Archive for June 22nd, 2007

Spaceman Blues–Matt Cheney Review

Jeff VanderMeer • June 22nd, 2007 • Uncategorized

I had meant to post a link to this review of Spaceman Blues by Brian Francis Slattery awhile back. It’s one of Matt’s best reviews–eloquent, passionate, and beautifully written. Kind of like Slattery’s novel, which I blurbed when I saw it from Tor in manuscript many months ago.

This is a special book and one you should definitely seek out.

Jeff

ALA: Scalzi, Charlotte Jones, et al

Jeff VanderMeer • June 22nd, 2007 • Uncategorized

A delightful surprise tonight to meet Charlotte Jones, the granddaughter of Madeleine L’Engle, who will be part of the proceedings tomorrow.

A great dinner all the way around, including the lovely Kathleen Dougherty and the one-man army that is John Scalzi. John’s just a great guy all the way around. As were the librarians, including the redoubtable Milton Wolf with tales of adventure.

I will start the festivities tomorrow talking about squid, followed by Charlotte talking about God (among other things), Scalzi probably talking about everything under the sun, and Steven Erickson finishing things off. Unfortunately, Erickson’s plane got in too late for him to join us.

This has been a wonderful day in DC, following a couple of weeks of intense work and concentration.

This ALA Report Sponsored by Jay Lake’s Cheese Obsession

Jeff VanderMeer • June 22nd, 2007 • Uncategorized

Bistro

Michel, the owner of Bistrot Du Coin, hanging out with Steven Tyler from Aerosmith (fairly sure that’s Tyler…)

We’ve arrived in Washington DC for ALA, Ann and I, and we’ve been walking around the city having a lot of fun. The most fun has been had at the Bistrot Du Coin, at which our search for Leffe finally paid off. And on tap, no less! Our long national nightmare was at an end.

With our Leffe we ordered a cheese plate, and had one of the most pleasurable gustatory experiences of the last year. Two amazing goat cheeses, a cheese a bit like Stilton, and another cheese that might have been a derivative of brie. The owner, Michell, talked to us for awhile and explained that the secret to the cheese tasting so good is to leave it out on the counter for a few weeks. “The refrigerator is no good for cheese.”

He also recommended the L’Artisanal in New York City as the best cheese shop in the country, news that I thought might embolden Jay Lake to visit that fair metropolis in the near future, given his love affair with cheese.

Tonight it’s dinner with Scalzi, Erickson, and Kathleen Dougherty, and tomorrow the presentation.

Jeff

PS Paul Riddell asked about squid being sent to me. Yes, I still get dried squid in the mail. Quite a bit of it.

Gabe Chouinard: Do Not Do Projects With Him

Jeff VanderMeer • June 22nd, 2007 • Uncategorized

When several years back The Third Alternative hushed up the information that one of their cover artists had plagiarized from Dave McKean, I thought that was unfortunate because it meant that artist might be able to pull it over on someone else. When I caught a reviewer for a number of websites plagiarizing from other reviewers, I was reluctant not to go public but was convinced to just make those websites aware of the situation. (This did appear to take care of the problem.)

In both cases, I didn’t say anything publicly. To some extent, I convinced myself it wasn’t my business. But I have to say I favor transparency whenever possible, and for this reason I have to say that having observed Gabe Chouinard’s behavior over the years, starting with Fantastic Metropolis, it is important for people to know that (1) he never ever finishes a project he starts, (2) he knows nothing about PR and should not be given money to serve in that capacity, (3) he appears to have stolen people’s time and money, (4) he is unable to acknowledge that anything is ever his fault, and (5) he will repeatedly use the excuse of “family problems” to get sympathy and thus get out from under any hole he has dug himself into.

So, it’s no surprise about what happened with Scalpel Magazine. I guess I just thought everyone knew Gabe’s MO.

Because I think it’s well past time that Gabe stop abusing other people’s trust, I am posting publicly about this. Transparency is more important than a false sense of decorum.

Enough said.

 JeffV