Archive for July, 2007

City of Saints and Veniss out in Russia

Jeff VanderMeer • July 18th, 2007 • News

A few years after acquiring City of Saints and Veniss, the Russians have delivered with some very nice hardcover editions of both books. I believe this is the publisher page, although I’m not sure.

And it’s possible these were published last year and I’ve just now gotten contributor copies.

Finch Excerpt: Novel in Progress

Jeff VanderMeer • July 18th, 2007 • Uncategorized

Wyte. The story.

He’d gone to investigate a death. By himself. No one else in the station. Call sounded simple. A man. Found dead beneath a tree. Beginning to smell. Most days, not worth bothering with. But it was slow. Wyte took the job seriously. Woman seemed upset.

It was down near the bay. Beside a cracked stone sign that used to welcome visitors to Ambergris. No one was around. Not even the woman who had called it in. The man lay on his back. Connected to the “tree,” which was a huge mushroom. Connected by odd tendrils. The smell, vile. The man’s eyes open and flickering.

Wyte should have left. Wyte should have known better. But maybe Wyte had been bored. Or wanted a change. Or didn’t care.

He leaned over the body. Because he thought he saw something floating in those eyes. Something moving. Movement equals life?

Who knows? Just know: it’s a dumb move.

That’s what they always said in the bar. The other detectives. When they told the story.

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Electric Velocipede

Jeff VanderMeer • July 18th, 2007 • Uncategorized

Yes, that’s right–it’s National You Should Buy This Day…

Electric Velocipede is a cool magazine in the tradition of things like Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. If you like work by Hal Duncan, Tobias Buckell, and dozens of other amazing talents, you really owe it to yourself to purchase a subscription.

You can go to the EV Site to buy subscriptions online, or you can send payments (payable to John Klima or Spilt Milk Press) to:

John Klima
Electric Velocipede
PO Box 266
Bettendorf, IA 52722

They can also paypal to editor at electricvelocipede.com

What do you get for that?

Here’s John Klima’s explanation.

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Night Shade Sale

Jeff VanderMeer • July 18th, 2007 • Uncategorized

The good folks at NS are having a book sale, which means you, the reader, stand to score some awesome volumes on the cheap:

It’s sale time at Night Shade Books again. We’ve got a few big titles coming in, and we need to clear space in a big way! So until midnight on Sunday, July 29th, we’re offering 50% off all in-stock and forthcoming Night Shade books. Use the coupon code NSB0750, and there is a four book minimum order.

And just to entice you a bit more, we’ve just added a whole bunch of new forthcoming titles to the site, including new novels from Greg Egan and Walter Jon Williams, the new Detective Inspector Chen novel from Liz Williams, the fourth and fifth Clark Ashton Smith volumes, and a post-apocalyptic anthology called Wastelands that will include stories from Stephen King, Jonathan Lethem, George R.R. Martin, Orson Scott Card, Gene Wolfe, Nancy Kress, Octavia Butler, and a whole lot more.

In addition, for those that keep asking, we’re reprinting a bunch of classics. Volume one of the Clark Ashton Smith series is sold out, but will be reprinted in September. Volume one of the Hodgson series will be reprinted in January, and volume two will be reprinted in May.

Back…

Jeff VanderMeer • July 17th, 2007 • Uncategorized

We’re back after a great time teaching at Clarion and then some R&R involving hiking, coyotes, caves, dolphins, wild turkeys, weird moon-scaped meadows, more hiking, lots of great beer, walks by the sea, and, er, more beer.

Regular posting will resume starting tomorrow.

Jeff

“Classic” Post: Jan 2005–Wild Pigs

Jeff VanderMeer • July 13th, 2007 • Uncategorized

So I was out at St. Marks hiking with a friend named Moshe. Moshe is a fascinating guy–he grew up running with gangs in Los Angeles, converted to Judaism, got a law degree and worked for former California governor Pete Wilson for awhile, then moved to Israel, joined the Israeli army, wrote a book about his life (a truly interesting account, which he’s currently shopping around), and then moved to tranquil Tallahassee.

We were on mile three of a thirteen-mile hike when I saw something dark and large to the left side of the trail, way up ahead.

I stopped and looked at it with my binoculars.

“What is it?” Moshe asked.

“I thought it might be an animal, but it looks like it’s just a large bush.”

