SFF Writer

Nalin A Ratnayake writes speculative fiction under the name N.A. Ratnayake. His stories have appeared in Crossed Genres Magazine as well as the post-colonial SF anthology We See A Different Frontier. His short story Remembering Turinam received an honorable mention in Gardner Dozois’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Thirty-First Edition. His Mars novel Red Soil Through Our Fingers was published in January 2016 and explores a future of corporate-controlled space settlement.

Though he has lived in many corners of the country, Nalin was born and raised in the American West — a region whose history and character continue to strongly influence his writing. The mountains, rains, coasts, and deserts of the West have been the backdrop for a rich interplay of conquest, struggle, identity, and hope. These themes often emerge entangled in Nalin’s fiction.

As an engineer, writer, and educator, Nalin is strongly committed to exploring ideas for creating a more positive and sustainable future for all people. He currently lives in Sacramento with his wife Laura, their young son Theo, and the Beagle of Inspiration known as Fianna.

Nalin is a founding member of the Word Still Writers Circle, a member of the California Writers Club (CWC) – Sacramento Branch, and a member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).

Professional Career

Nalin started his technical career as an aerospace engineer. He holds a B.S.E. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and, for the first part of his career, worked in the Mojave Desert on supersonic air-breathing propulsion, environmentally responsible aviation technologies, and advanced access-to-space systems.

To follow a personal quest in education, Nalin left his engineering career and completed an M.Ed. through the Boston Teacher Residency, focusing his studies on the connections between scientific literacy and social justice, particularly in the context of urban schools and communities. He taught science and engineering full-time in an urban public high school in Boston, eventually building new programs and modernizing the curriculum as the Science Department Chair.

In 2017, Nalin returned to research engineering, performing space launch vehicle aerodynamics analysis at a federal government research center near Norfolk, Virginia. He later moved into technical management, currently serving as the deputy project manager for a space-based, Earth-observing, climate science mission that is presently under development.


You can find Nalin the web at www.naratnayake.com, on Instagram, on Bluesky, in person at various science fiction and fantasy conventions, or by sending a message to [naratnayake at pm dot me]. You can also sign up for his author newsletter for regular personal and writing updates (roughly every six weeks).