Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




Creative Writing

Committee Director

Kent J. Wascom

Committee Member

John P. McManus

Committee Member

Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley


The Forms of Things Unknown is a collection of nine short stories spanning multiple genres but connected by theme along with an editorial letter. It includes historical fiction, experimental fiction, imaginative realism, espionage, science fiction, and children’s literature. The stories are tied through the form of the collection as a magazine or anthology. They explore themes of growth, connections, truth, and memory. While the stories take on the qualities of their respective genre, the characters’ growth is the main focus. Each must come to terms with truths and grow as they acknowledge them. Many of the protagonists are looking for connection or are making discoveries about how they relate to others. Additionally, the impact of memory influences characters as they reflect on the past and how it shapes their future.

Through form and theme, the stories feel cohesive despite the genre differences. The collection opens with an editorial letter in the tradition established by pulp magazines of the early 20th century. The stories alternate in tone with the serious works offset by the lighter ones. It begins grounded in a work of historical fiction and ends with a work of science fiction. In between these, the collection is interrupted by the present with a story that experiences its own interruptions. A later work of children’s literature interjects a timeless quality. As a first collection, this should demonstrate the versatility and capabilities of the writer. While the collection houses a variety, it is not at the cost of the writer’s voice, which shines through in each work.


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