I put the binoculars down, and that’s when the bush turned sideways and the dark blob, even from so far away, clearly became an animal of some kind. At first, a chill went down my spine, because it was so far away that it looked like it was something human but deformed traveling on all fours. Only when I looked at it again through my binoculars could I confirm that it was a pig.

“It’s a pig,” I said to Moshe. “A very large pig.”

“Yes,” Moshe replied. “It looks a lot like a very large pig.”

“I’ve never seen a pig out here before,” I said to Moshe. “I didn’t even know St. Marks had wild pigs.”

“Well, that’s definitely a pig,” Moshe said.

We stood there as the beast scented the air. Then, it began, from more than one hundred yards away, to run toward us.

“It’s running toward us, Moshe,” I said.

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My Birthday at Clarion

Jeff VanderMeer • July 9th, 2007 • Photos

Ann and I spent my birthday at the Clarion Workshop in San Diego. It was the last day of the workshop and we were both exhausted and elated. The students had worked very hard and done some incredible things. And then when I got up I woke to this chalk drawing some of the students had done outside of our dorm. A really wonderful thing. Gifts of chocolate and beer were also very nice of them.

After doing some final work, we got down to business: a water gun fight. A truly epic battle that I enjoyed the hell out of. I’ve included some pictures below. (ALL photos by Keyan Bowes, one of the students, so thanks to her for that.)

Here student Andrew Emmott makes toast of my efforts to duck, roll, and come up firing by laying down a withering burst of water.

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“Classic” Post: Dec 2004–Hannukah Bear

Jeff VanderMeer • July 7th, 2007 • Uncategorized

I first moved up to Tallahassee to be with my now-wife Ann in October of 1992. At the time, Ann’s daughter was seven years old and as accepting of the situation as she could be, most tension assuage by the fact she still saw her father on a regular basis. But I was still anxious to show her that life as she knew it wasn’t going to change too drastically, and that it might even be fun. Hannukah was coming up, so I suggested we go shopping for Ann at the local mall. Erin agreed and we set off for the mall in high spirits. Erin, in those days, was a mischievous little sprite of a girl with dark eyebrows and a glint in her eye that was either piratical or good natured depending on her mood. She would say things like, “I want to be a taxi driver, but if that doesn’t work out I’ll be a doctor or lawyer. And if that doesn’t work out I’ll just be a plain old beauty queen and live at home with my mom.” Once, she said she’d like to be a “scientist of crayons.” For awhile, she used to say twenty minutes was “churney midgets.” She was the cutest little kid I’d ever met, but also tough as all get out. I enjoyed telling her impossible things as fact and getting that little indignant half-smile out of her and the folded arms, which told me she was entertained but she wasn’t buying any of it.

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News From Finland

Jeff VanderMeer • July 5th, 2007 • Uncategorized

Tähtifantasia-award

Helsinki SF Society has been giving The Tähtivaeltaja-award for the best Science Fiction book published in Finland for over 20 years. Now HSFS has started a new award called Tähtifantasia (Star Fantasy) that will be given yearly to the best translated Fantasy book published in Finland during the previous year.

The winner will be chosen by a jury of experts. The five nominees for the best translated Fantasy book published in Finland in 2006 are:

  • Jonathan Carroll: Valkoiset omenat (White Apples)
  • Jukka Halme (ed.): Uuskummaa? Modernin fantasian antologia (New Weird? An Anthology of Modern Fantasy – Includes short stories from Jeff VanderMeer, Stepan Chapman, Kelly Link, China Miéville, Jeffrey Ford, Margo Lanagan etc)
  • George R. R. Martin: Miekkamyrsky, part 2 (A Storm of Swords – The second half)
  • Patricia A. McKillip: Unohdettu Ombria (Ombria in Shadow)
  • Jeff VanderMeer: Pyhimysten ja mielipuolten kaupunki (The City of Saints and Madmen – Selection of stories)

The winner will be announced in August.

Fourth of July–Reading and “What He Said”

Jeff VanderMeer • July 4th, 2007 • Uncategorized

My review of Emma Bull’s Territory is up at SF Weekly. I really really enjoyed the book. And it’s an appropriate book, given its American point of view, to mention on July 4th.

Equally appropriate is my friend Jeff Ford’s post about the state of democracy in our country.

Have a good and safe fourth if you live in the US. If you live elsewhere, please convince your government to invade us. We need to be liberated.

Jeff

PS The fascinating writer Brendan Connell has a new blog.