Weird Tales–Next Issue and Special Subscription Offer

The next issue of Weird Tales, the second with my wife Ann as fiction editor, will be out very soon–and can you believe that cover? I just love that art.

Even better is the fiction. Every single one of these stories is provocative, unusual, and beautifully written:

Heuler, Karen – Landscape, With Fish
Pridham, Matthew – Renovation
Mills, Calvin – The Stone and Bone Boy
Pugmire, W.M & M.K. Snyder – The House of Idiot Children
Rambo, Cat – Events at Fort Plentitude

I do want to draw special attention to a story I believe could become a modern classic: Matthew Pridham’s novelette “Renovation,” perhaps the most original and just plain wonderful haunted house story of the last fifteen years. It’s his first published story, but it doesn’t read like it. This is the real deal, folks–a stone cold brilliant “renovation” of the modern haunted house story. And it’s only part of a great issue. I was privileged to read these stories when Ann got them as galleys for copy editing and they’re just great.

Weird Tales is offering a subscription special right now, and I’m so excited about this revitalization of a magazine that was one of my first pro sales that I’m going to extend this additional special offer: subscribe now and I’ll send you a little personalized trinket/thank you in the mail, something only you will have. I’ll even extend it to the first 25 readers who take advantage of it–just make sure you type “VanderMeer sent me” in the comments field when you subscribe.

Weird Tales is one of the only genre magazines whose subscription rate is CLIMBING–and there’s a reason for that. In addition to just plain old great fiction, you get pages and pages of nonfiction features, interviews, comics, and reviews. I just can’t get over how thoroughly and wisely creative director Stephen Segal has re-energized Weird Tales.

Weird Mushroom Lore

I’ve interviewed Taylor F. Lockwood, who photographs and studies mushrooms all over the world, for (the interview will go up next week), and had to share this little snippet in advance of the feature posting.


What, in your opinion, is the world’s strangest mushroom, and why?
That is hard because there are so many strange ones. Two groups I really like are the Cordyceps and the Stinkhorns. The Cordyceps because they control the proliferation of insects as well as make them do strange things before they devour the insects from the inside out. Some Cordyceps are not only specific to the species of insect host that they will attack, they might be specific to the body part, leg or joint that they want to host upon. Other Cordyceps can make an insect climb up a tree to better spread the spores when the fungus fruits out of the insect’s body. Stinkhorns fool insects into spreading their spores by attracting them with brightly colored bodies and a smelly spore mass. The insects land on the sticky mass of spores and unwittingly carry them off to other habitats. One thing you can be sure of is that there will be many more surprises as we find out more about the Kingdom of Fungi.

South Carolina Book Festival!

Ann and I are guests of the South Carolina Book Festival this weekend. In addition to various author receptions, brunches, etc., we’ll be on a panel on SF with Jay Lake and I’ll be doing my Ambergris multi-media presentation. Jay will be doing a reading as well. If you’re in Columbia, drop by and say hi. After each event, we’ll be signing New Weird, Best American Fantasy, and other books. Should be lots of fun!

I’ll still be blogging, though.


Contribute to An Online Compendium of Noble Failure (or: Dreams Delayed)

So, I’m on the road for a day or so, and I thought this would be a good time to ask everybody out there to answer one or both of two questions, the answers to which intrigue me in the wake of an article I read about books that almost were but weren’t. But I want to expand it to be books, yes, but also other projects of any kind.

(1) What project you worked on that you were really invested in failed utterly and you still to this day think about it with disappointment?

(2) What project have you always wanted to do but have not yet gotten around to? Like, your dream project?

Again, these can be anything, not just related to books and writing. For #1, it’s kind of an opportunity to share a vision that might’ve been. For #2, it’s an opportunity to begin to get closer to starting that project. Who knows, someone who reads this blog might take you up on the idea.

This ain’t a contest. Just curious. And you can post anonymously if you need to. Later, I’ll share my own.


John Picacio on Amazon

Short feature on The Right Honorable John Picacio, talking about his involvement in the new editions of Moorcock’s Elric books.

Query: Steampunk Hats?

Anybody got any steampunk-ish hats or other Head Devices they’d be willing to send me on loan? I’d only need them for a few days.

If so, email me at vanderworld at hotmail dot com. Thanks!


Evil Monkey For President Poster

Poster by Zach Taylor. Soon to be available for order online, to fund Evil Monkey’s campaign. He knows he’s entering late, but if he can’t beat Huckabee, nobody can.

J.M. McDermott Interviewed on Amazon

Just posted an interview with McDermott, author of Last Dragon.

Fantasy is not a genre that traditionally values experimentation. Usually, fantasy–especially epic fantasy–is where readers want good to conquer evil and true love to be won and all that. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little mental comfort food now and then, but I hungered to read the kind of fantasies that take these particular tools and tropes and attempt to make an art form out of them. Not everyone is going to like this kind of fantasy. That’s okay. I hope that enough people are out there, like me, that want to sink their teeth into a fantasy novel that honestly – arrogantly–strives for high artistry.

New Weird Contest Winners!

Well, eighty-plus entries later, we have a some winners and honorable mentions in our New Weird contest. (You can order the antho here.) We had to make a few very difficult decisions because so many people submitted so many cool stories. Our admittedly unscientific process was for Ann to read them and narrow it down, and then from the semi-finalists, I chose the three winners and the three HMs. So, the envelope please…

[Read more…]