Unpredictable Worlds: Stories

A teacher controls her students with an edible microchip.
A reporter turns into a rhinoceros.
A couple’s efforts to eat local go frighteningly awry.
If you’re looking to be surprised, puzzled, or just plain entertained, pick up this omnibus. There’s something for everyone!

More than twenty years in the making, Unpredictable Worlds contains all of Jessica Knauss’s published and prize-winning short fiction as of March 2015 and a few of her best stories never before seen in print or ebook. Zany plots and outrageous characters will stretch your belief and tug at your heart.

“A collection of stories that stray delightfully off the beaten track of cookie cutter characters and plot lines… a trip through the author’s imagination… a rich tapestry of creativity and character.”

—Carine Engelbrecht, Readers’ Favorite (full review)

“If you love animals, you need to read this book for the Rhino section alone. … This collection is by turns funny, touching, thought provoking, anger inducing, and faith affirming. It’s great.”

—Chris N. Ethier, The Fish Place (full review)

The stories “explore the person’s deepest interior, their secret wishes that can become worst nightmares or frustrations that lead to a downfall. In all, the world is not quite what the reader expects and through it the reader’s own idea of the world and what is possible can be challenged. Fascinating.”

—Author Kristin Gleeson

“…this is damned good writing that’ll have you wondering how you missed that you were being sandbagged by a plot twist or two that you didn’t see coming. Cf. O. Henry, Saki (H.H. Munroe), Kipling, and their followers in the noble art of compressing a story down to its essence. Jessica Knauss finds the deeply disturbing and scary in ordinary situations and everyday life. When she starts, all is as normal as reaching for your morning coffee, but before you’re half way through, it’s a whole other story—one that should make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.”

—Author Seymour Hamilton

“A bit of modern Bradbury.”

—Author Martin Hill Ortiz

“Twists and humor. This is the kind of book I always carry on a long trip and know it will keep me occupied and amused.”


Get it in ebook: Kindle • iBooks • Nook • Kobo • Smashwords • Inktera • Blio • Book Detail

and softcover: Softcover • Indiebound • Amazon • Barnes and Noble


Video readings

Prizewinning flash fiction Stairs to the Beach

Five Species Forever Flash Fiction in Honor of Rhinos:

Safari | Clara | After the Arena | The Last Ultrasound | Old Paintings

Rhinoceros Dreams Story Trailer



“Stairs to the Beach” First Prize Winner at Brilliant Flash Fiction

“A Disastrous Marriage” at Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure

“Unpredictable Factors in Human Obedience” in Bewildering Stories

“Job Fair” at Microliterature

Part of “What She Lacked” at The Glass Highway