Archive for May, 2008

Shared Worlds at Wofford for High School Students

Jeff VanderMeer • May 29th, 2008 • Events, News

I’ll be teaching at Wofford College as part of the Shared Worlds creative writing program, July 20 through August 2. Rising eighth graders through twelfth grade should consider signing up. They still have some spots available. As far as the organizers know, this might be the only such workshop in the country. Check out the website’s FAQ and other info if you have questions. Should be exciting!


Jeff VanderMeer • May 29th, 2008 • Uncategorized

Does this cat look like he missed us while we were gone?


Back Home, with Books–and Content!

Jeff VanderMeer • May 29th, 2008 • Uncategorized

(For detail shots, click here. Questions?)


Excellent Steampunk Article

Jeff VanderMeer • May 29th, 2008 • Culture

This Channel Web article, which includes a few quotes from Ann and one from Jess Nevins, is the best I’ve seen. Some fascinating stuff I didn’t know.



Jeff VanderMeer • May 29th, 2008 • Writing Tips

Everyone talks about perspiration. Everyone talks about the long slog. Everyone talks about things like endurance and practice.

But what about inspiration?


Unfilmable Novels

Jeff VanderMeer • May 28th, 2008 • Writing Tips

I love this list of unfilmable novels.

What would you add to it?


Oddly…still on the road

Jeff VanderMeer • May 28th, 2008 • Uncategorized

For a variety of nonbad reasons we will be returning home a little late. Will be posting blawg entries from me phone so no images.

Top Five Things You Never Want to Hear from Your Writing Instructor

Jeff VanderMeer • May 28th, 2008 • Writing Tips

(5) “I thought writing ‘Exterminate all the brutes’ in the margins of your manuscript was cute. You didn’t?”

(4) “I’ve just undergone a religious conversion that has real relevance to your manuscript.”

(3) “My apologies for all the drinking this morning, but I have read your fucking manuscript, so no goddamn worries, huh, kid?”

(2) “You need to be more original. This is the third novella disguised as a scientific monograph about squid that I’ve read this week.”

(1) “Precious bodily fluids. You must preserve them in these jars. These jars and no others. If you wish to progress as a writer. These jars. Those fluids.”

Memorial Day Weekend, Sixth Anniversary, Related Reading

Jeff VanderMeer • May 22nd, 2008 • Book Reviews, Culture

This weekend is the sixth anniversary of the lovely Ann being chained to my bad self in holy matrimony. We will be going to an undisclosed location on the coast well away from intertubes, blawgospears, and the like, there to laze away our time with beaches, balconies, tidal pools, good beer, great food, and lots and lots of reading. I’m taking the books shown above (Charles Baxter’s Burning Down the House, the first two books of Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet, and the special birds volumeof Conjunctions), while Ann’s taking Jack O’Connell’s Box Nine, Jon Fasman’s The Geographer’s Library, and Mary Doria Russell’s Dreamers of the Day.

There will be no further blogging until Tuesday-Wednesday, so in the meantime, tell me: What’re you doing with your weekend, whether you’re in the US or elsewhere? And feel free to pimp your latest projects here, too…

Books Received–May 22 (Superheroes and Fashion)

Jeff VanderMeer • May 22nd, 2008 • Book Reviews

I can’t think of a more impressive yet useless book than Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy,pictured above, which came today from Yale University Press and includes an essay by Michael Chabon. I am, perversely, happy to have it and happy to feature it on Amazon, but I would never have bought it for myself. Description: “From Wonder Woman’s satin stars and golden bracelets to Batman’s brooding cape and mask, the style of superheroes’ dress has influenced both street wear and high fashion. This richly illustrated book explores how radical couture, avant-garde sportswear, and state-of-the-art military garments—as seen through the lens of the superhero—can be metaphors for sex, power, and politics. Beginning with the origins of the superhero costume, this volume looks at how designers have been influenced by iconographic components such as the cape, mask, boots, and unitard. Costumes, such as those worn by Batman and Catwoman, are examined as reflections of sexual and physical prowess, while others, most notably those of Superman and Captain America, are analyzed as political propaganda.”

Some interior shots: