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Dr John J. Kessel

Professor of the PracticeEmeritus ProfessorProfessor

Picture of Dr John J. Kessel


John Kessel is a professor of creative writing and American literature. A winner of the Nebula Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Award, the Locus Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, his books include Good News from Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice, and The Pure Product.  His story collection, Meeting in Infinity, was named a notable book of 1992 by the New York Times Book Review, and Kim Stanley Robinson has called Corrupting Dr. Nice "the best time travel novel ever written." With James Patrick Kelly he edited the anthologies Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology;  Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology; and most recently, The Secret History of Science Fiction.  His collection The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories contains the 2008 Nebula-Award-winning story “Pride and Prometheus.”

His novel The Moon and the Other was published by Simon & Schuster in April 2017.

Kessel has taught at NCSU since 1982, and helped organize and served as the first director of the university's Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing.


Teaching and Research Interests

speculative fiction


fiction writing

science & literature




Freedom Beach (with James Patrick Kelly).  Bluejay Books, 1985

Another Orphan.  Tom Doherty Associates (St. Martin's Press),1989

Good News From Outer Space.  Tom Doherty Associates (St. Martin's Press), 1989

Meeting in Infinity (story collection).  Arkham House, 1992

Corrupting Dr. Nice.  Tom Doherty Associates.  1997

The Pure Product (story collection)  Tom Doherty Associates, 1997

The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories, Small Beer Press, 2008

The Collected Kessel (story collection), Baen Books, 2012


As editor:

Intersections (anthology, with Mark L. Van Name and Richard Butner, ed.).  Tor, 1996

Feeling Very Strange,  (anthology, with James Patrick Kelly).  Tachyon Books, 2006

Rewired,  (anthology, with James Patrick Kelly).  Tachyon Books, 2007

The Secret History of Science Fiction,  (anthology, with James Patrick Kelly).  Tachyon Books, 2009

Kafkaesque,  (anthology, with James Patrick Kelly).  Tachyon Books, 2011

Nebula Awards Showcase 2012,  (anthology, with James Patrick Kelly).  Pyr Books, 2012 

Digital Rapture (anthology, with James Patrick Kelly).  Tachyon Books, 2012


  • Ph.D. in American Literature, Creative Writing from University of Kansas, 1981
  • M.A. in English from University of Kansas, 1974
  • B.A. in Physics & English from University of Rochester, 1972