Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Author
Back from the World Fantasy Convention
King of Shards in the dealer's room.

King of Shards in the dealer’s room.

The World Fantasy Convention this past weekend in Saratoga Springs was a smashing success. I hadn’t been in Saratoga Springs, New York since 2007, and back then I was publishing Sybil’s Garage and had just published Paper CitiesAn Anthology of Urban Fantasy, edited by Ekaterina Sedia, which went on to win the World Fantasy Award the following year. I always have a fantastic time at the World Fantasy Convention, and this was the first con I’ve attended since my first novel King of Shards debuted, so the place has always had a special meaning for me. It didn’t disappoint again this year.

Some of the highlights of the con for me, in no particular order:

  • Selling 18 copies of King of Shards at the con (both from my stash and from copies sold in the dealers’ room).
  • Reading from King of Shards to an appreciative audience.
  • Signing 8 copies of King of Shards in the mass autographing section, and someone whom I didn’t know telling me how he was reading the book and “loving it!”
  • A professor at Ithaca College asking me to sign my short story “The Great Game at the End of the World” in the anthology After, and telling me she will be teaching it in her class.
  • Meeting Walter Jon Williams and him asking me to inscribe King of Shards for him.
  • Throwing a book release party with Rajan Khanna and chatting with all the interesting people who wandered through.
  • Hanging out with all the folks from the “JJA Posse,” namely John Joseph Adams, Doug Cohen, Desirina Boskovich, & Chris Cevasco  (not present at con: David Barr Kirtley and Matt & Jordan London).
  • Talking with Derek Ford, an amazingly talented artist and Jeff Ford’s son. 
  • Meeting and speaking and hanging out with so many awesome and talented people, whose names are too numerous to list. You know who you are.

Here’s a link to some photos I took at the con!

Geeks Guide to the Galaxy on Jewish Science Fiction

Geeks Guide to the GalaxyThis week I had the pleasure of participating in Episode 172 of the podcast Geeks Guide to the Galaxy, hosted by David Barr Kirtley. I was joined by the award-winning writers and editors Jack Dann, and Rachel Swirsky. We talk about how certain Jewish customs and myths found their way into popular culture, such as the Vulcan Salute, and the name Kwisatz Haderach from Frank Herbert’s Dune. Here’s an excerpt from the lede:

THE NEW NOVEL King of Shards by Matthew Kressel draws on centuries of Judaic myth about creatures like golems, dybbuks, and demons. In the course of his research, Kressel discovered that much of modern science fiction has Jewish roots. For example, when actor Leonard Nimoy invented the Vulcan salute, he was inspired by a two-handed gesture he’d seen at a Jewish ceremony.

“He suggested the one-handed priestly blessing,” Kressel says in Episode 172 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “And that entered into pop culture history.”

You can listen to the podcast here, but before you do, make sure to read the introduction text. Some pretty cool stuff in there from Rachel and Jack.