Robin sloan



I live in on the eastern edge of the San Francisco Bay, down by the railroad tracks. I am very enthusiastic about the entire Bay Area; I think it’s one of the most vital, interesting places in the world.

(If you are looking for a short bio to use as an introduction: it is here! And a high-resolution version of the portrait above is here.)

I’m the author of the novels Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, a New York Times Best Seller published in 2012, and Sourdough, new in 2017. In addition to those, I’ve produced an assortment of short stories and odd-shaped internet projects. My 2009 novella Annabel Scheme was an early Kickstarter success and still claims a special place in my heart.

I grew up in Troy, Michigan, and went to school at Michigan State, where I studied economics and co-founded a literary magazine called Oats. Between 2002 and 2012, I worked at the Poynter Institute, Current TV, and Twitter, and at all those places, my job had something to do with figuring out the future of media.

I am an enthusiast-level programmer, and I’ve recently been doing some experiments with machine learning. The audiobook for my second novel is, I believe, the world’s first to include sound generated by a neural network!

My partner Kathryn Tomajan and I make extra virgin olive oil on a leased three-acre grove in Sunol, California.

I work out of the Murray Street Media Lab in South Berkeley, which I share with the journalist Alexis Madrigal.

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This book is about Lois Clary, a talented young programmer from Michigan who follows a job to California, only to be drawn into the weird world of food that waits there. It’s about work and eating, robots and microbes, independence and ambition, and I believe it is the first novel in English to feature, as a key supporting character, a possibly-sentient sourdough starter.

Sourdough is published in the U.S. by MCD, a new division of FSG that I’m tremendously proud to be part of. The book’s cover, with its shining alien batard, was designed by Rodrigo Corral, the best in the business.

Praise for Robin Sloan and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

New York Times Here and Here

New York Times Book Review by Roxanne Gay

New York Times Books of the Times by Janet Maslin

Praise for Sourdough


The Atlantic