Profile of Vylar Kaftan

More Information

This profile moderated by Vylar Kaftan.


Vylar Kaftan writes science fiction, fantasy, horror, slipstream, and cleverly-phrased Post-It notes on the fridge.  Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, ChiZine, and Clarkesworld, among other places.  She's appeared in Spanish translation in the Argentinian magazine Axxon.  She lives in northern California and has a standard issue tie-dyed T-shirt to prove it.  A graduate of Clarion West, she volunteers as a mentor for teenaged writers with the online group Absynthe Muse.  Her hobbies include modern-day temple dancing and preparing for a major earthquake.  She blogs at



	  How nice for you, that you look so good in jackboots and a uniform!  Your secret police are so dangerous that they’re sexy.  They kick the 
enemies of the State in the street, like Rockettes in steel-toed boots.

  • Blank Sexzra - Trabuco Road, 2006

    Blank Sexzra is a superhero with a cape no one can see.

  • Lydia's Body - Clarkesworld, 2006

    The girl leaned against the door each morning, in the single room that had become her new home—her prison. She repeated to herself, in case she forgot: My name is Amanda Barnes. I'm twenty-six years old. I was born in 1980. I don't belong here.

  • Keybones - ChiZine, 2006

    Her skeleton is a series of keys tied together with string. She has two hundred and six keys—large femur keys for locking dungeon cells, and tiny stirrup keys that were made for Victorian lockets.

  • Nine Thousand Four Hundred Ninety-Four Days - Abyss & Apex, 2006

    Where is justice? Where is justice in nine thousand four hundred ninety-four days?

  • Through the Cooking Glass - Raven Electrick, 2006

    The gingerbread people constructed more elaborate homes, each fancier than the last, with peppermint wheels and lemon drop décor.

  • Buddha's Happy Family Jewels - Vestal Review, 2005

    Jackie says, “Chinese food is supposed to mix together on the plate.” I know him as Dave but he says he is Jackie.

  • She Called Me Baby - Strange Horizons, 2005

    My mother's face looms in front of me, just as I last saw her, in court: dark-eyed, angular, a femme-fatale beauty. It's the face I was heading towards, when I left ten years ago—the face that I have tattooed, scarred, and reshaped until it's mine.

  • Sharksheep Suit - Lenox Avenue, 2005

    I been raising sharksheep since I was a kid, but I never made a suit before.



Speculative Fiction Reviews
on "She Called Me Baby"

Vylar Kaftan's She Called Me Baby is only the author's second published story, but it shows a remarkable tightness of writing and a complexity of storytelling that one expects from a far more experienced writer. ... She Called Me Baby is an accomplished, confident and successful story. I recommend it.

on "Nine Thousand Four Hundred Ninety-Four Days"

The protagonist's race believes in Dhrianya, a concept which states in simple terms that your life is what you deserve for your actions within it. This is balanced and challenged by the human staff's concept of unfairness, and the protagonist is fascinated and increasingly disturbed by the idea that something could be unfair, that the universe could not in fact be this perfectly balanced and ordered machine. This is heady philosophical ground, and Kaftan lays out both well and in a unique voice.