Alberto Yáñez

About Me

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Alberto Yáñez

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What I Write

Writing Sample

He shakes his head no, grey hair a scraggly storm about his head. “Citlal, no. The other lawspeakers in the camp agree with me.”

She snorts, and throws a fine turquoise spidersilk shawl into a sorting bin. “You mean none of them dare disagree with the great lawspeaker Quineltoc! We will all die.” She pauses, deliberate. “They killed Shochi. And if they are feeding us to their god, do any of our souls even make it past the Sunset Gate to the next world?”

He throws out his hands, negating the possibility. “Shochi is in God’s keeping,” he says, almost reasonable. Then his voice hardens. “And I refuse to be the one to keep us apart for eternity.”

Citlal’s shoulders slump and her head dips, lank black hair streaked with silver-white obscuring her face. She knows that tone in her husband’s voice. He won’t countenance the magic that could save them, not if it embraces the dark between the stars.

She reminds herself that he’s a good man, a godly man. The Living Lord has spoken with him. The People use his name as another word for rectitude, for devotion, for wisdom.

She reminds herself.

A good man who only sees God.

She will not be so blind.
— from “Burn the Ships”

* * *

When I was twelve, my hada madrina came to visit. My fairy godmother hadn’t come to see us since my baptism, so I didn’t even know her except from the stories, like the one about cousin Tomasita and the goat who could play fútbol.
— from “Recognizing Gabe: un cuento de hadas

* * *

“That’s a very noble thing, Miss Parrish. I commend you.” The strange woman smiled. It was a small, half-secret smile that hinted at private approval and a vast but encouraging amusement. Lavinia flushed, and went on before she grew tongue-tied.
— from “The Coffinmaker’s Love”

* * *

It isn’t anonymous sex, you explained once to a friend. If you know their first name, it isn’t anonymous.

I always knew you were a slut, she replied, laughing, snorting with deeply fond amusement, but I never knew you were a deluded slut. You remember that now, with a demon riding your cock.
— from “Devilry”

* * *
The first fat drops of a long, soaking storm hit the pane. Winds and waters, I thought, and waited for Minnerton to continue.

“Are you sure,” he began, still looking out the windows. He stopped himself with a visible effort that read ‘let me try that again’ as clearly as if he had held up a painted sign. “Ah. That is, what the river told me is bad. Very bad. It might be best to cut your losses and run.” He turned and looked me in the eyes. “I mean that literally.”

“You’re the second person to suggest that to me, Minnerton.”

“And you’re still here.”

“Yes. Well.”

“I’ve never known if you were brave or just unimaginative and stubborn.”

I barked a sound that could have been laughter, were the listener generous. I shrugged. “The jury is still out.” I took a sip of my bourbon and asked, “What did the river say, Minnerton?”
— from “Counsel of the Saints,” a work in progress

What I Write

I’m a fantasist, an essayist, and at times, a bad poet.

Every so often, a wonder gets worked.


“Burn the Ships”
New Suns:  Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color, Nisi Shawl, ed., 2019


“Recognizing Gabe:  un cuento de hadas
Strange Horizons, 2012

and at PodCastle:


“The Coffinmaker’s Love”
Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 2013


“Driving for Peanuts”
Toasted Cake, 2012


Oregon Literary Arts awarded me the 2018 Leslie Bradshaw Fellowship, for Fiction.

My Write-a-thon Goals

Writing Goals


I’m working on a novel (working title “Counsel of the Saints”).

I’m also revising “Devilry,” “Dogsbody,” and have more work to do to on that other novel, plus a few essays.

Fundraising Goals

As much money as you’ll give us!