Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer
“The Marsh of Camarina”
Shades Within Us
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“Love Engine Optimization”
The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition
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“The History Within Us”
Future Science Fiction Digest - Issue 0
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“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Smokopolitan nr 10
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“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
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“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare Magazine 63
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“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Bifrost
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“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
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“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
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“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
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“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
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“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
XB-1
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
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“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
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“The Problem of Meat”
Grendelsong
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
科幻世界 (Science Fiction World)
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“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
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“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
World Chinese SF Association
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“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
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“The History Within Us”
XB-1 Issue 11/2014
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Космопорт (Kosmoport)
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
XB-1 Issue 8/2014
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“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
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“Pheth’s Aviary”
Beneath Ceaseless Skies - Issue 133
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“The Last Probe”
Launch Pad
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“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
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“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
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“The Suffering Gallery”
The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year Three
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“The Hands That Feed”
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
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“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
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“The Hands That Feed”
Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories
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“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
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“The Suffering Gallery”
Beneath Ceaseless Skies - Issue 57
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“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
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“The Girl in the Basement”
Apex Magazine, Vol 3, Issue 3
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“The Spaces Between Things”
Electric Velocipede 17/18
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“The Girl in the Basement”
Hatter Bones
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“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
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“The Sembla”
A Field Guide to Surreal Botany
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“The Writing’s on the Wall”
Farrago's Wainscot #5
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“Marie and the Mathematicians”
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #26
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“The Thing in the Refrigerator That Could Stop Time”
Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest
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How Viewing Our Own Social Graph Might Help Reduce Cultural Polarization
This was originally posted on Twitter, but I’ve unrolled it here because I’d like to open this to further discussion, and I feel Twitter is too ephemeral to maintain that type of interrogation.
 
So I’ve been thinking about how polarized our culture has become lately, and what we might do to remedy it.
 
Then I read a few articles on MIT @techreview. First this one about the influence of social media — first positive and hyped, and then negative and denigrated:

And this one about how we all place ourselves into “filter bubbles.” Many people in one scientific study “were surprised to learn just how cocooned inside far-right or far-left bubbles they were.” 

So it got me thinking about how *everyone* might better visualize their own cocoons, and what tools might let the average person know (right or left, elf or wizard) their own cognitive biases. 
 
The perfect data for this is our *own* social graph. The social media companies: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter — they all obscure our social graphs from us. 
 
This is good business practice for them. Why is keeping our data hidden from us a good thing for them? Because they profit from our social graph. They use it to advertise to us. It is their primary business model. 
 
But we should at least be able to view our *own* social graph easily. I mean, if they’re going to profit off of graphs of our clicks and likes and web-page visits, then at least we should be able to see those graphs too. 
 
So I started looking for tools that might easily show us our *own* social graphs. The social media companies at least make a show of saying we can always download our own data. But how easy is this? I mean for the average person to view? 
 
Some googling led me to this page, where I was surprised that the tool did just what I was looking for. It shows you your social graph in easy to understand visual diagrams.  wolframalpha.com/facebook/
 
Excited, I followed the link to the Facebook app. But lo and behold, I get a 404: File Not Found.  apps.facebook.com/wolframconnect…
 
Either @Wolfram_Alpha or @facebook removed the link to that app. Which is a damn shame, because, as the articles above suggest, seeing visualizations of our own social graph might help us overcome the extreme polarization of our culture right now. 
 
I think visualizing how we, ourselves, are connecting with the (digital) world might raise awareness of our own cognitive biases. This is true for people of all parts of the political spectrum. 
 
I don’t see how more awareness is a bad thing. When someone is disturbed, a therapist usually works to bring the troubling issues to consciousness. Through awareness and reframing, the trauma is healed. 
 
I think a tool like the Wolfram one above, and others just like it if they exist (I will search for more), might help us to heal as a culture. I believe it would be one tool that’s worth trying. 
 
PS: here’s a page showing what some of those charts might look like: blog.stephenwolfram.com/2012/08/wolfra…

Cli-Fi & Solarpunk Panel, Plus Writing Conferences!

Last week I participated in SFWA’s #ThePanel YouTube live videocast, Episode 4 – “Cli-fi” and Solarpunk, with panelists Sam J. Miller, Dr. Laurel J. Standley, J.K. Ullrich, and moderated by Diane Morrison. As readers of this blog and followers of my social media feeds know, I feel strongly about environmental causes and averting the worst predictions of climate change. I do this by bringing attention to our common fatalism. What I mean is that we are so often used to pessimistic thinking about the future — that climate change is inevitable — that we don’t work to bring about potential solutions. In my (recent) fiction and on social media, I work to counter this pessimistic force. I am not a head-in-the-sand Polyanna. I don’t believe that a positive future is the only outcome. But I believe that with hard, concerted effort, we can mitigate the worst predictions of climate change and perhaps even bring about an abundant future for humanity.

In this panel, I and my co-panelists speak about the reasons we each write and are concerned about climate change, and some ways our fiction may address the issue. It was a really interesting panel, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Also, this weekend I’ll be attending the Milford Readers and Writers Festival in Milford, PA, where I’ll be doing a reading, a signing, and a panel alongside Chandler Klang Smith, Karen Heuler, and Mercurio D. Rivera. Plus I have new fancy schmancy full-color cosmic business cards to show off. If you are in the area, I hope you can come by! 


Writing, Travel & Conferences

Hello! So, after a brief hiatus where my wife and I traveled around the Southwestern U.S. visiting the National Parks, I’ve been back at the keyboard since the beginning of September. Since then I’ve revised and sent out a short story, and have been revising the YA novel.


