Date of Award


Document Type

Embargoed Thesis

Call Number

PS3613.O736 V355 2019

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Tobias Buckell

Second Advisor

James Patrick Kelly

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


Validation Set is a work of hard science fiction, containing 14 original short stories held together by a 15th, original, frame story which can be read as a stand-alone short story or with the other thirteen stories interleaved in order. Validation Set deals with the theme of grief through the lens of how near or far future technology enables the expression and the processing of grief. The characters in the work experience loss: loss of a family member or a loss of identity. Validation Set additionally focuses on themes of the nature of consciousness, feelings of alienation, and what happens when the best of parental intentions go awry.