Fantastic Fiction Needs Your Help

Fantastic Fiction at KGB is a monthly reading series hosted by Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel. We are looking to fund several more years of our popular Manhattan-based reading series and will be holding a Kickstarter fundraiser from May 17th through June 14th, 2017. We need to raise a minimum of $4500, which will keep us funded for three more years.


Fantastic Fiction at KGB is a monthly reading series held on the third Wednesday of every month at the famous KGB Bar in Manhattan, hosted by Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel. The reading series features luminaries and up-and-comers in speculative fiction. Admission is always free. The series brings together the greater New York community of writers, editors publishers, agents and fans into one location each month. We also publish a monthly podcast audio of the readings so people who cannot attend the physical event can still enjoy the readings. Additionally, we sell the authors’ books at the events (currently through Word Bookstore Brooklyn). Fantastic Fiction is a great place to hear and meet talented new and veteran authors, as well as make valuable connections and meet new friends.

Who We Are

The series is hosted by veteran editor Ellen Datlow and award-nominated author Matthew Kressel.

Ellen Datlow has been editing science fiction, fantasy, and horror short fiction for over thirty-five years as fiction editor of OMNI Magazine and editor of Event Horizon and SCIFICTION. She currently acquires short fiction for In addition, she has edited more than a hundred science fiction, fantasy, and horror anthologies, including the annual The Best Horror of the Year, Lovecraft’s Monsters, Fearful Symmetries, Nightmare Carnival, The Doll Collection, The Monstrous, Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror, and Black Feathers. Forthcoming are Haunted Nights (with Lisa Morton), and Mad Hatters and March Hares (stories inspired by Alice’s Adventures in in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There). More at

Matthew Kressel is a multiple Nebula Award-nominated writer and World Fantasy Award-nominated editor. His short stories have appeared in, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Clarkesworld,, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interzone, Electric Velocipede, Apex Magazine, and the anthologies Cyber World, Naked City, After, The People of the Book, and The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, and elsewhere. His work has been translated into five languages. His first novel, King of Shards, was hailed as “Majestic, resonant, reality-twisting madness,” from NPR Books. Kressel is a member of the Altered Fluid writing group. He created the Moksha manuscript submissions system, currently used by a majority of the largest speculative fiction publications. By day he works as a freelance web designer and full stack developer for small and large businesses. More at

What We Do

Fantastic Fiction at KGB is a monthly science fiction, fantasy, and horror reading series held on the third Wednesday of every month. We aim to promote speculative fiction authors and their forthcoming works. Authors read for about twenty to twenty-five minutes each, and we also sell the authors’ books at the event (currently through Word Bookstore Brooklyn.) The series serves as a salon for writers, editors, agents, and fans to co-mingle in a relaxed environment. Many lasting friendships and professional connections have been made through the Fantastic Fiction reading series. It has been running since the late ’90s. More on our history below.

Our Guest Readers

Some of our past readers include Joyce Carol Oates, Lucius Shepard, Jeffrey Ford, N.K. Jemisin, Scott Westerfeld, Kelly Link, Paul Tremblay, Laird Barron, China Miéville, Nancy Kress, Peter Straub, James Patrick Kelly, Victor LaValle, Joe Hill, Jack Ketchum, Brian Keene, Samuel Delany, Holly Black, Michael Swanwick, Kit Reed, Andy Duncan, Richard Bowes, Catherynne M. Valente, Jeff VanderMeer, Naomi Novik, Elizabeth Bear, Lev Grossman, and a host of other talented authors.

See this link for a full list:

Why We Need Financial Support

Each month we give the authors a small stipend, we tip the bartenders (who always give the authors free drinks), and we take the authors out for dinner after the reading. Since it typically costs us around $120 per month, we need $1500 per year to maintain the series. We are looking to raise $4500, which would allow us to keep the series running for another three years. Each additional $1500 will let us run for an additional year. Fantastic Fiction has been a bright light in the speculative fiction community for nearly two decades, and with your help we can continue for many more years to come. Any donation, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated.


Terry Bisson and Alice K. Turner started the KGB Fantastic Fiction reading series in the late 1990s, attempting to bring together mainstream writers with writers of speculative fiction in order to show, in Alice Turner’s words, “that at a certain level they were plowing exactly the same field.” In the spring of 2000 editor Ellen Datlow took over for Alice K. Turner and in August 2002 Gavin J. Grant, publisher of Small Beer Press, stepped in for Bisson when he moved to California. Author Matthew Kressel stepped in for Gavin in April of 2008.


The reading series is held at the famous KGB Bar at 85 East 4th Street in Manhattan’s East Village. Once serving as a speakeasy for Ukrainian Socialists, the Soviet-themed bar now is a home for various literature and poetry readings almost every night of the week.


KGB Fantastic Fiction: 
Fantastic Fiction Kickstarter Page : coming Wednesday, May 17th, 2017, 9 a.m. Eastern Time
Ellen Datlow: datlow [at] yahoo [dot] com
Matthew Kressel: mattkressel [at] gmail [dot] com

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or requests for interviews.

Ellen Datlow & Matthew Kressel

About Sheri White

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