Curtis C. Chen

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Curtis C. Chen writes fiction and runs puzzle games near Portland, Oregon.


Short fiction[edit]

Thursday's Children: Flash Fiction from 512 Words or Fewer (2014)[edit]

All quotes are from the e-book edition
  • There’s another important lesson here: If something seems weird, it’s probably even weirder than you think. The universe is really, really, really weird, guys.
    • In Which Miss Hartfeil Drops Some Science on Her Tenth Grade Classroom (2013)

Waypoint Kangaroo (2016)[edit]

All quotes are from the e-book edition, published by Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin's Press ISBN 978-1-250-08179-7
  • No aliens yet, but it’s amazing how paranoid some people can get when you pay them to think up worst-case scenarios.
    • Chapter 1
  • “Are we done here?” I ask. “I can come back later if you want to yell at me some more.”
    • Chapter 2
  • Paul’s sense of humor is more like a humor singularity, from which nothing funny can escape.
    • Chapter 4
  • When you put enough secrets into play, they’re going to start colliding with each other.
    • Chapter 8
  • That’s what happens when you ask for obedience without granting trust. Zealots need to be micromanaged.
    • Chapter 34
  • This is not some random misfortune we’re fighting. This is evil. And evil is predictable.
    • Chapter 34
  • Did I say this was a bad idea? I was wrong. This is probably the worst idea ever.
    On the bright side, I guess that makes it a new personal record.
    • Chapter 38
  • “Lasher thought you should know,” Oliver says.
    “Lasher,” I say, “ is a deceitful, two-faced, manipulative bastard.”
    Oliver frowns. “And this is somehow news to you?”
    • Chapter 40
  • Finding the stupidest possible thing to say, that’s my other superpower.
    • Chapter 43

Kangaroo Too (2017)[edit]

All quotes are from the e-book edition, published by Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin's Press ISBN 978-1-250-08190-2
  • Which, again, is very unlikely and would seem pretty ridiculous to any normal person, but as events keep reminding me: I don’t deal with normal people.
    • Chapter 2
  • I’d just like us to consider all the possibilities. Especially the ones that involve me being an assassination target.
    • Chapter 4
  • Rumblings on Mount Olympus don’t affect the price of feta cheese in the agora.
    • Chapter 4
  • Paul shakes his head. “Please tell me how much longer you would like to complain about this before I can leave and get back to work.”
    • Chapter 6
  • I don’t know how long I can keep lying to someone I want to love.
    • Chapter 8
  • “Heels and Lunar gravity don’t really mix well.”
    • Chapter 8
  • I step into one of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen.
    Don’t get me wrong. I’ve witnessed lots of incredible things. My uncomfortably long and monotonous outer space travels do get me into visual range of some of the most vivid astronomical wonders in the Solar System: Saturn’s rings, the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, any number of comets shedding their icy mass in huge glowing tails. But nothing compares to seeing Planet Earth from space.
    • Chapter 8
  • She squints at me. “Since when do you care about regulations?”
    “Since they started helping me win arguments like this.”
    • Chapter 11
  • “You said Gryphon wants to be friends,” Paul says. “What’s more friendly than a common enemy?”
    • Chapter 16
  • “How does this organization even function?” I say. “Lasher isn’t talking to you, we lost pretty much all of Intel last year, and State’s keeping secrets from everyone—”
    “This is a spy agency,” Morris says. “We’re basically state-sponsored professional liars.”
    I frown. “It sounds pretty unsavory when you put it like that.”
    “It’s the truth. We do secret things every day of the week and twice on Sundays, and we can’t talk about most of those things. You either learn to live with it, or you find a new job.”
    • Chapter 19
  • Hong doesn’t say anything. I can’t decide whether he’s being politely discreet or annoyingly neutral.
    • Chapter 19
  • Of course, Jessica and I have already wandered pretty far from our original mission: what should have been a simple info buy has turned into the craziest road trip of all time, with a side of dysfunctional family reunion.
    • Chapter 26
  • “It’s not personal, Kangaroo,” Alisa says.
    “It’s a little hard not to take it personally when someone clones you.”
    • Chapter 26
  • It’s like we’re doing a little dance. A very poorly choreographed, very violent dance, with dangerous chemicals and bullets as props.
    • Chapter 26
  • There’s nothing like pulling rank in the middle of a crisis to make people dislike you.
    • Chapter 31
  • People always think differently of someone who’s been in an armed conflict. Even if she never picked up a weapon. She still picked a side.
    • Chapter 33
  • I’ve already spotted a few more familiar faces. Apparently this crisis is the social event of the season.
    • Chapter 33

External links[edit]