Vikram Ramakrishnan

Vikram Ramakrishnan’s short fiction appears in The Minnesota Review, Asimov's Science Fiction, and The Year’s Best Hard Science Fiction 7. In 2020, he attended the Odyssey Writing Workshop on The Walter & Kattie Metcalf Scholarship. His work was the recipient of the Gival Press Short Story Award. He is an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania.

Unfathomable • Fiction • The Chicago Quarterly Review (forthcoming)

Generative Leaf-Mould Transformer • Fiction • Shoreline of Infinity (Spring 2024)

On the Authentic Memories of Others • Fiction • The Minnesota Review (May 2023)

I’d been training to join the Monopolies, where the memsims I’d design would shape the minds of billions. When I first learned about the School of Memory Design, I wanted nothing more than to attend, so I applied. I received my acceptance, and it was the happiest day of my life. I was not good at much of anything else, but sketching, rendering, making static images come to life—these came to me naturally. I did not expect training to be so grueling, my days on repeat. My mind was a haze, jumbled colors and features drifting along the back of my eyelids. With aching hands, I sketched faces in my notebook, translating them into digital renders. At night, sometimes my body shook, outpouring emotion like a churning ocean.

The Abacus and the Infinite Vessel • Fiction • Asimov's Science Fiction (May/June 2022)

A tablet screen in my pod flashed, depicting a satellite view of Mars. I pressed a button on the screen, and a modulating, glowing red circle shined. I pushed it again, and a 3-D depiction replaced the satellite view. Below was unrecognizable, a dusty emptiness awash with red. As we descended, the screen revealed more details. Moon- sized craters, their ridges looking like a star giant smashed the ground with a jagged mallet. Hatched pattern of squares within rectangles. A glittering glass dome that seemed to be the colony’s heart. Human-made geometries of crystalline exactness within nature’s wildness.

Ultimately Identified Flying Object • Fiction • Liquid Skies (Spring 2023)

The first time she saw it, she wasn't entirely sure what it was. Round like a ball, the kind her older brother and Appa tossed around, it hovered between two bald cypress trees outside her front porch, shimmering like moonlight flashing on silver. Behind the object, the night’s canvas rippled. Her favorite star—the brightest one, the one Appa called the “North Star”—was slanted like a crescent moon.

My Replacement • Fiction • Meridian (Issue 46)

When I opened the door and met my replacement for the first and last time, I couldn’t help but wonder how I’d upset my family. Back then, I’d been reading Jorge Luis Borges’ Ficciones, a short story collection containing the mesmerizing Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, a tale of mirror worlds in which a world of ideals takes over the real. I struggled through the story’s laborious language, and though a chore at first, I soon found myself absorbed as if Borges had somehow tapped into me directly, warning of another world, one incompatible with mine, one that—if I weren’t diligent—would overwhelm me into oblivion. The story affected me deeply.

Preta, Their Never-Ending Hunger • Fiction • Harpur Palate (Issue 20.2)

I listen to him describe it, unsure whether what he’s saying is something he believes or the idle imaginations of a precocious eight-year-old. He tells me all this, of course, right before he drifts to sleep, when I’m otherwise alone in this home, waiting for the night to hover over me like a blanket.

My Refuge in the Swirls of her Chalk • Fiction • Eclectica Magazine

On the first day of winter, we would huddle together near our grandmother, Paati, and she would pull out a drawstring pouch from her azure sari's inexhaustible folds. She squatted on the sandy ground, sprinkling the bag's chalk in a grand white circle around us. On any of our birthdays, the chalk was vermillion. Fall, it was a ring of turmeric orange. On spring banana-leaf green, and during summer, her craft was thick with rainbows. Her magic was for our safety, she said, and we weren't allowed to cross the rendered thresholds.

Memory Simulations for a Grandmother • Fiction • Dark Matter Magazine

When I first started freelancing, I thought people would want significant, happy memories—winning the City Lottery, weddings, seeing a kid walk for the first time. The kind that the Monopolies churn out. What surprised me was that most buyers want small ones. The memory of a red bird streaking across the sky on a bright spring morning. The first memory of snow falling. The arbitrary summer afternoon coming home after playing with childhood friends.

Jackson Heights • Fiction • Gival Press

The man hated the cold. That he forgot his beanie at the woman’s apartment annoyed him. After they walked out of the subway turnstiles, she stopped at the top of the stairs. She took a deep breath as the wind ran through her long hair, her arms out as if she was Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.

Kanchenjunga's Hopes • Fiction • AEscifi, Stargazers - Microtales from the Cosmos Anthology

Simzone • Fiction • Newfound

A Crack in the Ground That Went to the Other Side of the Earth • Fiction • About Place Journal

Eggs • Fiction • SAND Journal

Necessary Shadows • Fiction • Lunch Ticket

Flowercrackers • Fiction • Lunch Ticket

Empty Stomach, Full Belly • Fiction • Lunch Ticket

Your Dog Isn't Happy • Fiction • The HitchLit Review

A Hollow in Malabar District • Fiction • Bowery Gothic

Directions for a Child Immigrating to the US in the 1980s • Creative Nonfiction • Atlas & Alice

Writing Workshops Are Like Relationships • Essay • F(r)iction


Winner of the 17th Annual Gival Press Short Story Award

The 2020 Walter & Kattie Metcalf Singing Spider Scholarship


Locus Magazine on The Abacus and the Infinite Vessel in The Year's Top Hard Science Fiction Stories 7

Locus Magazine on The Abacus and the Infinite Vessel in Asimov's

Q&A and Interview with Asimov's

Q&A and Interview with Odyssey Writer's Workshop

SFRevu of The Abacus and the Infinite Vessel