News: Predator Offer, Steampunk Con, Italian Pirates, Weird Tales, German Shriek, and More

(Stephen Youll’s original artwork for my Predator novel.)

Lots of news to report, with more to follow next week. I’ve put it all in one post so if you want to skip it…it’s easy to! (Oh, and although the final TOC isn’t set, Strahan has taken “Fixing Hanover” from Extraordinary Engines for his year’s best.)

Predator Contest
First off, the cool new BookSpotCentral is offering a great contest–a signed copy of my Predator novel AND a Predator figurine for each of five winners. The figurine does double duty as an ink stamp. They’re also running an interview with me about the experience: “Here it was just like, ‘Don’t show the Predator doing soft-shoe, eating ice cream, or reading the newspaper.'” Amazon also just asked me to write about the experience, resulting in this blog post. Thanks again to Rob Simpson and Victoria Blake at Dark Horse, and to Jay Tomio at BookSpotCentral.

Guests at the Steampunk Convention (Sunnyvale, CA)
Next weekend, we’ll be guests at the Steampunk Convention, along with Jake Von Slatt, Greg Broadmore, the band Abney Park, and more. We’ll have a couple of panels and a signing. (And, on Tuesday, Nov. 4, we will be doing a signing at Borderland Books in San Fran at 7pm.)

Fast Ships, Black Sails Pirate News
As the release date for our pirate anthology approaches, some exciting news: highly respected publisher Newton Compton picked up the Italian rights at the Frankfurt Book Festival. The Night Shade edition is picking up rave advance reviews from Locus, Publishers Weekly, and elsewhere. Gardner Dozois even seems impressed–and he’s hard to impress!

(Final cover)

This is just good old fashioned fun, folks. With a great line-up, including Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, Garth Nix, Rachel Swirsky, Carrie Vaughn, Howard Waldrop, and Naomi Novik. The Nix has already been picked up by a year’s best, and we expect more to follow. Also, this is a rare short story from bestseller Novik. She doesn’t write short fiction. You owe it to yourself to pick this one up, whether you like pirates or not. We’re bringing the funny, the serious, and flat-out pulse-pounding adventure this time around. You can order it off of Amazon right now. (Ignore Amazon’s weird lingo on the sales page.) Also,

Weird Tales News
My wife Ann is fiction editor at Weird Tales, and the latest issue–featuring international writers–is now out. In the old days, you’d never have seen an international writers issue of WT, so major kudos to Ann and creator director Stephen Segal. Also, WT just did a total website redesign, and they’re offering the entire last issue for free download. Great fiction by Peter Atwood, Nick Mamatas, Kelly Barnhill, Norman Spinrad, Karen Heuler, and others. One of my favorite stories of the year is also in this issue: Ramsey Shehadeh’s “How I Got Here”. I know some reviewers and genre gatekeepers are having difficulty adjusting to the new Weird Tales. All I can say is: you’re missing out. Shehadeh’s “How I Got Here” coupled with his “Creature” in a prior issue constitute an amazing one-two punch for a new writer. Yes, that’s right–these are his first two published stories. And both are crazy good. This is the future of dark fantasy fiction. Check it out. I’ll be appalled if one of those Shehadehs isn’t taken for a year’s best. Period.

German Shriek Out From Klett-Cotta
The German edition of Shriek: An Afterword is now out with a lovely cover based on the other editions. It’s beautiful, with French flaps and the inside boards are a vibrant green to match the front cover. Major thanks again to Hannes Riffel and crew.

K. Tempest Bradford: Guest Blogging Second Week of December
I’m extending the guest blogging period here at Ecstatic Days by one week, and am thrilled that Tempest has agreed to be that blogger.

Geoff Ryman at Amazon
This past week Ryman was our guest at Omnivoracious, and I did five posts including his short essays. He’s got a new book out from Small Beer Press. He’s also a little suspicious of blogging. I understand the suspicion. One thing I have noticed recently is that those writers who blog about very personal things then don’t have that in the reservoir of material they can use for their fiction, because they’ve already used it up. That’s one reason you don’t see me baring my soul here. You’ve got to keep the important stuff for the fiction.

Shriek Limited from Wyrm Publishing
The Church CD accompanying the Shriek limited edition has gone to press, I’ve got signing sheets, and both of those things mean that the book will be out by the third week of November, if all goes well.

Finch Update
Work on the novel goes well, and I’ve just heard from Underland that they will be doing a sumptuous 50- to 75-copy limited-limited hardcover for core fans along with the trade paperback. Here also is a rough mock-up of a cover John Coulthart did for me. I’ve never written a novel while the publisher was asking for cover ideas and other info before. As a highly visual writer, the tone of the images associated with a book are very important. Thus, this cover, which conveyed to Underland the tone I wanted and also protected me from images destructive to my writing process. (A comparable situation, although much worse, would be John Le Carre faced with the prospect of erasing from his mind the vision of Alec Guiness as George Smiley so he could continue to write about him.) I have no idea how much of this will be included in the final design. The quote is of course placeholder text.


  1. mothbeast says

    D’oh! Vandermeer you’re killing me. I will have to miss your election day signing to work on the no on 8 campaign. Steampunk convention sounds fun though. Hope you get to ride the zeppelin.

  2. says

    Yeah, Mothbeast, the timing just worked out that way. I am not expecting a high turn-out for the signing. LOL. And I’ll have one eye on the poll results the whole time.

  3. Conschobhar says

    I’m overwhelmed by the awesomeness of this post. Between Predator, Pirates, Weird Tales, and Finch I feel like I have so much to look forward to in the coming months. And “Fixing Hanover” is my favorite short story of the year.

  4. jeff vandermeer says

    Thanks for the kind words. It’s frankly a little overwhelming *for me*, although exciting, with the project I hope to announce next week the icing on the cake.

    And I am so proud of the work Ann is doing at WT.

  5. Eddie Duff says

    I’m digging that Finch cover, Jeff. It seems like it would be a great fit for a trade paperback.

  6. Jeff VanderMeer says

    Alex: Thanks. I’ll take that as a compliment, since on most projects, from indies or large publishers, I am involved in either picking cover art/artist, suggesting a design approach, or having a say in who does the design. Pirates is the exception to that, but we’re very pleased with it. I’ve also had the benefit of Ann’s great eye for art–a lot of the artists we’ve used, like Scott Eagle, she discovered when she was commissioning art for The Silver Web.


  7. Seth Merlo says

    Great to get a firm-ish date on Wyrm’s edition of Shriek. I’ll have to start saving my pennies for the Underland HC of Finch as well.

    The free WT download is a great idea – I’ve never read it because it’s not something that’s easily available in Australia (that I know of…?)

  8. Eddie Duff says

    Jeff: Speaking of awesome covers, has the Polish edition of City of Saints and Madmen been released yet? I think it was supposed to be May but I haven’t seen them pop up anywhere…

  9. Jeff VanderMeer says

    Eddie–Hey, yes it has been. I’ve got about five copies from the publisher. Apparently it was profiled in the Polish version of Playboy, and I’m doing an interview for a site over there. Additionally, it appears there’s interest from a Polish publisher in the NW antho.

  10. says

    I love the image of the dragons around the Captain on the “Fast Ships, Black Sails” cover. Since many readers portray pirates at Faire, I’ve shared the news of the anthology with them.

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