Today is the third Wednesday of the month, and if I were still living in New York, I would be excited about going to see authors Dale Bailey and Nathan Ballingrud read tonight in a red room on the second floor of a building at 85 E. 4th Street. This is the KGB Bar, where for more than a decade, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and young adult writers, readers, editors, and agents have gathered for the Fantastic Fiction at KGB Reading series.
I’ve been going to KGB Readings for many years, and last year I was honored to be invited to read from my first novel, Fair Coin — on my 34th birthday, no less! Basically, this reading series is an important part of the SFF scene in NYC, and it’s very important to me, personally; I have met many people there who have become good friends, and it’s a place where we can get together to celebrate the fiction and genres we love, or just drink beer. Now that I’m in Philadelphia, where there are not very many literary readings at all (or, in fact, books), I value that kind of connection even more. New Yorkers, you are lucky to have this every month!
The Fantastic Fiction readings are completely free, but current co-hosts Ellen Datlow and Matt Kressel buy their guest authors drinks and dinner, and that does cost money. They have prevailed upon the kindness of the community before, with tremendous success, but the coffers at last have run empty and it’s time to pass the hat around again. Happily, their ongoing Kickstarter campaign was funded in record time (demonstrating the value that so many place on it), and they now have support for the next four years, but I would like to see it continue for as long as possible. Every $1500 above their $3000 goal buys another year of readings and means they won’t have to ask for donations again for a good long time.
There are still lots of wonderful rewards for giving at different levels, including a critique from my writing group, Altered Fluid, which I was first introduced to at a KGB reading. (Of course a group with that name would hang out in a bar!)
Not only have I offered up a copy of Fair Coin as a reward (the first one claimed!), but I edited the Kickstarter video below, and I’ve even donated a little money myself. That’s how you know how much I support what this series does, and/or how much of a sucker I am.