Obama, Steampunk, and Last Push on Novel

Jeff VanderMeer • November 6th, 2008 @ 1:50 pm • News


(Two punky steamers signing in the dealer’s room at the Steampunk con–thanks Carrie; more of her Steampunk con photos here.)

Thanks to Tero and Jukka for posting this week–I’ve really enjoyed their perspective on things. Expect them to continue through Saturday.

We had the privilege of being in San Francisco the night of November 4th, doing an event for the Steampunk anthology at Borderlands (great bookstore, wonderful staff) along with Richard Bottoms, one of the Steampunk convention organizers. Almost precisely when we ended, the election was called for Obama, and there were shouts and laughter from the street. Afterwards, the great and wise Jacob and Rina Weisman from Tachyon Books, along with their amazing managing editor Jill Roberts, took us out to dinner right across the street. Toward the end, we saw people running down the sidewalk outside, went to look, and saw that right at that intersection hundreds of people had gathered to celebrate. It was a wild, great way to end a stunning and emotional night. Jill blogged about it here.

I’ve already heard some people being cynical about Obama and his chances of creating real change. I think two things apply here. First, patience as Obama goes about undoing many of the horrible things W has done through executive order and additional patience as he works to get to a point where he can create true change. This will require reaching out to Republicans, but that doesn’t mean that Obama will necessarily rule from the center. It doesn’t mean he won’t get things done. But people have to give him some space and some time. This country is too much in the toilet for us to set things right in 100 days or even 1,000.


(Carrie, Shweta, me, Ann, Emily. Shweta went to Clarion in 2007 when we taught there. Emily went this year, and Caroline is working on a novel. We had a lovely time with them.)

Steampunk Con and San Fran

The Steampunk convention was great, with the staff taking very good care of us. There were the kinds of little snafus behind the scenes that always happen with first-time cons, but nothing to marr the experience for attendees. And I was impressed with how they adjusted throughout the weekend. The dealer’s room was absolutely amazing. The panels were informative, entertaining, and a lot of fun. It was also wonderful to meet Jake Von Slatt in person–just a great guy. Along with Gareth from Maker Magazine, Gail Carringer, Greg Broadmore, and so many more. I think we sold, through The Gilded Bat’s book dealer’s table, about seventy Steampunk anthos and a ton of Weird Tales.

San Francisco was also great. Took in my first planetarium show, which was awe-inspiring. Got to walk through the Haight-Ashbury area. Had dinner with Rusty and Ken from Omnidawn, as well as Kevin Standlee and Cheryl Morgan. Met Annalee and Charlie from io9 at Spork, too, which was wonderful. As well as the hardest-working man in genre, Rick Kleffel, and ex-Clarion students Justin and Keyan. Just a cool, cool trip all the way around.

Steampunk Conference in Riverside

Ann and I have accepted an invitation from organizer Howard Hendrix to attend a Steampunk conference at the university in Riverside, California, in early May 2009. Other attendees will apparently include Kathleen Ann Goonan, Tim Powers, and Greg Bear.

Predator/Aliens Novel Pitch Contest

Last week, io9 posted our latest art column, which includes a contest of possible interest to readers here. Just do a paragraph-long pitch, serious or funny, of a Predator or Aliens novel. Four lucky winners will receive my Predator novel, Brian Evenson’s aliens novel, and a Predator figurine. Deadline is Friday night.

Amazon’s Top 10 SF/F Books of 2008

Amazon has posted all of their editor lists. Here’s the top 10 SF/F, which I put together.

Nov. 7 to Dec. 7

I will not be on the internet via laptop or phone for the next month, as I finish up my novel. Ann will be checking my email in case something important comes up.

8 Responses to “Obama, Steampunk, and Last Push on Novel”

  1. Brian Lindenmuth says:

    I had wondered what your input was on the editor lists, if any. One question. Did you have any influence on the mystery/thriller list? The choice of The Cold Spot (a great book) seems to have your fingerprint as well.

    Just curious.

  2. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    I recommended Cold Spot to them for the mystery/thriller list. I also recommended Barry’s What It Is and Campbell’s Monsieur Leotard to them for the comics list and said they should consider Link’s collection for the YA list. Don’t know if it made it or not.

    This year, the Amazon staff didn’t have a book they felt strongly about in SF/F that wasn’t already on my list. If they had, I would’ve considered replacing something on this list. I also wanted diversity between SF/F, something Amazon asks for.

    Jeff

  3. Jesse Bullington says:

    Welcome back, and farewell! Glad to hear the con was a hit, and envious you were able to meet Gail C in person; she’s an acquaintance I look forward to meeting IRL, as the kids say.

  4. MD says:

    Awesome for getting invited to the con’ in Riverside! (Though it’s Riverside, so be prepared for scant little to do ;) ) I had a wonderful time meeting you guys at the con’ last weekend!

  5. Larry says:

    Yes, Link’s book was #5 on Amazon’s Teen list. Nice list there, Jeff, as I own, have/will read, or have considered buying/reading virtually every single one on that list. Curious about last year’s list – did you ever manage to get around to reading Patrick Rothfuss’s book?

  6. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    I did read Rothfuss’s book, although in a hurry. I admired many things about it, frankly.

    I also know not everyone likes Novik, but I thought it was a good book, possibly her best.

    Jeff

  7. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Hey, Morgan–great to meet you, too. Thanks to you, Emily, and Shweta for keeping us loose and entertained. Really was a lot of fun.

    JeffV

  8. Bill Ectric says:

    Excelsior!

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