Who Do You Think You Are

You ask as if there is shame in thinking, as if I am sure of my thoughts,

but I think what I can scarcely say.


A child’s book of riddles:

I have lost myself on purpose. I am made of an alloy

that your world does not possess. I am vast and delicate.

I contain an ocean and a flower and a spark. I glow,

like fireflies. My brightest light is hidden

even from me.


Have you ever torn through a forest of books, trawling the half-naked


of dream and the tarnish of myth, desperately seeking

a memory?

I thought so.


(Editors’ Note: “Who Do You Think You Are” is read by Joy Piedmont on the Uncanny Magazine Podcast, Episode 32A.)


Ada Hoffmann

Ada Hoffmann’s debut novel, The Outside, was released by Angry Robot Books in June 2019. She is also the author of the collection Monsters in My Mind and of dozens of speculative short stories and poems, as well as the Autistic Book Party #ownvoices review series. Her work has been long-listed for the BSFA Award for Shorter Fiction, the Rhysling Award, and the D Franklin Defying Doomsday Award.

Ada is a computer scientist at a university in southern Ontario, Canada, where she teaches computers to be creative and undergraduates to think computationally about the human mind. She has also worked professionally as a church soprano, free food distributor, and token autistic person. Ada is bisexual, genderfluid, polyamorous, and mentally ill. She lives with her primary partner Dave, her black cat Ninja, and various other animals and people.

You can find Ada online at, on Twitter at @xasymptote, or support her work on Patreon at

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