I Take It All Back

The Meyer book turns out to have been sent by a pranksome VanderMeer, which I would have realized had I looked at the inscription on the title page:

For Cat Rambo –
Maybe some day you will learn not to be a HATER. Until then, SUCK EGGS you pathetic monkey-headed loser!
Stephanie Meyer
P.S. Rot in hell, hellspawn!!!

As it turns out, Jeff has, in addition to doing the Predator novel, been writing the Meyer books in an attempt to expunge the demons of his Mormon background. And he wears funny shoes. You’ll get yours, VanderMeer.

Thank You…

…to the kind soul that sent me a copy of the latest Twilight book with the injunction “READ IT TILL YOU GET IT” scrawled on the wrapper. I appreciate it, but I do feel obliged to point out a few things.

  • I have read the book.  In fact I still have the copy I bought. Although there’s some books I go back and re-read every once in a while, this is probably not one of them, alas.
  • I’m glad you’re reading and enjoying books. That’s awesome at a time when every year someone doefully predicts the death of reading and the slow death spiral into an Idiocracy-type world. If you liked the Meyer books, you’re probably ready for adult urban fantasy when you are at a loss for other reading. One author you might like a lot is Patricia Briggs, who writes werewolves set in the Couer d’Alene area, or Kelley Armstrong, who has vampires and werewolves and a lot of other fun stuff. I recently found T.A. Pratt’s BLOOD ENGINES and POISON SLEEP, and I wish there were more of those, because they were pretty darn good. Holly Black’s books are something I’d add to that list as well. The early Laurell K Hamilton Anita Blake books have a strong heroine, but as they go on, the books are more and more about sex and less and less about the cooler stuff, depending on your tastes. All of those should be available in the F&SF section of your bookstore.  My all-time favorite YA novel is SORCERY AND CECILIA, by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, but I don’t know that you would like it unless you have a taste for Regency romances. And I’m sure I’m overlooking all sorts of wonderful stuff that people should feel free to add in the comments.
  • I usually donate my excess books to the Women’s Prison Book Project, but they only take paperbacks. If you want to drop me a line to say where I should send the book, I’ll do that, otherwise I’ll donate it, with my hardback copies of the last two, to a local youth shelter.
  • When mailing books, you can usually save yourself some cash if you use media rate.
  • And finally, you might want to think about why you objected to my post so much, because clearly there’s something big and emotional here for you. I wish you only the best.

Heroes. No, not the show.

I’ve blogged elsewhere about superhero fiction -  but I wanted to say a little more about the genre, which has grown considerably over the past decade or so.

Superheroes have fascinated me for a long time.  Like many other writers, I have a trunked novel. I wrote it in 1991-1992, and it is a superhero novel, THE FURIES,  which involved seven female superheroes who set up a Justice League of their own. At some point I mean to pull it out and see if it’s salvageable, but I wince at the thought of looking at it, and it’s not in hard copy but here on a back-up disk taken from a Macintosh that was at least four computers ago and you know, I have plenty of other things to be procrastinating on instead. Oh, Ms. Liberty, Dr. Arcane, the Sphinx, Zanycat, Rocketwoman, and X, someday your day will come. I know it.  And of the few pieces of academic writing I’ve retained from that pre-Rambo stage in my life, one deals with superheroes and the idea of masks, one with Tank Girl, and the most pretentious one with Alan Moore’s Watchmen and the philosophical idea of the sublime. (The fact that my most successful paper was a Marxist analysis of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer may say something about why I didn’t stay in academe. But man, was that one fun to write.)

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On Writing Groups

I belong to two writing groups that meet face to face, and a scattering of online ones. I find that being in a group helps kick me in the butt in a productive way, because I don’t want to show up with nothing in hand.

Bearing in mind that everything I say may be wrong for you, writing groups can be pretty useful — if it’s a good group.

