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Curtis C Chen Books In Order

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Publication Order of Kangaroo Books

Waypoint Kangaroo (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kangaroo Too (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Ninth Step Station Books

with Fran Wilde, Jacqueline Koyanagi
The Loud Politician (By: Fran Wilde) (0)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Assassin's Nest (By: Fran Wilde) (0)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bodiless Arm (By: Fran Wilde) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Thursday's Children: Flash Fiction from 512 Words or Fewer(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Leading Edge, Issue 65: Blue Glow(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
2016 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Oregon Reads Aloud of 25 Children's Stories by Oregon Authors and Illustrators(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Infinite Stars(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Devil's Ways(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ninth Step Murders: The Complete Season 1(2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ninth Step Murders: The Complete Season 2(2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Curtis C Chen is an author who worked in Silicon Valley before finally focusing his efforts on producing fiction. Besides his novels, for which he is probably best known, Curtis has written short stories, publishing them both online and in print. The author also has quite a few nonfiction works under his belt.


Curtis C Chen was born in Taiwan. However, the author calls the United States of America home because that is where he grew up. Curtis began life as an adult by working as a software Engineer in Silicon Valley.

Most notable authors are known for the wide range of odd jobs they indulged in before finally getting their big break. Stephen King, for example, worked as a janitor back in the day. Curtis has been more fortunate than most.

Curtis was writing even before he left the engineering world, though. While some of his fans can only trace his career as far back as ‘It’s the Machine Code’, one of the first stories he ever wrote, Curtis’ writing origins stretch further than that.

And it isn’t surprising that Curtis eventually chose to go into the writing and publishing arena either. One of Curtis C Chen’s more memorable moments was when a co-worker in the tech industry hired him to produce some Wiki articles for Wired.

The project, which was sponsored by Intel, still stands out in Curtis’ memories because it is his most lucrative writing gig to date, having seen him earn more money per word than with any other writing project he has ever undertaken.

Even when this opportunity faded, Curtis kept writing, adding his voice to technology blogs all over the internet. Even though the experience was educational, Curtis found that it split his focus and he eventually chose to quit in order to give his fiction work the attention it deserved.

The author, who graduated from the Clarion West and Viable Paradise Writers’ workshops, is best known for his ‘Kangaroo’ books; Curtis can trace his most popular character to his days in Taiwan.

Because Curtis’ grandfather owned a bookshop, the author had access to a wide variety of books to read. And in the process of exploring his grandfather’s bookstore, Curtis eventually stumbled upon a Japanese Manga called ‘Doraemon’. The comic followed a giant cat with futuristic technology that he can summon from a special pouch in his belly. The pouch granted Doraemon access to a Fourth Dimensional pocket. This concept gave birth to Kangaroo’s own superpower.

Though, Curtis C Chen did not set out to mimic Doraemon. Doraemon always had a childish appeal to it. Curtis’ intention was to write spy thrillers for adults. He did this by making Kangaroo’s power tangible, giving it rules and allowing his readers to understand its strengths and weaknesses.

Curtis spent many a day brainstorming ideas with his friends, figuring out what Kangaroo’s power could or couldn’t do. Because Kangaroo and his powers were the crux of the stories Curtis wanted to tell, he wanted to make sure that he got things just right.

Once Kangaroo and his powers were properly defined, Curtis began to craft what he called ‘edge cases’, situations that could only be solved using Kangaroo’s special powers. The final product of all this creating and furnishing was a character in the spy field that wasn’t especially competent at the spy stuff; so he was often used as a courier, but things were always going wrong along the way, resulting in many an adventure.

Curtis, who has been hailed for his speculative fiction ideas, loves puzzles, and he is always running puzzle games near Portland in Oregon.

+WayPoint Kangaroo

Described as a high octane sci-fi spy thriller, WayPoint Kangaroo is Curtis C Chen’s first novel, and it attempts to add a new spin to stories set in outer space.

Kangaroo looks just like any other spy. After all, he has all the cool gadgets, and he has undergone extensive training from his agency, making him the perfect weapon against those foes waiting in the night.

Of course, not every spy has a quick retort waiting in the wings. No one does clever quips quite like Kangaroo. But that isn’t what makes Kangaroo special-and he is definitely something special.

Where other spies might depend on their extensive training and state-of-the-art technology in order to face down danger, Kangaroo has ‘the pocket’, a tool like no other.

With the pocket, Kangaroo has the ability to access a parallel universe, one that is not only empty but infinite. There is no one like Kangaroo because no one else has the pocket. And that superpower alone is why Kangaroo’s agency keeps him around.

He knows that they relish in the prospect of exploiting his power. However, Kangaroo doesn’t make things easy for them, what with all the missions he keeps bungling.

When another mission goes awry, Kangaroo is sent on an interplanetary cruise to mars on a forced vacation.

But Kangaroo isn’t sweating things, and he is determined to make effective use of his exile. Though any peace he was relishing quickly goes out the window when two passengers are found dead.

Kangaroo is initially worried that the ensuing investigation might blow his cover. But he is soon preoccupied by the fear that he might not be the only spy on the ship. If he is right and a massive conspiracy with galactic consequences is unfolding, then Kangaroo is the only one capable of stopping the oncoming disaster.

Earth and Mars have enjoyed a tenuous peace for a very long time. If he wants to prevent interplanetary conflict from breaking out, Kangaroo will have to forego his vacation plans.

The most interesting aspect of this Curtis C Chen book is the manner in which he describes and plays with Kangaroo’s pocket universe. The pocket generally allows him to store things that he might need in the field. And it is because he has this ability that Kangaroo is a spy. Otherwise, he brings little else to the table.

The first book in the Kangaroo series finds the protagonist trying and failing to relax and have fun. Fortunately for Kangaroo, there’s a murderer on the loose and he might be the only one capable of stopping him and an oncoming war.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Curtis C Chen

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