Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer
“The History Within Us”
Future Science Fiction Digest - Issue 0
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“Love Engine Optimization”
The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition
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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 Marsh of Camarina”
Shades Within Us
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“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare Magazine 63
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Smokopolitan nr 10
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“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Bifrost
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“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
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“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
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“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
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“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
XB-1
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“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
科幻世界 (Science Fiction World)
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“The Problem of Meat”
Grendelsong
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“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
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“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
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“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
World Chinese SF Association
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“The Thing in the Refrigerator That Could Stop Time”
Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest
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“Marie and the Mathematicians”
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #26
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“The Writing’s on the Wall”
Farrago's Wainscot #5
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“The Sembla”
A Field Guide to Surreal Botany
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“The Girl in the Basement”
Hatter Bones
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“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
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“The Spaces Between Things”
Electric Velocipede 17/18
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“The Girl in the Basement”
Apex Magazine, Vol 3, Issue 3
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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 History Within Us”
The People of the Book
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“The Hands That Feed”
Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories
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“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
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“The Hands That Feed”
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
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“The Suffering Gallery”
The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year Three
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“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
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“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
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“The Last Probe”
Launch Pad
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“Pheth’s Aviary”
Beneath Ceaseless Skies - Issue 133
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“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
XB-1 Issue 8/2014
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Космопорт (Kosmoport)
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“The History Within Us”
XB-1 Issue 11/2014
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“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
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“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
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“The Last Novelist” nominated for a Nebula Award

I am beyond thrilled that “The Last Novelist” has been nominated for a Nebula Award! I can’t believe it! I’m super grateful to Ellen Datlow, for choosing and editing the story, to Tor.com, for publishing it, and for everyone who voted for and shared their love for the story on social media. “The Last Novelist” is about pursuing one’s art even when it seems no one is paying attention. It is about carving out an artistic niche even when there are too many other worrisome things going on in the world that want to take precedence. Though I wrote “The Last Novelist” over a year ago, and it takes place in the far future, I believe it couldn’t be more apt to today’s political climate.

I am also honored to be nominated alongside such amazing talents! I have read many, but not all, of the nominated works, so I can’t wait to dig in to all the great stuff!

This is my third Nebula Award nomination (I haven’t won a Nebula so far), and I have to say getting nominated is still one of the Most Exciting Things™ to ever happen to an author. So, thanks a bunch! You guys really are amazing.


The Best Science Fiction of the Year

So that other career milestone I hinted at in some of my previous posts? I’m beyond thrilled to announce that my story “The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)” has been picked up for The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3edited by Neil Clarke. The story originally appeared on Tor.com and was edited by Ellen Datlow. 

This is my first Best Of anthology, and I couldn’t be happier to be part of this. Here’s the full table of contents:

  • “A Series of Steaks” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld, January 2017)
  • “Holdfast” by Alastair Reynolds (Extrasolar, edited by Nick Gevers)
  • “Every Hour of Light and Dark” by Nancy Kress (Omni, Winter 2017)
  • “The Last Novelist, or a Dead Lizard in the Yard” by Matthew Kressel (Tor.com, March 2017)
  • “Shikasta” by Vandana Singh (Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities, edited by Ed Finn and Joey Eschrich)
  • “Wind Will Rove” by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s Science Fiction, September/October 2017)
  • “Focus” by Gord Sellar (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May/June 2017)
  • “The Martian Obelisk” by Linda Nagata (Tor.com, July 2017)
  • “Shadows of Eternity” by Gregory Benford (Extrasolar, edited by Nick Gevers)
  • “The Worldless” by Indrapramit Das (Lightspeed, March 2017)
  • “Regarding the Robot Raccoons Attached to the Hull of My Ship” by Rachael K. Jones and Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali (Diabolical Plots, June 2017)
  • “Belly Up” by Maggie Clark (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July/August 2017)
  • “Uncanny Valley” by Greg Egan (Tor.com, August 2017)
  • “We Who Live in the Heart ” by Kelly Robson (Clarkesworld, May 2017)
  • “A Catalogue of Sunlight at the End of the World” by A.C. Wise (Sunvault, edited by Phoebe Wagner and Bronte Christopher Wieland)
  • “Meridian” by Karin Lowachee (Where the Stars Rise, edited by Lucas K. Law and Derwin Mak)
  • “The Tale of the Alcubierre Horse” by Kathleen Ann Goonan (Extrasolar, edited by Nick Gevers)
  • “Extracurricular Activities” by Yoon Ha Lee (Tor.com, February 2017)
  • “In Everlasting Wisdom” by Aliette de Bodard (Infinity Wars, edited by Jonathan Strahan)
  • “The Last Boat-Builder in Ballyvoloon” by Finbarr O’Reilly (Clarkesworld, October 2017)
  • “The Speed of Belief” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s Science Fiction, January/February 2017)
  • “Death on Mars” by Madeline Ashby (Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities, edited by Ed Finn and Joey Eschrich)
  • “An Evening with Severyn Grimes” by Rich Larson (Asimov’s Science Fiction, July/August 2017)
  • “ZeroS” by Peter Watts (Infinity Wars, edited by Jonathan Strahan)
  • “The Secret Life of Bots” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, September 2017)
  • “Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance” by Tobias S. Buckell (Cosmic Powers, edited by John Joseph Adams)

Cover art by Chris McGrath.


