Listen to Shadow Planet!

About Robin

It's me!

I’m the author of the novels Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, a New York Times Best Seller published in 2012, and Sourdough, a non-New York Times Best Seller but still very good book published 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. My app Fish is a new kind of book entirely.

I’ve written fiction and nonfiction for many publications, including the New York Times and the Atlantic; you can find links in my feed. In 2020, I wrote a serial that was published daily in the Mercury News and the East Bay Times!

If you are looking for a short bio to use in an introduction, please follow this link. You can find a high-resolution version of the portrait above right here.

You can reach me via email:

I grew up in Troy, Michigan, and went to school at Michigan State University, 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. Since 2012, fiction has paid my bills, which, trust me: I don’t take that for granted.

With my partner Kathryn Tomajan, I make California extra virgin olive oil, available by subscription or by the tin. Every shipment includes a zine that I write, design, and print!

I am one half of The Cotton Modules, a band formed with the composer Jesse Solomon Clark. Our debut album is Shadow Planet.

I am the programming equivalent of a home cook, and I’ve shared many projects on GitHub, including a crisp, lightweight e-book template.

Back in 2004, I co-produced, with Matt Thompson, a strange short film (?) called EPIC 2014. You can watch it courtesy of one of the many YouTube rips.

Here’s the first-ever image of a multi-planet system around a Sun-like star:

A blob of yellow-red light surrounded by smaller blobs of light: gas giants orbiting a distant star

It’s a big world out there, folks.

This site is set in Alisa Nowak’s terrific Eskapade Fraktur from TypeTogether and Paul D. Hunt’s essential Source Sans Pro from Adobe.

December 2021, Berkeley

The main thing to do here is sign up for my email newsletter, which is infrequent and wide-ranging. I always try to make it feel like a note from a friend: