Michael Davis

Journalist, fiction writer, teacher.

London and Paris

Michael Davis

My writing has appeared in over 34 magazines and websites. I write fiction, narrative and journalistic nonfiction, work as a freelance content writer and copy editor, and teach composition and fiction writing.



William Barr and the Subversion of Justice

One thing I’ve always loved about James Ellroy’s crime novels is that they’re as unreal as Harlequin romances. Where Harlequin has windswept cliffs, muscle-bound aristocrats who have the souls of poets, sympathetic protagonists with whom the reader can identify, and dependable happy endings, Ellroy goes to the opposite extreme.
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Into the Badlands Loses Its Way

When I was in high school, I loved Groo the Wanderer, a comic book series written and drawn by the Spanish-Mexican illustrator, Sergio Aragonés, who’s sometimes better known for the tiny illustrations he did in MAD magazine called “marginals.”. Groo spoofed the sword-and-sorcery genre made popular in the 1980s by Dungeons & Dragons, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Conan movies, and a raft of suburban mothers campaigning against role-playing games, convinced that childhood imagination was the left hand of Satan.
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Trump is Interesting Again

In the 1994 film, The Madness of King George, Ian Holm as Dr. Francis Willis makes a telling aside while waiting to meet the king for the first time. Speaking more to himself than to Colonel Greville, standing nearby, he says, “Did you know, Mr. Greville, the state of monarchy and the state of lunacy share a frontier?
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Outrage is Over

The entire US government has descended into a kind of dirty, wired, gag reel. I took a three-month hiatus from writing about politics and crime. I had my reasons. If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you already know what they were. You’ve been on a similar trip. If you haven’t made a complete news fast, a total break from the morbid comedy of this administration’s grinding comeuppance, then you’ve been in a cultural trance.
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If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thanks for visiting! I witnessed Charles Allan Speakman in a blue jumpsuit, standing on a tower of metal shipping containers, arms open wide, illuminated from above by a 400-watt ceiling flood like some junkie messiah.
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Attacked on the Street

Dai Hong’s shitbox Accord got stolen while we were in a diner. It was November in Missoula and snowing hard that day. We stood in the lot and looked at the space where he’d parked, a depression in the snow like we’d arrived late to a funeral and now the grave was all filled in. The Accord was worth about $100, but Dai’s uncle had given it to him back in Fresno and it had sentimental value.
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You Are Somewhere Else

Michael Davis’ short fiction has appeared in over 33 magazines and journals and he has published two collections of stories, Gravity and Cruel Stars. He has an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Montana and a PhD in English from Western Michigan University. He lives in the United Kingdom where he works as an academic editor and freelance journalist.
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More Than Just a Familiar Formula

Mute, not Altered Carbon, is the Netflix original everyone should be watching. Netflix’s Mute is, above all else, a horror film. On the surface, it’s a science fiction drama set in Berlin about 40 years in the future. It features a bartender named Leo who goes on a quest to find out what happened to his girlfriend even though he can’t speak, is a gentle soul, and catches a beating in every other scene.
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STEM, Scientism, and the Decline of the Humanities

I’m among that dwindling minority that thinks the humanities and MFA creative writing programs are valuable. The development of critical thinking skills will not be possible without exposure to conclusions—even those regarding climate change—derived from scientific inquiry.”. This gives voice to a very real concern that the politics dominating Washington are leading us toward tragedy.
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The NRA Isn’t the Problem

As a former high school English teacher, I read about Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with an assault rifle, and was reminded of a number of troubled kids I’d seen come and go over the years. Any of them could have done what Cruz did and a few of them came close.
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Altered Carbon’s Love Affair With Central Casting

Netflix’s Altered Carbon might have a bright future in sci-fi binge streaming, not because it’s great but because most of the other TV shows and films in its genre are lousy. Try to imagine your favorite Blade Runner knockoffs of the past 32 years. Nemesis might come to mind, The Fifth Element, Gattaca, Strange Days, Johnny Mnemonic, The Matrix, District 9, Chappie, Automata, Elysium, even the Twilight Zone-ish Black Mirror.
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Cui Bono: The Latest Conspiracy Theory in the Ongoing Disintegration of the GOP

The first thing in my RSS news feed this morning was an article by Olivia Beavers in The Hill headlined, “GOP lawmakers raise concerns over ‘secret society’ in FBI agents’ texts.”. The piece didn’t reveal or clarify much beyond noting that Trey Gowdy has expressed concern about FBI agents, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, “who privately exchanged text messages disparaging president Trump” and referencing a “‘secret society’ shortly after the republican candidate won the election.”.
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Michael Davis

I've been a professional writer since 1998. I was lead writer for the Los Angeles Diversity Project; a freelance writer / editor privately and through the Gotham Writers Workshop; and my writing has appeared in over 34 magazines and websites. Samples of my work can be found here and on my website at

My writing has appeared in Descant, The San Joaquin Review, The Jabberwock Review, The Black Mountain Review, Eclipse, Cottonwood, The Mid-American Review, Full Circle, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Georgia Review, Storyglossia, The Chicago Quarterly Review, Willow Springs, The Normal School, Arcana, The Superstition Review, The New Ohio Review, The Painted Bride Quarterly, The Atticus Review, Isthmus, the Earlyworks Press Short Story Anthology, Redline, Forge, The Writing Disorder, Small Print Magazine, the Ginosko Literary Journal, The Blather, Pain Talks, ReVue, Literati Magazine, Student Voices, Human Parts, Ink & Coda, Visitant, Terror House, and Splice Today. My first book of stories, Gravity, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2009. My second collection, Cruel Stars, came out in 2017.

I have a BA in English from the University of California, Irvine, an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Montana, an MIS in Information Technology Management from University of Phoenix, and a PhD in English from Western Michigan University. I hold an Expert TESOL teaching certification from the American TESOL Institute and an ABA Paralegal Certification from the University of California, San Diego.

I’ve taught English at Stamford International University (Bangkok, Thailand), The Gotham Writers Workshop (online), Tallinn University (Tallinn, Estonia), Butte College (Oroville, CA), Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI), San Joaquin Memorial High School (Fresno, CA), University of Missouri (Columbia, MO), University of Montana (Missoula, MT), California State University Fresno (Fresno, CA), and Fresno City College (Fresno, CA).

I have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Hayden’s Ferry Review (2003), The Mid-American Review (2004), Storyglossia (2007), Isthmus (2014), and Forge (2015). My awards include the Editor’s Choice Award in the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Contest (2004) and the George Garrett Fiction Award (2008). My story, “The Man in Africa,” was voted one of the Million Writers Award Notable Stories of 2007.

My fiction has been reviewed in Five Star Literary Stories (2008), The Southeast Review (2009), and Third Coast (2010).



  • Investigative Journalism
  • Corporate and Legal Research
  • Legal and Business Writing
  • Copyediting
  • Corporate Ghostwriting
  • Story Doctoring
  • Writing Instruction
  • Online Content Writing
  • Explanatory Journalism
  • Narrative Non-fiction