James Cambias (also as James L. Cambias) is an American science fiction and fantasy writer and tabletop game designer, whose stories have been finalists for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, the Locus Award, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and the Compton Crook Award. Cambias was a nominee for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2001.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, he received a degree in the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine from the University of Chicago. He currently lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
His early writing focused on role-playing games, particularly adventures and support material for Space 1889. His first role playing book was published by Iron Crown Enterprises in 1994, and he has written or contributed to books for Last Unicorn Games, Hero Games, and Steve Jackson Games, including Star Trek: The Next Generation Role-playing Game, GURPS Mars, Star Hero, and GURPS Space. He is one of the founders of Zygote Games, and the co-designer of the game Bone Wars: The Game of Ruthless Paleontology, based on the Bone Wars of the late 19th century.
His first professionally published fiction appeared in 2000. His work as been published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, The Journal of Pulse-Pounding Narratives, Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic, All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, Hellboy: Odder Jobs, and several Year’s Best anthologies. He is the author of the 2014 novel A Darkling Sea about the encounter between humans and two species of sentient extraterrestrials.