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Falling Sky Launch Party!


If you’re in or near New York City tomorrow night, I hope you’ll come join me for the Falling Sky Launch Party. It will be held at Professor Thom’s in the East Village from 7-10. A bookseller from Word bookstore in Greenpoint will be on hand to sell copies of the book. Come have a drink, say hello, and help me celebrate the release of the book.

Hope to see you there.

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Falling Sky Review Roundup

I don’t know if two reviews qualify as a roundup, but I was pleased with the reviews for Falling Sky from both Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal.

From Publisher’s Weekly:

This solid and memorable debut is set in a world where a disease has turned most people into quasi-zombies called Ferals…Khanna’s vision of a ruined world, populated by human monsters on the surface and desperate survivors in the air, is bleak but compelling. Ben is a flawed, selfish hero in the spirit of Han Solo, always on the lookout for number one until a greater cause catches his conscience.

And Library Journal gave it a starred review and named it the Science Fiction/Fantasy Debut of the Month!:

Postapocalyptic sf is a heavily traveled genre, as is steampunk, but debut novelist Khanna combines both quite well here, as the airships help to keep humanity safe from the infected ferals on the ground in a world where the action never stops, leaving room for more adventures.

I’m very happy that people seem to be enjoying the novel. Only two more weeks to go…

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The Genre Blend: Zombies and more


Let me state first that there are no zombies in Falling Sky.


In the blurbs I received, E. C. Myers references The Walking Dead and Tad Williams’ blurb mentions zombies outright.

See, the thing is that when I started writing the short story that inspired Falling Sky, the idea was that people were living in the air because something horrible was on the ground, something so dangerous that to even spend a short amount of time there could risk your life. Originally I had envisioned some kind of alien organism, but it was 2 AM that night at Clarion West and the story was due the next day and the mental acrobatics required to work all of that out was beyond me. So, in a moment of clarity I fell back on a tried and true genre trope – the zombie.

Originally, that was what made the ground so dangerous. Plain old ordinary zombies. It fit the bill – scary, easy to infect, reason for people to want to avoid their territory. But, as was communicated in the many crits I received, zombies were, well, unoriginal. Obviously there’s still life left in the common zombie (combie?) but it wasn’t serving my story very well. That’s when Mary Rosenblum, our instructor for that week, suggested that instead of zombies it was some other disease. Super-Alzheimers, she said.

It was a solution. I think that what she envisioned was somewhat further away from zombies than my Ferals, but it helped guide me to the right path. There’s certainly a lot of zombie in my Ferals, but I’d like to think that they’re different enough to stand alone (while still hitting some familiar notes).

Splash in a little noir, and a touch of Western (two of my favorite genres) and you generally have Falling Sky. Will it all work? Well, that’s up to the readers, but I hope that at least it presents an interesting mix. If you read it, you’ll have to let me know what you think.

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The Genre Blend: Not-Steampunk

Anyone who knows me reasonably well knows that I have a thing for airships. I don’t know if I can explain it — it’s just one of those weird obsessions that lodges somewhere in the mind and never shakes loose. And so it shouldn’t be too surprising that there are airships in Falling Sky. In fact, when I was trying to think about how to describe it I came up with the term “post-airpocalyptic”. This has led many people to assume that the novel is steampunk and yet…it’s not.

The genesis was airships, yes, but when the idea for this world came together I was at Clarion West in 2008 and I was working on a short story with the vague idea of people living in the sky to avoid something on the ground. I mentioned this to Paul Park, one of my instructors, when we had our one-on-one meeting and he pushed me (gently and helpfully) in the direction of science fiction rather than fantasy and suddenly it became set in the future (though the near future) rather than an alternate reality or some other kind of world.

And while that might have seemed weird, the more I looked at actual articles from the time, the more I saw that it was actually possible, if not probable. With the price of fuel rising all the time, and the amount necessary for transporting both people and cargo by plane, it’s not surprising that several companies have looked into airships, modern airships mind you, as a way to cut costs. I could point you here or perhaps here or even here for some examples.  Once I was convinced it was at least plausible, I moved full speed ahead.

But I want to stress again, this isn’t steampunk. It’s post-apocalyptic, with airships. Maybe there’s no real difference to you, but there is to me.

Surely that’s got to be all of the genres, right? Well, not quite. Next post will be about what’s left.


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The Genre Blend: Post-Apocalyptic


post-apocalytic museum

I was happy to see that Library Journal mentioned Falling Sky in an article about diverse subgenres in Science Fiction. It’s mentioned under the “zombie” section, despite the fact that there are no actual zombies in the book. Nevertheless, that was one of the influences that went into its conception. Falling Sky blends elements of several subgenres together in what I hope will be a refreshing take on some of the familiar tropes.

The post-apocalyptic genre has been on my mind lately, partly due to this article on io9 about post-apocalyptic art as well as the recent remastered release of The Last of Us game which I’m playing for the first time.  Falling Sky is, above all else, a post-apocalyptic story.  It takes place in the near-future, after an epidemic has shattered society. It allowed me to tap into my love of that genre and play with some of its elements.

I’ve written about the genre before, both at and for, but I never seem to grow tired of it. Those two articles will show you some of my favorites in the genre, but it’s one that is constantly being reinvented. When I was a kid, it was all about the post-nuclear wasteland, from Mad Max to Gamma World to Fallout. But the genre has shifted as our fears have. Disease is more often seen as the the precipitating factor in the apocalypse these days and the bleak landscapes of those past landscapes have been replaced by images of verdant overgrowth. It’s something I tried desperately to keep in mind as I was writing the book (and will continue to do so as I work on its sequel) — Nature flourishes when Man falters.

