Alex Penland

Thesis title: Antikythera / "Fragments of Fiction"


Alex Penland is a former museum kid. They spent their childhood running rampant through the Smithsonian museums, which kicked off an early career as a child adventurer. Alex has worked in the field with NASA scientists, linguists, and acclaimed photographers.

Now a Pushcart-nominated author, Alex currently lives in Scotland while studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh. Prior adventures include founding a writing organization in Iowa, a volunteering at the National Zoo in DC, and various enterprises in the field of education. Their work has been internationally published in Orion's Belt and Metaphorosis, and is forthcoming in Interzone.

They hold memberships at SFWA, SOA, BFS, and BSFA. Their first novella, Andrion, was recently published through Knight Errant Press.


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Undergraduate teaching

No current tutorials.


Past tutorials:

Literary Studies 1A & 1B

Postgraduate teaching

Teaching Assistantships.

The World of Story: Narrative, Creativity and the Arts. Edinburgh Futures Institute.

Writing Speculative Fiction. Edinburgh Futures Institute.

TA member, EFI Learning Technology Steering Group.

Research summary

Creative Writing (Narrative, Historical Narrative, Science Fiction and Fantasy Genre)

Linguistics (Historical Linguistics, Constructing Languages)

Classical Studies (Fragementology, Historical Narrative, Homeric Studies, Oral Tradition)

Current research interests

Alex's current research focuses on the chain of information survival and cultural interpretations of certain texts through time. Their creative dissertation, "Antikythera", is written in literary fragments that have undergone a synthesized historical degradation and interpretation by academics. My recently-published novella, "Andrion", is an exercise in alternate history: it explores an Athens where slavery was abolished, incurring an industrial revolution. The overarching project is highly interdisciplinary. Non-dissertation-related research interests include: ancient language (Greek, Latin, Old English), language recovery (Yiddish), and language construction; queer genre fiction with a focus on SFF; anthropology and archaeology in fiction both as narrative and meta-narrative; translation studies; and epic poetic traditions.

Past research interests

Past research involved comparing Madeline Miller's "Song of Achilles" to its source material, with particular focus on the character of Achilles and how he is portrayed through hundreds of years of re-interpretation.

Project activity

Ongoing publication of short stories, poetry, and occasional libretti. Currently seeking literary representation.

Current Works In Progress:

Antikythera Project (Dissertation)

Aerklas Project (Independent)

Three Iterations of Odysseus (Independent)


Invited speaker


"Actus Queerus: Classical Queerness and the Discipline", Kings College London, Panelist.

"The Appeal of Alternate History and Historical Fantasy", SFWA "Nebula" Conference, Moderator.

"Horror Stories with Anna Cheung, Dhiannon Grist, and A.M. Shine", Cymera Conference, Opening Reader.



Great Writing Conference (as moderator)



Historical Novel Society North American Conference


Papers delivered


"Writing In Place". Great Writing Conference. Panelist.

"Teaching and Writing the Future". Great Writing Conference. Secondary presenter with Jane Alexander as primary.



"Three Thousand Years of Re-Interpretation: Character Continuity and Ancient Texts", Great Writing Conference, Panelist.


Andrion (Novella - Knight Errant Press)

We Are Only Ourselves (Interzone - Forthcoming)

Love Song of an Atom in Fission (Last Stanza Literary Journal - Forthcoming)

First (The Centifictionist)

Lessons from the Fusion Classroom (UoE Teaching Matters)

To Take Communion (The Dark Side of Purity)

Finn (Hillfire Vol. 2 )

We, You, and the Gallery (Metaphorosis)

First (The Centifictionist)



and only darkness remains (Cold Signal - Forthcoming)

How to Read the Lace (Open Book)

Twenty-Twenties Triptych (Olney Magazine)

Evolution of the Kallerian Language Family (Segments, vol. 4)

parisian attic cancer dragon (The Bear Creek Gazette, vol. 7)

Three Iterations of Odysseus (Mahogany Opera Group-Performed)

Lipogram (Hillfire Vol. 1, Pushcart-nominated)



You Do Not Need to Open the Door (Orion's Belt, vol. 1, Pushcart-nominated)

hic incipit pestis (Cambridge "Quaranzine")


Publications prior to the start of my PhD are available upon request, or at my website.

Our Voices - selected (2022)

Pushcart Award Nominee (2021, 2022)