What It Means to Be Human: Five Works of Fiction That Explore Blade Runner’s Core Themes

From an article I recently wrote for Tor.com called “What It Means to Be Human: Five Works of Fiction That Explore Blade Runner’s Core Themes”. Continue reading via the link below.

“One of the reasons the original Blade Runner film has endured as a classic is its compelling exploration of what it means to be human. As the replicants struggle to extend their artificially brief lifespans, the seminal film probes our notions of empathy, slavery, identity, memory, and death, in profound yet subtle ways.

Blade Runner asks many questions of its audience. Does our capacity for empathy correlate with our humanity? Are we the sum total of our memories, or something more? Do our lives have meaning if no one remembers the things we’ve seen and done when we’re gone? How does questioning someone’s humanity perpetuate the institution of slavery? And what do our fears of a robot uprising tell us about our own human insecurities?

How one answers the film’s many questions is a Voight-Kampff test in itself. Blade Runner, in other words, is a two-hour long Rorschach test—no two people respond alike. We may see ourselves in the replicants, born into broken worlds not of our making, impressed with cultural memories, struggling to find meaning and connection in our all-too-brief lives. This, perhaps more than anything, explains why the film has resonated with so many. We paint our memories and prejudices onto the screen, and what we take from it is uniquely ours.”

Keep reading at Tor.com.


Why Blade Runner is More Relevant Than Ever

When the original Blade Runner film was released in 1982 to mediocre box-office sales and lukewarm reviews, few could predict the film would have such a lasting legacy. For nearly three decades, the film’s neon-saturated, overcrowded, rain-swept dystopia served as the default backdrop for dozens, if not hundreds of science-fiction films. Even the Star Wars prequels borrowed (or ripped-off) the film’s noirish cyberdream vision for some of its urban landscapes. But more so than its look, Blade Runner’s themes have survived long past its inception date…

Keep reading at Tor.com.


Tangent Online reviews “The Last Novelist”

Tangent Online reviews my story “The Last Novelist” and says,

Matthew Kressel writes a hauntingly sweet and tragic story in “The Last Novelist (or A Dead Lizard in the Yard).” Reuth, the last novelist in the universe, is dying and comes to the distant planet of Ardabaab to finish his novel. He befriends a local girl who is intrigued by the foreign art skill he demonstrates, and she becomes his apprentice. The story revolves around the relationship of these two characters, exploring the passion and the often unappreciated talent of an artist. The speculative elements remain in the background, allowing this to be a quiet and subtle character study. I found it to be one of those great tales that knows just when to be verbose, and knows just when to step back and let the characters shine.

They also review stories by Theodora Goss, A.C. Wise, Julianna Baggot and Max Gladstone. You can read all the reviews here.


“The Last Novelist” Is Out Today

Today is the release date my of science fiction short story “The Last Novelist,” which you can read right now at Tor.com. Here’s the synopsis:

“The Last Novelist (or A Dead Lizard in the Yard)” by Matthew Kressel is a science fiction story about a dying writer who is trying to finish one final novel on the distant planet he settles on for his demise. His encounter with a young girl triggers a last burst of creativity.

My wife and I were on vacation last year in Barbados, and we were both powering through Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven. The book’s subject matter made me ponder the transience of things, how we take so much for granted. It struck me too that the activity we call “reading for pleasure” might have a finite lifetime in human history. What would happen, for example, if we could get stories fed directly into our brains? Would we have need for the literature of words anymore if we could experience stories first-hand? “The Last Novelist” describes such a potential future, many centuries from now, when books are to the people of the future like clay tablets with cuneiform, odd and obsolete.

While on that same vacation, there was a small dead lizard in the back-yard porch being eaten by ants. At first I was disgusted by its leather carcass, and I pushed it off to the side with my shoe. But day after day, I watched the ants work, and by the third day I was severely impressed by how thoroughly they had dissected the animal, how efficient nature was. Nothing dead is every really gone, it’s just changed.

Anyway, that’s how the dead lizard made it into the story. 😉

The story’s cover art is by the amazing Scott Bakal.

You can read “The Last Novelist” here, or if you prefer an ebook, you can get one at this link. I’m very curious to know what you think of the story. Feedback is always welcome!