As I mentioned in some of those previous articles, what has always attracted me to the genre as both a reader and a writer is that I find post-apocalyptic stories to be stories of hope. The apocalypse has already happened. Many of these stories are about people trying to reclaim something out of the ruins of civilization, trying to rebuild. In that respect, Falling Sky is no different, though, without spoiling anything, I’ll warn that attempts to rebuild don’t always go well in the world of the novel.

What about the other genre influences? Well, they’ll have to wait for the next post…

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“The History Within Us” in Czech

XB-1 November 2014My story “The History Within Us” is out now in the Czech magazine XB-1, edited by Martin Šust, and translated by Daniela Orlando. In my theme of positive topics, it’s about the end of humanity and the last two human survivors in a hostile universe. Plus fedoras. Link here.






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free short story prequel to the silence of six

SOS_CoverI have a new short story available for free on Wattpad: “SOS”, a prequel to my upcoming YA thriller, The Silence of Six! I hope that people who are curious about the novel will take a look at it, and if you’ve already read The Silence of Six, some cool stuff is there for you too :)

The Wattpad story also includes the entire first chapter of The Silence of Six, to introduce you to the mystery that sets the book’s events in motion. If you check it out, I hope you’ll leave some comments on the site and spread the word. I’m looking forward to hearing what readers think about the SOS books!

Also, some people have been asking me about when the hardcover will be available for pre-order. After a short delay, it’s finally up on Amazon!

And remember: You can still enter this giveaway for the book on Goodreads until November 15!


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World Fantasy Convention

terratantra_cosmic_treeI’ll be attending the World Fantasy Convention in Arlington, VA from November 6-9. I’m scheduled to do a reading on Thursday, November 6th, at 4:30pm in the “Arlington” room. I may read from one of two stories. The first is about farmers of universes and generational abuse. The second is about ghosts after the Holocaust coming back to their shtetl to find the town and themselves forever changed. So as you can see, positive topics! I hope you’ll join me.

Reading: Matthew Kressel
Time: 4:30pm-5pm, Nov. 6, Arlington

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book trailer + win a free book

Last week, Adaptive Studios revealed their phenomenal book trailer for The Silence of Six via Christine Riccio’s book channel on YouTube! It’s incredible to see my words translated to the screen like this, and it turned out even more shocking and creepier than I had imagined. But see for yourself:

Adaptive has more treats in store for you: another giveaway! This time they’re offering a bunch of free hardcovers of the completed book, which is out on November 5. (They even may be signed, if we can work out the logistics.) Enter the giveaway now through Nov. 15!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Silence of Six by E.C. Myers

The Silence of Six

by E.C. Myers

Giveaway ends November 15, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

And here’s a picture of me and some of the Adaptive team in NYC last week, when we met for the first time IRL!



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massive book giveaway!

As I’ve mentioned, my wife and I are re-homing a large portion of our still sizable book collection. Last week we sent a large box of YA titles off to a high school in Brooklyn and sold what we could to Powell’s. Before we make the rounds of local libraries and bookstores, we’re offering the rest of this batch to anyone who wants them. All we are asking is for you to cover the cost of shipping and any packaging; in most cases, we’ll use USPS Flat Rate Priority Mailers, but if you want more than will fit in their free packaging, it may cost a bit more. (We’ll also happily take donations, but not required.) And of course, if you expect to see one of us any time soon or you live in Philly, we can meet to pass them off in person.

Check out the list of books below or open the spreadsheet in a separate page. (Please excuse the capitalization — it was a lot of work just to list all these and their ISBNs!) If you want more information on a title, the ISBN is included, or just ask about its format and/or condition in the comments below. If you want to claim a title, leave a comment or e-mail me at I’ll update the list accordingly as books become unavailable.

If you want to browse a list with images of the book covers, look at this PDF (however, the book titles are not sorted alphabetically, and the formatting is kind of messy): FreeBooks_100414 [6.91MB]

We’re likely to have another smaller batch of books to offer soon, but we want to move these as quickly as possible so we’ll probably take requests for the next week, or until we have to drop them off somewhere.

Please, take our books! We just want them to be read and enjoyed. Thanks!


Edited to add: I also have some miscellaneous magazines to offer:

Asimov’s — April 2003 (Stross, Silverberg, Swanwick, McAuley, Rusch, Resnick, Barrett)

Asimov’s — Sept. 2004 (Stross, McHugh, Bagicalupi, Moles)

Asimov’s — July 2006 — bad shape (McDonald, DuChamp, Preston, Kress, Koja, Melko, Pratt)

Asimov’s — Aug. 2011 (Goldstein, Silverberg, Tem, Swanwick)

F&SF Oct./Nov. 2005 (incl. “Two Hearts” by Peter S. Beagle)

F&SF — Oct./Nov. 2006 (stories by C.C. Finlay, Paolo Bacigalupi, Geoff Ryman, Carol Emshwiller)

F&SF — Sept. 2007 (incl. “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang)

F&SF — Feb. 2009 (stories by Eugene Mirabelli, C.C. Finlay, Fred Chappell, Mario Milosevic, Jack Cady)

F&SF — May/June 2013 (stories by Dale Bailey, Andy Stewart, Robert Reed, Albert E. Cowdrey, Rand B. Lee, Bruce McAllister)

Shimmer, The Pirate Issue


Almost, Maine by John Cariani

Where Do We Live by Christopher Shinn


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