Michael Davis

Journalist, fiction writer, teacher.

London and Paris

Michael Davis

My writing has appeared in over 33 magazines and websites. I write fiction, narrative and journalistic nonfiction, work as a freelance content writer and copyeditor, and teach composition and fiction writing.



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.
Splice Today Link to Story

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.
Splice Today Link to Story

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.
Splice Today Link to Story

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.”.
Splice Today Link to Story

You Can Do Magic, Honey

When the original film, Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope, came out in 1977, it was a radical departure from idea-driven 1970s science fiction movies. Star Wars had more in common with Richard Donner’s Superman, which came out a year later in 1978. Donner’s Clark Kent, played by Christopher Reeve, was a nostalgic callback to traditional cultural ideas of what it was to be a stand-up guy: you held down a job, were uncomplicated, friendly, and decent, worked hard, and believed in The American Way.
Splice Today Link to Story

As the Leopard, So the Coliseum

There have been so many mass shootings in recent memory that I’d be at pains to identify a particular incident more tragic than the others. Tragedy is not scalable. Yet I can’t remember a time when someone in the media or in academia wasn’t screaming that the empire, if not the sky, is falling. Maybe one of the inherent properties of empire is that it continually appears to be coming apart.
Splice Today Link to Story

Hurricane Dreams

I walk outside my in-laws’ house in small-town Oregon and look at heat wobbles on the street, the perfect blue tent of the sky, a morose ex-Marine with a crewcut staring into his lawnmower, the brown clover field stretching to the trees, and I know this is paradise. I’ve lived all over the world, seen a lot of good and bad, and I can tell you: this is it.
Splice Today Link to Story

Burning Down the House

Sometime in October of 2013, I had a political discussion with a homeless man beneath an arch of an abandoned chapel in London’s Abney Park Cemetery. The US federal government had recently shut down and my new friend wanted to know if America had at last descended into post-apocalyptic chaos. I’ll never forget how he phrased his question: “I realize this may be a delicate subject and I hesitate to ask, but is it simply pandemonium over there?”.
Splice Today Link to Story

My Friend Has Gone Nazi

After the recent van attack outside the Finsbury Park mosque in London, I overheard someone ask if it’s ever going to end. The violence and tragedy. The terrorism. The disasters filling newspaper front pages. And I wanted to say, no, it won’t ever end. This is our world. These are the times in which we live.
Splice Today Link to Story

Fatal Vision: the Precipitous Exile of James Comey

It’s an old story. The new king, having attained the crown by first secretly betraying it in some fundamental way, is chagrined and afraid. His subjects do not love him. Ghosts follow him everywhere. He rants incoherently through the night and rarely sleeps, obsessed by the thought that certain powerful lords know his secrets and are plotting against him.
Splice Today Link to Story

Money Is Thicker Than Blood

New DOJ policies on illegal immigrants will benefit the private prison industry. After his ill-considered speech to Customs and Border Protection agents in Nogales, Arizona, Attorney General Jeff Sessions looks as dirty as they come. And in this era of scorched-earth partisan politics, artless graft, and self-serving chicanery, that’s saying something.
Splice Today Link to Story

Michael Davis: The Catherine Wheel

I first noticed the wolf in East Africa. Heard of brothers fighting and killing each other outside Makamba, daughters poisoning fathers in Goma, laughing while their houses burned, and everywhere the ritual of suffering enacted with a kind of desperate abandon. So I knew it had come around to this once again: an axe age, a sword age, a wind age, a wolf age.
Painted Bride Quarterly Link to Story


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 32 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, 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).



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