Archive for October, 2007

What Would You Like to See Next?

Jeff VanderMeer • October 25th, 2007 • Nonfiction

(Gratuitous squid image)

I hope all of you out there in Electricsville appreciate the sheer diversity lately on this blog. I mean, where else can you get:

Hump My Dump

Heroic Fantasy

The Immortal Chuck E. Cheese Story

A Conversation with Nathan Ballingrud


Screwed Up Movie Reviews

Tin House Love!

Margo Lanagan and Cordwainer Smith


Waaay Too Much Excitement

So, what would you like to see next?

Hump my Dump, You Lumpy Slumpy Dump

Jeff VanderMeer • October 25th, 2007 • Culture

Okay, maybe it’s just me, but this had me in stitches, in the middle of an essay lamenting (or parodying the lamenting) of the state of the modern world, George Saunders writes:

I used to love music back when it had melody and chords and lyrics. But now it has no melody and no chords, just thwack-thwacking and they even seem to be cutting back on the thwack-thwacking, so sometimes it’s just thwa, and as far as lyrics, do you consider these lyrics?

Hump my hump
My stumpy lumpy hump
Hump my dump, you lumpy slumpy dump!
I’ll dump your hump, and then just hump your dump
You lumpy frumply clump.

The whole piece is on the New Yorker site, I believe.

George Saunders

Jeff VanderMeer • October 25th, 2007 • Book Reviews

The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders has what I can only describe as a cleansing effect. Most of the essays are so clear, crisp, and interesting that it literally helps clean the white noise out of your brain. His essay on the importance of sentences in fiction should be required reading for all creative writing students. There’s also a ton of funny stuff in the book, including his exploration of the British.

Reading this in combination with Tin House: Fantastic Women is stimulating, energizing, and, hey, fun!


BAF On Ain’t It Cool News

Jeff VanderMeer • October 24th, 2007 • Book Reviews

Ain’t It Cool News has a short review of Best American Fantasy (scroll down) that reads in part:

Without question, I really think this is the best genre anthology of the year. Best American Fantasy did something more ambitious than any of the others could even dare. It might have single-handedly disproved the notion of the ‘SF ghetto’. You’ll find stories from McSweeney’s, the New Yorker, Zoetrope All-Story, alongside those of Analog. Yeah it’s a mixed bag (some of these like The Whipping…I can’t even tell what the SF element is), but that’s kind of the point. You won’t find a more diverse collection anywhere else.

Japan: Another Great Silence Without Post

Jeff VanderMeer • October 24th, 2007 • Culture

Tessa’s posted yet another great post about her travels in Japan, including monster crabs, whale sharks, and otters, among many other things.

Heroic Fantasy: Abercrombie, Miller, Ruckley, Sanderson

Jeff VanderMeer • October 24th, 2007 • Book Reviews

There’s a new generation of heroic fantasy writers, more or less coming into their own right now. In recognition of this, I’ve got a roundtable interview with four of them on Amazon, in two parts, with the second part being posted on Friday. Joe Abercrombie, Karen Miller, Brian Ruckley, and Brandon Sanderson. Check out Part 1 now. UPDATE: Part II now posted.

Meanwhile, here’s some interesting interview material I wasn’t able to fit into the Amazon feature.


Amazon Post: Spike TV Scream Awards/Ben Templesmith

Jeff VanderMeer • October 23rd, 2007 • Culture

A short post on the cool art of Ben Templesmith, and the Spike TV Scream Awards.

Favorite moment, though, Quentin Tarantino shouting “Do we share the same fungus?” Over and over again. Yes, I wanted to shout back through the TV. Yes. Yes, we do.


The Chuck E. Cheese Story

Jeff VanderMeer • October 23rd, 2007 • Videos

The horrible and horrifying tale of my encounter with the giant rat…and all the chaos that ensued…

(Round these parts, we call the place “Chuckie Cheese”. No pause for that middle initial.)



Jeff VanderMeer • October 23rd, 2007 • Book Reviews

Um, so Fieldwork is apparently a National Book Award nominee and Stephen King loved it. For me, it was badly paced and the main character was false and annoying. Go figure.

Ever tried…

Jeff VanderMeer • October 23rd, 2007 • Uncategorized

…to put three angry, clever cats into cages so you can take them all to the vet at the same time for shots and clipping of claws?

It involves a lot of blood…all of it yours…and you wind up looking like a poorly disguised spy in a rug factory. of course, the blood contrasts nicely with all of the fur…

In a nice bit of sabotage, one of them got me right across the wrist, so now I look like I tried to off myself.