Search SFE    Search EoF

  Omit cross-reference entries  

Mamatas, Nick

Entry updated 31 October 2022. Tagged: Author, Editor.

Icon made by Freepik from


(1972-    ) US author much of whose work has been horror or fantasy, of interest not only for his sf but for an assured and adventurous mixing of genres (see Equipoise), often couched as Satire, throughout his career to date; it is at times not easy – nor perhaps very useful – to fix particular tales into a safe generic framework, though his creative interest in H P Lovecraft makes it possible to describe much of his work in terms of Horror in SF. He began to publish work of genre interest with "Your Life, Fifteen Minutes from Now" in Talebones for Spring 2000, assembling many of his early stories as 3000 MPH In Every Direction At Once (coll 2003) and You Might Sleep ... (coll 2009). The People's Republic of Everything (coll 2018) assembles mostly later work, which remains radically disaffected with the America that is his main focus.

Mamatas's first tale of strong interest, Northern Gothic (2001 chap), is set like much of his work in New York; remarkably combining Timeslip and horror, it focuses on the experiences of a man in 1998 who is "visited" by a murderous racist from 1863. Move Under Ground (2004), a full length novel, carries Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) and Neal Cassady (1926-1968) on a road trip to New York in pursuit of Monsters from the Cthulhu Mythos; a similar conceit governs The Damned Highway: Fear and Loathing in Arkham: A Savage Journey into the Heart of the American Nightmare, and Back Again (2011) with Brian Keene and "Uncle Lono", where President Richard Nixon (1913-1994) is revealed to be an agent of Cthulhu. Under My Roof (2007), set in the Long Island suburbs of Near Future New York and narrated by an adolescent Telepath, is of sf interest for its strongly Satirical depiction of modern American political Paranoia, as the country retreats into demented isolationism (both Canada and the whole of Latin America have been defined as hostile powers); the protagonist's father builds a nuclear device and secedes from the United States. In Sensation (2011) a woman, who has just murdered a real estate developer for cause, escapes into what seems to be a Virtual Reality enclave, which turns out to be a window into the truth of things: Homo sapiens is ruled by two Secret Master species – they manifest as spiders and wasps – who vie over ultimate control: again, Mamatas's Satirical intentions are manifest. Bullettime (2012) is fantasy.

In their scathing transactions with the cultures of America, Sabbath (2019) and The Second Shooter (2021) both verge into the Near Future; the latter is particularly savage in its analysis of the theory – held in the real world, and demonstrably untrue there – that a second shooter has haunted most mass killings in recent years.

Mamatas co-edited Clarkesworld between 2006 and 2008. [JC]

Nick Mamatas

born New York: 20 February 1972


collections and stories

works as editor




individual titles as editor



previous versions of this entry

This website uses cookies.  More information here. Accept Cookies