Novel excerpt: “King of Shards” by Matthew Kressel
The demon had saved Daniel, but the fool didn’t know it yet.
No matter existed in this place before places, not a single atom in this void of voids. If he had a mouth to scream, the demon would have, because he remembered this terror, remembered tumbling into the Abyss, when the Creator had ripped his world apart and tossed her screaming children into the Great Deep.
Our mother, the demon thought. Our destroyer.
The blind idiot tumbled beside him, a spark of unsteady light, flashing in panic as they went down and down and down.
Milton had it wrong. It wasn’t nine days. It was nine eternities. Ages crept past them in a silence that had lain undisturbed since before the first universe. The demon was more ancient than the oldest mountains, older than Earth, but the Great Deep mocked such notions of duration.
It could swallow all the years of his life a trillion, trillion, trillion times. When he had been thrust into the Abyss the first time, he had known only fear. But he had been a child then. Now, he fell with purpose.
Time passed. An eon or a nanosecond. All was meaningless in the breadth of eternity. An orange pinprick formed in the emptiness below, a miniscule spark of light. They fell towards it.
Flowing out from its glare, in currents long and wispy, came ballads of forgotten kings, cries from the death of children, a dying man’s last breath. Like smoke, the currents drifted into the vastness to be forgotten, the broken sounds of a broken people in a broken universe.
Matthew Kressel is a multiple Nebula Award finalist and World Fantasy Award finalist. His first novel, King of Shards, debuted October 13th from Resurrection House. His fiction has or will soon appear in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Nightmare, io9.com, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interzone, Apex Magazine, and many other markets. He was the former editor and publisher of the acclaimed ‘zine Sybil’s Garage and he published the World Fantasy Award-winning Paper Cities. Alongside veteran editor Ellen Datlow, he co-hosts the Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series in New York City. He has been a member of the Altered Fluid writers group for more than a decade, studies the Yiddish language in his spare time, and is preternaturally obsessed with the film Blade Runner. Find him on Twitter as @mattkressel and his blog at matthewkressel.net.
King of Shards is currently available on Amazon.com.
About the Narrators:
Sarah Frederickson was born in Oregon in the United States, and was raised in beautiful Minnesota. At a young age she realized her passion for musical performance and the creative arts. Sarah spent most of her childhood singing and acting – both onstage and off – and affecting various accents for fun.
Sarah graduated with a degree in Music business and Audio Production from Bethel University in St.Paul Minnesota. Shortly after graduation she traveled to Australia for a one-year holiday. During that time she became smitten with an Australian man who asked her to stay, and the couple — now married — live and work in Australia, go on adventures, write music, and read stories to their cat.
Matthew Frederickson is in his mid-30s, living in Memphis, Tennessee, with a rockstar plastic surgeon wife. He reads and writes and runs in his spare time. He loves to brew beer, and he’d love to make that his career. He will soon start the second season of his podcast, Freddy’s Fan Fiction. You can find him on Twitter as @swami.