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Event Details

Charm City Spec

Bird in Hand

A speculative reading series, featuring short-story writer Tom Doyle, writer and aid-worker Malka Older, and novelist Ariel S. Winter.

Tom Doyle’s American Craftsmen trilogy (Tor) tells of the hidden magician-soldiers and psychic spies fighting among us. It’s backstory weaves classic uncanny tales and secret history together into a new American mythos.  He will be reading from the third book in the series, War and Craft, which presents America as the land of the free and home of the warlocks. America’s occult defenders consist of secret families who've sworn to use their powers to protect our republic. Yet, there are those who reject the path of service and have chosen the Left-Hand way. This triumphant conclusion to Tom Doyle’s imaginative secret history begins with a bloody wedding-night brawl with assassins in Tokyo. It all comes to a head in a valley hidden high in the mountains of Kashmir, where our craftspeople will battle against the vilest monsters of the Left Hand path. It’s Armageddon in Shangri-La, and the end of the world as we know it.

Tom has survived Harvard, Stanford, and cancer, and he writes in a spooky turret in Washington, DC. You can find the text and audio of many of his stories on his website: www.tomdoyleauthor.com.


Malka Older is a writer, aid worker, and PhD candidate. Her science fiction political thriller Infomocracy was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus, Book Riot, and the Washington Post. She is also the author of the sequels, Null States (2017) and State Tectonics (2018), as well as short fiction appearing in WIRED, Twelve Tomorrows, Reservoir Journal, Fireside Fiction, Tor.com and others. She was nominated for the 2016 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Named Senior Fellow for Technology and Risk at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs for 2015, she has more than a decade of experience in humanitarian aid and development.


Ariel S. Winter will be reading from his novel Barren Cove, in which the aged robot Sapien is the recent victim of a debilitating accident. The socially acceptable thing to do in robot culture is deactivate, but Sapien is not ready to end his life. Instead he orders spare parts for himself and rents a remote beach house where he can repair and ponder why he wants to go on. While there, he becomes obsessed with his landlords, the peculiar robot family living on the rambling estate perched at the top of the cliff. He is convinced that the elusive and enigmatic Beachstone, the head of the family, holds the answers to his existential quandary. Invoking the works of the great supernatural and science fiction writers Emily Bronte, Mary Shelley, Isaac Asimov, and Philip K. Dick, Barren Cove is a gothic tale in an unusual future.

Ariel S. Winter was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Shamus Award, and the Macavity Award for his novel The Twenty-Year Death. He is also the author of the novel Barren Cove, the children’s picture book One of a Kind, illustrated by David Hitch, and the blog “We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie”. He lives in Baltimore.






Event Details

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 7:00pm


Bird In Hand
11 E 33RD Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

by Dr. Radut