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Breaking News: Penguin Wars Intensify–The Arrival of the Sinister “Mr. P”

Some readers of this blog may recall Sir Tessa’s infamous penguin post, followed by escalation, followed by neon yellow penguins in Prague. Well, Sir Tessa has once again intensified the entire penguin proliferation issue by sending us, in a pre-emptive strike, a huge penguin. Some assembly required. Thank god for a bicycle pump…not what I thought I’d be doing Saturday afternoon, frankly. A lot of sweating and cursing and effort was involved. And then, especially with the hat, it looks a little like something out of Bosch! I call him “The Sinister Mr. P”. On his side it says, “Not be used as a flotation or life-saving device.” What?! You can’t use your giant penguin to float to Japan?! (Flickr photo set if you prefer–otherwise, check out photos after the cut.)


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Books Received–Margo Lanagan, Bob Dylan, Prince, Dandy Warhols, and More

So, it’s about time to jump down the rabbit hole again, but I needed a day or two of not working on the novel to get some needed perspective on what I’ve written thus far.

Look in the coming weeks for book reviews and features I’ve done for the Washington Post Book World, the Huffington Post, and the Barnes & Noble Review. As well as continuing pieces on Amazon’s book blog and io9.com. I will also start doing a pop culture column for Realms of Fantasy (Matt Staggs is now RoF’s second reviewer, behind Paul Witcover.) People ask me, “Jeff, how come you’ve still got stuff appearing on the intertubes when you’re hunkered down working on the novel.” Well, part of the answer is I take a break on weekends to work on nonfiction. The other part of the answer is that I did a ton of stuff before I dove in to work on the novel in earnest, and some of it is just appearing now.

Anyhow, here are a select few of the books received over the last two or three weeks. (And some music.)


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Weird Tales KGB Reading — Ann VanderMeer, Stephen Segal, Jeff Ford, Karen Heuler, Micaela Morrissette

I’m happy to let Ecstatic Days readers know that there will be a special KGB New York City Weird Tales reading on October 15th. In addition to my wife Ann VanderMeer (WT fiction editor) and Stephen Segal (WT creative director) serving as MCs, you’ll get to see three amazing writers read from their work: Jeffrey Ford, Karen Heuler, and Micaela Morrissette. Many of you may be familiar with Ford, but I’ll tell you–both Heuler and Morissette, who have published mostly in literary magazines, are fully his equal. It’s a star-studded night, and one I’ll be happy to take in as an observer. I’ll be coming up to NYC along with Ann (although most of the time I’ll be working on the novel).

So, if you’re in the general area, consider making a trip to the KGB bar. It’s going to be pretty damn cool…

P.S. Just a quick note that Dark Horse now has the first few pages of both Brian Evenson’s Aliens novel and my Predator novel up on their site. I believe both novels will be in bookstores Oct. 1.

Guest Blogging Schedule


Thanks to the amazing Cat Rambo, who is blogging for another week. I think you’ll agree she’s doing a wonderful job. Going forward, here’s the full schedule:

Oct. 6-Oct 10 – Vandana Singh

Oct. 13-Oct. 17 – “X”

Oct. 19-Oct. 24 – Will Hindmarch

Oct. 27-Oct. 31 – David Moles

Nov. 3 – Nov. 7 – Jukka Halme and Tero Ykspetäjä (Finnish SF/F)

Nov. 10 – Nov. 14 – Cherie Priest

Nov. 17 – Nov. 21 – more info soon

Nov. 24 – Nov. 28 – Mark Teppo

Dec. 1 – Dec. 5 – Felix Gilman

After which, I’m back…

Late Night Monkey: Bite of Sound

Evil Monkey: Sound bite.

Jeff: What?

Evil Monkey: Sound bite.

Jeff: What?!

Evil Monkey: It’s twitter code for something interesting.

Jeff: What??!

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Books4Barack Shut Down

According to the site, the response was just too overwhelming. (Thanks to Christopher Robbins for pointing this out to me.)