About Robin

It's me
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 published many short stories and digital projects. My 2009 novella Annabel Scheme was an early Kick­starter success. My app Fish is a new kind of book entirely.

I have a new novel arriving in June 2024 from MCD×FSG. We haven’t revealed too much infor­ma­tion about it yet — not even the title — so if you’re inter­ested in learning more, I recommend subscribing to my email newsletter, which you can do at the bottom of this page.

I’ve written fiction and commen­tary for many different publications. In 2020, I wrote a serial that was published daily for two weeks on the front page of the Mercury News and the East Bay Times! It was a total throwback, and one of the great honors of my writing life so far.

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: robin@robinsloan.com

The dance of death: death finds an author writing his life, 1827, Edward Hull
The dance of death: death finds an author writing his life, 1827, Edward Hull

I grew up in Troy, Michigan, where the Troy Public Library provided my foundation; I can recall the swish of its automatic vestibule with perfect sensory clarity. A bit later, I went to school at Michigan State University, where I studied economics and co-founded a literary magazine called Oats. Between 2002 and 2011, I worked at the Poynter Institute (2002-2004), Current TV (2004-2009), and Twitter (2010-2011); at all those places, my job had something to do with figuring out the future of media.

From 2012 onward, fiction has paid my bills.

I split my time between the San Francisco Bay Area, where I maintain a small media lab, and the San Joaquin Valley, where I work with Kathryn Tomajan to make California extra virgin olive oil. (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 was Shadow Planet; our latest is The Greatest Remaining Hits.

I wrote two of the char­ac­ters in the video game Neo Cab, produced by Phenry Ewing and Chance Agency.

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

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

Here’s a mono­chro­matic view of Earth from the Moon, captured by Danuri in early 2023:

An image of the Earth rising over the cratered edge of the moon, captured in rich monochrome, like something by Ansel Adams

Thanks for being here.

September 2023, Berkeley