M. T. Anderson has written picture books for children, stories for adults, and novels for teens. His satirical sci-fi novel Feed was a Finalist for the National Book Award and was winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize. The first volume of his Octavian Nothing saga won the National Book Award and the Boston Globe / Horn Book Award for Fiction; the second volume won a Printz Honor and a Boston Globe / Horn Book Honor. Two of his stories have appeared in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.
About “The Oracle Engine,” he writes: “Almost everything in this story, believe it or not, is taken directly from real Roman history. I added Marcus Furius, the oracle engine itself, its prophesy, and, of course, a flying ship or two. Though the machine’s prophesy was something I made up, the hideous fate of Crassus and his head were taken right out of Plutarch and Cassius Dio. It just goes to show you that truth is more gory than fiction.”