Happy birthday to the award-winning John Kessel
Writer and teacher John Kessel garnered his first literary award, a Nebula, for the novella Another Orphan (1982). In the decades that followed, he would win numerous awards: the short story “Buffalo” (1991 Sturgeon and Locus), novella Stories for Men (2001 Tiptree/Otherwise), novelette Pride and Prometheus (2008 Nebula and Shirley Jackson), and the short story “The Invisible Story” (2009 translated into Spanish as “El imperio invisible” Premio Ignotus). Kessel, also, received the Paul Green Playwrights’ Prize for his play Faustfeathers (1995). In 2006, the Southern Fandom Confederation bestowed upon him the Phoenix Award, a lifetime achievement award for a science fiction professional who has done a great deal for Southern Fandom. Kessel’s novels include Freedom Beach (1985 with James Patrick Kelly), Good News from Outer Space (1989), Corrupting Dr. Nice (1997), The Moon and Other (2017), and Pride and Prometheus (2018).
His numerous short stories have been collected in Meeting In Infinity (1992), The Pure Product (1997), The Baum Plan For Financial Independence and Other Stories (2008), Lune et l’autre [French] (2008) Ninety Percent Of Everything (2011 with James Patrick Kelly and Jonathan Lethem), The Collected Kessel (2012), and The Dark Ride: The Best Short Fiction of John Kessel (2022). Sam Egan adapted Kessel’s story “A Clean Escape” for the first episode of the anthology television series Masters of Science Fiction.
Kessel co-edited with Richard Butner and Mark L. Van Name Intersections: The Sycamore Hill Anthology (1996). Alongside James Patrick Kelly, he produced the acclaimed anthologies: FEELING VERY STRANGE: THE SLIPSTREAM ANTHOLOGY (2006), REWIRED: THE POST-CYBERPUNK ANTHOLOGY (2007), THE SECRET HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION (2009), KAFKAESQUE: STORIES INSPIRED BY FRANZ KAFKA (2011), Nebula Awards Showcase 2012 (2012), and DIGITAL RAPTURE: THE SINGULARITY ANTHOLOGY (2012).
He teaches courses in science-fiction, fantasy, and fiction writing at North Carolina State University. With Mark L. Van Name, Kessel created the Sycamore Hill Writer’s Workshop. His criticism has appeared in Foundation, Los Angeles Times Book Review, New York Review of Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Age.
All of us at Tachyon wish the multi-faceted John an extraordinary birthday.