> Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer _
“Very Surely Do I Not Dream”
Psi-Wars: Classified Cases of Psychic Phenomena
More
“Your Future is Pending”
Clarkesworld Magazine #158
More
“Truth is Like the Sun”
Lightspeed Magazine 108
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
2019 Nebula Awards Showcase
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3
More
“The Walk to Distant Suns”
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
More
“The Marsh of Camarina”
Shades Within Us
More
“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare Magazine 63
More
“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
More
“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
More
“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
More
“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
More
“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
More
“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
More
“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
More
“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
More
“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
More
Review of “The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”

cw_104_700I received this nice review of my story “The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies” in the latest Clarkesworld Magazine​ from Charles Payseur at Quick Sip Reviews: “A powerful story about generational abuse and release and the dream of freedom, this story does a lot of things right. The setting is incredibly original and imaginative, the world of Aya, the main character, one of near abstraction, where Gardeners care to plants that are entire realms, entire universes… It’s a great story, the characters not humanoid but their tendencies definitely human-like. It’s just the sort of science fiction that I love, full of interesting ideas and yet grounded in the idea that people are capable of doing better, capable of being better. Indeed!” 

The full review is available here.


“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies” published in Clarkesworld

cw_104_700My story “The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies” is out in this month’s Clarkesworld Magazine. It’s a story about generational abuse, repression, and farmers of universes. The first commenter on the story said it would make an excellent graphic novel, and I couldn’t agree more!

There’s also a podcast of the story by the fabulous Kate Baker.


Review of “Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”

This morning I found this nice mini review of “Cameron Rhyder’s Legs,” my story which appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine​ back in November:

“What a strange time travel/alternate reality story. A rock concert is the ultimate battleground in a war to preserve True Time. In this battle technology so advanced is used to instantly occupy and control minds. Warriors from the future try to change the outcome of the concert by manipulating small details of the lives of people in the concert hall. Sound confusing? Well, it kind of is but the author does a great job of keeping the story from spinning out if control. It’s disorienting enough to make you feel like you’ve had one too many drinks before you started reading.This was definitely strange and fun.”

Recently I was asked what my favorite short story was that I had written, and I said, “Cameron Rhyder’s Legs.” It’s nice to see others enjoying it as much as I did writing it.


Writing News and Sale

Queen of Static

by Matthew Kressel

Read the follow-up to the groundbreaking fantasy novel King of Shards

“Surreal and exotic…Scary, exhilarating fun!” –N.K. Jemisin, Hugo award-winning author of The Fifth Season on King of Shards

“An imaginative, intelligent, and soaring debut that mixes Jewish folklore/mysticism and modern-day social politics.”– Paul G. Tremblay, author of Cabin at the End of the World on King of Shards

“Kressel plumbs the depths of Kabbalistic lore to create a unique fantasy cosmos.” —The Huffington Post

“Cosmic Tree” by Gillian Gandossi

I’m happy to announce that I’ve sold a new story to Clarkesworld Magazine. “The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies” will be my fourth story published in Neil Clarke’s excellent magazine, and I’m excited to be there as always. I was reading Alice Miller’s For Your Own Good a few months back and was shocked by the notion of institutionalized abuse, which she highlights in the cultural forces which led to the Holocaust. Could abuse be so normalized in a society that people don’t realize they are abusive and have been abused themselves? It seemed so, and when I turned that lens onto my own culture, American, Jewish, New York, etc., I began to see patterns of abuse apparent in so many things we take for granted. Now, take that premise and expand that onto a multi-cosmic scale and you have the inspiration for “The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies.” 

TL;DR: I sold a new story to Clarkesworld about a farmer of universes.

In other news, I will soon have two translations printed in Chinese. “The Sounds of Old Earth,” which was nominated for a Nebula Award last year, will be printed in China’s Science Fiction World. Because the ink isn’t dry yet, I can’t tell you which publication, but “The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye,” which was just nominated for a Nebula Award, will also be appearing in Chinese.

Also, Kenneth Schneyer who teaches at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island (and who is a fine writer himself) has assigned “The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye” as one of the reading requirements for his class. In April, I’ll be visiting as a guest lecturer, speaking about my experience writing “The Meeker” and about writing in general. I’ve never spoken to a class about my work before, which is both exciting and terrifying. They’ll be quizzed (quizzed!) on my story.

