City of Saints & Madmen: The Untold Story

Since this blog has picked up a ton of new readers since 2004, when my essay on the untold story behind City of Saints & Madmen came out, I’m reposting the link from The Agony Column for those who are interested. I wrote the essay because City of Saints had such an incredibly difficult journey into the world. In fact, if not for pushing as hard as I did on that book, I probably would not have a career right now. I also wrote the essay because I figured showing a kind of worst-case scenario of all the things that could go wrong, while also providing some insight into how the stories came to be written, and how I’d originally tried to get them published, would be of value to not only beginning writers but writers just about to experiencing having a first book out.

Anyway, just seemed like it had been a long time since I’d referenced it. It’s long, so you’ll probably need to print it out if you want to read it. If so, note that it consists of Part I and Part II.

Jeff

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Steampunk Magazine

The new Steampunk magazine is available for ordering or downloading. It features an interview with me ‘n’ Ann, in part about, er, steampunk.

All of these hats are getting confusing. Just finished getting used to the iron screws in the New Weird hat, ya know?

Feverish in Tallahasssee,

Jeff

Fast Ships, Black Sails–Pirate Antho Details

Although Night Shade is still working on the cover, they have announced the pirate anthology on their blog and in their online catalog, so I figured I should post the info here, too. Ann and I are so excited about this anthology–it just kicks so much ass. So many great adventure stories, written at a very high level. We’ve also chosen a selection of new and established writers, which is a bit of a risk in the current publishing environment, but one you can help us out with. Send a message that you’re as interested in new talent as in your favorites–pre-order the anthology today! A high number of pre-orders will continue to justify (1) open reading periods (where we got a lot of our best stuff) and (2) a commitment to publishing the next generation now. Honestly, this is over 100,000 words of piratey goodness. As cool an antho as I’ve ever been associated with.

Here’s the catalog copy and TOC:

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A Couple O’ Interviews

Me talking about the Situation (PS Publishing) on Adventures in SF Publishing

Ann and me on New Weird, conversing with Jay Lake

The State, SC’s largest newspaper, interviewed us about New Weird, among other things: Jeff VanderMeer and his wife, Ann, have a weird relationship. She spends her days reading tales of dragons and vampires as editor for Weird Tales Magazine, while he pens fiction about a surreal world called Ambergris. Occasionally they combine forces, like when they served as editors for this year’s anthology “The New Weird.”

Two Things I Never Expected

After having been called a “boy toy” today, I thought nothing could possibly bring me down–until we got to the parking lot at the airport and we found that my car had been shat upon by the thousand demon birds of Hell. Once I regained my ability to speak without roaring swears, I had to admire the systematic nature of this indignity visited upon my innocent Corolla. Even if five hundred birds had in regimented goose-stepping fashion afixed their butts in an assembly line of poo-creation, still they could not have approached the sheer frightening velocity and intensity of the bird crap Mardi Gras float that my car has become…

SC Book Festival: Parts is Parts, and Dancing

Look what I found! Now I can build my own Grotesques despite not having a lick of artistic talent!

Last night was sooo much fun, btw. Seeing Jay Lake out on the dance floor and seeing Ann, bum shoulder and all, also dancing (with the keynote speaker, no less!), was really a special kind of joy. There was also a rare ten-year appearance of the VanderDancer, who was on stage for about two minutes. Really a world record for me. I’m into the speed dancing–do what you’re gonna do and get off the floor. Also had a really nice brunch with readers, going from table to table every ten minutes. All very cool.

Here’s Ann signing the first copy of Weird Tales she’s ever autographed!

More photos soon…

The New Weird: A Damn Fine Read!

The Guardian’s review of The New Weird (scroll down). I’ll post linkage and excerpts from all of the press thus far very soon.

Had a good day at the festival. The panel with Jay and Ann was great, with James O. Born doing a very good job of moderating and a superlative introduction by Jefferson Bryson. Then I did my Rough Guide to Ambergris multi-media, which went off without a hitch, although I think a few members of the audience went away scratching their heads. Then we attended a fine reading featuring Jay Lake and five other writers. Now it’s collapsing time until dinner.

I’ll be more descriptive in the morning, but I have to say everyone here is so nice. Not that they kneecap ya at other events when you show up, but…

Jeff

South Carolina Book Festival

So, Ann and I love these kinds of book festivals because you meet so many different kinds of writers. Today, we met a couple of mystery-thriller writers, the Poet Laureate of Virginia, a Shakespeare scholar who writes thrillers but will be doing SF under a pen name, a lawyer who writes law thrillers, a publicist for sports books, another poet (Lola Haskins) who I not only published back in the 1980s but has a very cool coffee table book out now, and, hey, this SF writer named Jay Lake.

The reception tonight was in a library full of illuminated manuscripts with lovely food and interesting conversation. Tomorrow, we earn our keep with a panel on SF and the Rough Guide to Ambergris multi-media presentation.

Jeff