipher"

Are the worlds statues counting down to the end of humanity or the beginning of enlightenment? This is well written with rich characters and a powerful story. I wanted to know more, but I understand why the author ended it where he did.

The Fix Online
"Metamorphoses in Amber" (The Best of Abyss & Apex, vol. 1)

...Tony Pi seems to have researched everything you could ever want to know about amber, and constructs a complex mythology and a compelling tale.