At the end of January, Darin Bradley sent his comments on Book I of the Worldmender Trilogy, King of Shards.  I spent the following five weeks deeply immersed in the manuscript. While his comments were thorough, there weren’t that many. However, it had been almost two years since I last read through the manuscript in its entirety. What developed over the next several weeks was the most intense writing period of my life. I awoke, ate breakfast, wrote for several hours, then did my IT work for my day job, ate dinner, then wrote until midnight. Lather, rinse, repeat for five weeks. I didn’t go out on the weekends, just worked straight through. It was exhausting, yes, but also exhilarating in all the ways I had imagined. Being so deeply immersed in your own work is a joy in itself, but is made all the more exciting knowing that people will soon be able to read King of Shards and share in this universe. I’m biased, of course, but I think it’s a damn good book.

Since then I’ve been working on Book II of the Worldmender Trilogy. I’m about 30,000 words in as of today, so ahead of schedule. But I know from experience life and reality often get in the way of deadlines. Anyway, I’m excited about all the good writing news happening to me lately and immensely grateful.


“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye” nominated for a Nebula Award

Nebula AwardsI’m excited to announce that my story “The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye,” which was published in May 2014 in Clarkesworld Magazine has just been nominated for a Nebula Award in the category of Best Short Story! This is my second nomination for my fiction and it’s still just as exciting as the first time.

You can read the story here. And you can download a podcast here. The story is also available here in various ebook formats.

It’s an honor to have my story included in the same category with such talents as Aliette de Bodard, Eugie Foster, Usman T. Malik, Sarah Pinsker, Ursula Vernon, and Alyssa Wong. And what incredible stories they all are. Wow.

“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye” began as some of my stories often do, with a sudden inspiration just before bed. I scrambled to write down the first sentence, which popped into my mind fully formed and remained unchanged despite several edits of the story. “As the Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye wandered the galaxy harvesting dead stars, they liked to talk.” I was struck with this vision of these two cosmic garbage truck drivers, one of them a little ignorant, overly loquacious, but ultimately sensitive, wandering around a dead galaxy and speaking about the good ol’ days when things were thriving. I also had this vision of a human, encoded in an ancient artifact, who would be discovered by these aliens eons after humanity had gone extinct. The story pretty much followed from these two premises.

Spoiler warning: plot elements follow below.

Getting Beth’s character right was important to me. I began with a strong woman, obstinate about protecting her children from the harsh truth of her impending death. Beth is also gay, and in the world that she and her wife Sloan inhabit, which might be just a few short decades from now, being gay, straight, trans — any sexual orientation — is naturally accepted. Hence why my story normalizes it. As Beth is incarnated each time, her thoughts go back to her loved ones: her children, Yrma and Bella, and her wife Sloan, and also the lovely snow-covered pines beside her glass house in Denver, Colorado. In other words, she is the root connecting back to Earth.

But Beth is also something more. She uses the All-Seeing Eye’s strength, the Eye’s insatiable curiosity, against her. The original Beth from Earth, encoded in the artifact, is discovered by a future alien civilization and used as a Trojan horse to destroy the Eye. Beth not only survives because Sloan, rather than let her wither away and die, decided to encode her wife, but Beth also saves the entire galaxy. I also hinted at the end that within the Eye’s vast knowledge lies the long-forgotten histories of many thousands of sentient races. Perhaps one day soon they might live again.

I enjoy writing about deep time, these vast cosmic timespans and speculative futures beyond humanity’s reach, and so “The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye” was one hell of a fun story to write. I’m honored and flattered that it was chosen as a Nebula Nominee, and I wish good luck to and congratulate my fellow nominees!


“Very Surely Do I Not Dream”
Psi-Wars: Classified Cases of Psychic Phenomena
More
“Your Future is Pending”
Clarkesworld Magazine #158
More
“Truth is Like the Sun”
Lightspeed Magazine 108
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
2019 Nebula Awards Showcase
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3
More
“The Walk to Distant Suns”
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
More
“The Marsh of Camarina”
Shades Within Us
More
“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare Magazine 63
More
“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
More
“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
More
“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
More
“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
More
“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
More
“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
More
“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
More
“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
More
“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
More