The September/October 2020 issue of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction features a short story by Power of the Pen alum Angie Peng, an accomplishment she “100% attributes” to her experiences on a Power of the Pen team in middle school.
Exploring Technology's Effects on Humanity
Her story, “Do AIs Dream of Perfect Games?” features a science fiction twist on a hometown favorite, Cleveland Major League baseball. Angie’s debut piece caught the attention of SFRevu’s Sam Tomaino, who deems it worthy of an award. As an author published in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Angie is in the company of great literary figures such as Daniel Keyes and Ray Bradbury, whose work was featured in the publication in the past.
Angie’s career on the Responsible AI Team at Google informs her writing.
“Fundamentally, I’m interested in the way that technology impacts societies,” she says. “In the same way that I think the best science fiction writers are writing less about the science and more about humanity’s reaction to science, I’m interested in the ways our lives might change due to new technologies and their adoption.”
Learning What It Takes to Be a Writer
When she was a member of the Hudson Middle School team, the idea that writers need to practice their craft was a revelation to Angie.
“It was only when I found out that we would have weekly writing ‘practices’ that it occurred to me that perhaps artists didn’t just sit around waiting for inspiration or a muse or lightning to strike all the time,” Angie says. “It changed how I saw myself. I never thought of myself as a writer, and I still don’t sometimes, but it reinforced in me that if I was disciplined and motivated enough to practice my writing on a regular basis, then I could indeed be a writer.”
Angie found the competitive nature and team spirit of Power of the Pen to be motivating, as well.
“It gave me a sense of competition and camaraderie that previously I had only experienced playing sports,” she says. “From team practices to a state-wide tournament, we rooted for our teammates just as much as we wanted to win as a team.”
Angie particularly thanks her Power of the Pen coach, Mike Fejes. She tells him, “I wanted to send a note of thanks for putting in all the time over the years with precocious tweens - it really was life changing for me!”
Read one of Angie's award-winning stories from her 8th grade year in our examples of excellent student writing.