Archive for June, 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

Greg Bear on the Daily Show

Jeff VanderMeer • June 21st, 2007 • Uncategorized

Seeing Greg Bear on the Daily Show made me remember how much I’ve enjoyed Bear’s fiction over the years. I’ve read mostly the short fiction, but he’s a very interesting author most of the time. And his short interview on the Daily Show was lively and engaging. At the end, Stewart told him, “You know the awesome thing? How tickled you are by it all.” Things like bioweapons.

Anyway, I was pretty impressed with Bear. One of the better interviews on the Daily Show.

Guest of the Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle

Jeff VanderMeer • June 21st, 2007 • Events

I’ll be participating in the Bumbershoot festival on September 1st. I’m very excited about this multi-media festival, which I’ve always wanted to experience, let alone take part in.

More info on my participation here.

ALA Conference Teaser

Jeff VanderMeer • June 21st, 2007 • Uncategorized

So Saturday afternoon I’ll be giving a talk along with John Scalzi and Steve Erickson at the ALA conference. Here’s a teaser of what I’ll be doing…

 Jeff

P.S. A friend of Jay Lake’s created this livejournal feed for my new blog…

  

Right here at the beginning. I have to admit something.  Confess something.

That I’ve been known to make things up.

That I’ve been know to tell a tall tale or two.

That I’ve been known to sacrifice fact to fiction.

I know. It seems far-fetched doesn’t it? Given my profession.

But bear with me. I’m going somewhere with this.

Now, as some of you may know, a few of my books are set in an imaginary city called Ambergris. And in Ambergris there is a celebration called the Festival of the Freshwater Squid. It’s a big deal. A shindig. A veritable cornucopia of the senses. Goes on all night. With any luck, the city’s not half on fire by the morning.

I wrote about the Festival for years without anything particularly odd happening. What did happen tended to fall into one of three categories.

Category the first.

Dried squid. Tons of it. Acres of it. More dried squid than there are undried squid.

[followed by lots of squid and non-squid stuff...]

My European Summer: Locus Article

Jeff VanderMeer • June 21st, 2007 • Nonfiction

Portugal

Me, Luis Rodrigues, Michel Jacinto, Safaa Dib in Lisbon last summer. (Photo: Ann)

The following article ran in Locus last year after my five-week European tour. This is the first time it has appeared online.

If you like the article, you should consider subscribing to Locus, which runs lots of amazing stuff every month. If you’re wanting to keep up with the genre scene, you really need to read Locus. You can subscribe here.

I did some interviews with European editors. Not all of them have been posted to the internet yet, but check out my YouTube channel for those that have been posted.

Jeff

MY EUROPEAN SUMMER: Publishing in Europe

“In 1989, after the fall of Ceausescu, ten thousand publishing houses sprang up in Romania,” Bogdan Hrib, the founder of Tritonic Publishing, told me as we roared down the main highway toward the mountains during our first hours in Romania. “Everyone wanted to tell their story and they thought the best way was to start a publishing house.” Six years later, that number was down to around 500, and today there are around 300 publishers in Romania, of which Tritonic is in the top 20. It’s not the only publishing tale we heard while in Europe, but it is a dramatic one, and a testament to what happens when the sudden absence of the state-controlled system allows thousands of voices to be heard suddenly and without censorship.

Everyone wanted to tell their story

A tour of six European countries centering around one’s own publisher or editor and the associated social circle can only provide a subjective story about the SF/F scene in each. However, a few things are the same everywhere you go: the economies of scale are vastly different because most of the markets are much smaller than the United States, and the local writers on the ground continue to be shafted by a combination of factors, including the imperialism of the English language.

(more…)

Coming Soon…

Jeff VanderMeer • June 20th, 2007 • Downloads

Soon we’ll have IM icons and tons of other stuff. I’ll blog about it when this section is ready.

jeff

Welcome

Jeff VanderMeer • June 20th, 2007 • Uncategorized

…Ah. That’s better. More room to breathe. Everything on one site or linked from one site. News and Events on a sidebar. A Services section (please do check that out). A Press Kit Section. Nice. My most heart-felt thanks to Luis Rodrigues for altering the Word Press templates, creating the really cool design, and for his advice during the construction of this new site. (We’ll be adding things and tweaking a few things soon.) Thanks also for his friendship.

As some of you may know, I have been living off of my fiction, nonfiction, and editing since February. A lot of people have been very supportive as I’ve made this rather abrupt transition and I’d like to thank them. (My apologies if I leave someone off).

First of all, thanks to Ann who I love so much and who has been so supportive that it has made it all much less painful and me much less stressed. Thanks also to everyone who has helped me in one way or another over the past few months:

Elizabeth VanderMeer, Howard Morhaim, Paul Witcover, Elizabeth Hand, Jay Lake, Peter Cannon, Eric Schaller, Matt Cheney, Rusty Morrison, Ken Keegan, Therese Littleton, Jacob MacMurray, Cat Rambo, Tom Nissley, Byron Rupp, Scott Edelman, Rachel Shea, Michael Dirda, John Scalzi, Victoria Blake, Geoff Manaugh, Sandy Calhoun, Jeren Goldstein, Richard Nash, Brian Evenson, Charles Goran, Richard Morgan, David Larsen, Nick Gevers, Neil Clarke, Sean Wallace, Jeffrey Thomas, Paul DiFilippo, Jeffrey Ford, Deborah Newton, David Arthurs, Anne Sydenham, Kameron Hurley, David Moles, George Mann, Clare Dudman, Jim Minz, Joe Gordon, Mark Mustian, Barth Anderson, Nathan Ballingrud, Tobias Buckell, Alex & Heather Hall, KJ Bishop, Mark & Cindy Ziesing, Mike Moorcock, Peter Crowther, Bill Schaffer, Liz Gorinsky, Leslie Henkel, John & Barb Lyons, Robbie Boerth, Mark Wingenfeld, Gwenda Bond, Mark Kelly, Tamar Yellin, Jonathan Strahan, and everyone at my former place of employment who expressed their support (you know who you are, and you are numerous).

Again, I know I’ve forgotten some names. My apologies in advance. Let me just say it’s been humbling to know I have such a good support system and that there are so many nice, cool people out there.

Anyway, I hope there will be a bit of a change now that I can source certain information into sidebars and other categories. More substantive posts, for example. (I’ll also add a blog roll and “Classic Posts” from the old blog, which will still be available.)

So, go ahead and check out all of the categories and information–you’ll notice the old jeffvandermeer.com site is still available–and a huge tip of the hat to my friend Scott Eagle for allowing us to use his art.

Much Love,

Jeff