I’ll be attending a few conferences & writing festivals in the next several months, so if you happen to be at one of these, please come say hi. I don’t bite (often).


My conference schedule:



Hope to see you soon!


My Dragon Con Schedule

My Dragon Con Schedule

So you might recall me mentioning that my Nebula-nominated story “The Last Novelist” is currently up for a Eugie Award. Well, I’ll find out if I win this weekend at Dragon Con in Atlanta*!

I’ll be attending Dragon Con from this Thursday, Aug 30th – Sunday, Sept 2nd, and I’ll be on several panels while I’m there. My tentative schedule is below. Hope to see you there!

*I used to go to school in Atlanta. I studied Computer Science at Georgia Tech, but I haven’t been back since ’99. It will be weird to revisit my old stomping ground to see how much has changed. If you happen to be at Dragon Con and want to connect, message me on Twitter at @mattkressel.


Title:
Realms of the Dead: Ghosts and Spirits in UF
Description: Our panelists discuss the various types of ghosts and spirits found in their work, and in the genre.
Time: Fri 11:30 am Location: Chastain 1-2 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Leanna Renee Hieber, David B. Coe, E.J. Stevens, A. J. Hartley, Matthew Kressel, Gail Z. Martin)

——————-
Title: Faith in Science Fiction
Description: Many times authors create religions for their societies. Many times they use established faiths to inform their characters and their actions. Our panelists discuss when this works, when it doesn’t, and is it absolutely necessary to make a good story.
Time: Fri 07:00 pm Location: Embassy AB – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Fr. Bryan Small, Damien Patrick Williams, Matthew Kressel)

——————-
Title: Secondary Characters to Die For
Description: Developing extraordinary secondary characters that push the plot forward and create extraordinary fiction.
Time: Sat 04:00 pm Location: Embassy CD – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Clay and Susan Griffith, Nancy Knight, Robert J. Sawyer, Zac Brewer, Joshua Palmatier, Matthew Kressel)

——————-
Title: Tooting Your Own Horn: Marketing Yourself
Description: Indie writers and those who self-publish need to really market themselves to get their work known and out there. Our panelists discuss what they do and how they do it.
Time: Sat 05:30 pm Location: Embassy AB – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: John G. Hartness, Cecilia Dominic, Gray Rinehart, Kal Spriggs, Courtland D Lewis, Quincy J Allen, Matthew Kressel)


The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2018 Edition

If you’ve ever felt that too much of your personal, private data has made its way out into the net, then have I got a story for you. My story “Love Engine Optimization” appears in Rich Horton’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2018 Edition. Lots of great stuff in this volume, including stories from Rich Larson, Charlie Jane Anders, Michael Swanwick, Kameron Hurley, Sofia Samatar, Linda Nagata, and many others. Check it out here.

The full table of contents:

“Time Travel is Only for the Poor” by S. L. Huang (Analog)
“Emergency Protocol” by Lettie Prell (Analog)
“Persephone of the Crows” by Karen Joy Fowler (Asimov’s)
“Cupido” by Rich Larson (Asimov’s)
“Winter Timeshare” by Ray Nayler (Asimov’s)
“Soulmates.com”, by Will McIntosh (Asimov’s)
“Red Bark and Ambergris” by Kate Marshall (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
“Whatever Knight Comes” by Ryan Row (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
“Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue” by Charlie Jane Anders (Boston Review)
“The Significance of Significance” by Robert Reed (Clarkesworld)
“The Secret Life of Bots” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld)
“The Tale of the Alcubierre Horse” by Kathleen Ann Goonan (Extrasolar)
“Marley and Marley” by J. R. Dawson (F&SF)
“The Hermit of Houston” by Samuel R. Delany (F&SF)
“Rings” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (F&SF)
“Starlight Express” by Michael Swanwick (F&SF)
“The Sacrifice of the Hanged Monkey” by Minsoo Kang (Fantastic)
“ZeroS” by Peter Watts (Infinity Wars)
“Ugo” by Giovanni de Feo (Lightspeed)
“Love Engine Optimization” by Matthew Kressel (Lightspeed)
“This is for You” by Bruce McAllister (Lightspeed)
“One Hour, Every Seven Years” by Alice Sola Kim (McSweeney’s)
“Montreal, 2014” by Madeline Ray (Mothership Zeta)
“Sidewalks” by Maureen McHugh (Omni)
“Shoggoths in Traffic” by Tobias S. Buckell (Patreon)
“The Fisherman and the Pig” by Kameron Hurley (Patreon)
“Utopia LOL?” by Jamie Wahls (Strange Horizons)
“An Account of the Land of Witches” by Sofia Samatar (Tender)
“Extracurricular Activities” by Yoon Ha Lee (Tor.com)
“The Martian Obelisk” by Linda Nagata (Tor.com)
“Hexagrammaton” by Hanus Seiner (Tor.com)
“Though She Be But Little” by C. S. E. Cooney (Uncanny)
“And Then There Were (N – One)” by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny)
“Fandom for Robots” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny)

 


New Story in Tales to Terrify

My horror / dark-fantasy story “The Words That Maketh Murder” * has been released as a podcast over at Tales to Terrify, narrated by Maurine McLean. The podcast also includes the story “Real People” by T. R. North. 

Kimmy, a former software developer for government black ops weapons projects, moves into a Queens, New York neighborhood and begins hearing strange voices coming from the old train yard behind her apartment. Parts of my story are true, and I’ll leave it to the listener to decide which!

Listen here.  

* Yes, it’s a PJ Harvey reference!