From Squidpunk to Predator: My Year in Review

In addition to co-editing The New Weird, Steampunk, Best American Fantasy 2, and Fast Ships, Black Sails, I started a new literary movement called Squidpunk (see video above), and published fiction in Black Clock literary magazine, the Nick Gevers-edited Extraordinary Engines, alt-culture mag Polluto, and Postscripts (some retold fairy tales). Several stories were podcast by StarShipSofa. ran “The Situation” as a free download accompanying an interview on GeekDad. I also collaborated with The Church on a full CD soundtrack for Shriek: An Afterword.

I wrote four or five reviews for the Washington Post Book World, over 150 features for Amazon’s Omnivoracious book blog, a new Huffington Post political fiction column, a couple of reviews for the Barnes & Noble Review, a regular book review column in Realms of Fantasy (in addition to a graphic novel column and a profile of Joseph Nigg), an introduction for Rhys Hughes’ Engelbrecht collection, a review for The Believer, and a few other things I can’t remember right now. My story “The Third Bear” from last year was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and at least one other. “Fixing Hanover” from Extraordinary Engines was taken for the Strahan and Horton year’s bests.

I also completed Finch, the last novel in the Ambergris Cycle, began work on Booklife, began work on a Torture Squid comic with Zach Taylor, and sold a book on Steampunk DIY subculture with Jake von Slatt to Artisan Books.

Forthcoming books in 2009 include:

May – The Best of Michael Moorcock (co-edited with Ann and John Davey)
June – The Leonardo Variations – A Clarion charity anthology (edited with Ann)
September – Last Drink Bird Head – A charity anthology for literacy (edited with Ann)
October – Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for 21st Century Writers
Late October – Finch (Ambergris novel, including the limited edition)
November – The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals

In addition, I will be doing some interesting things for the Shared Worlds teen writing camp and an exciting new website and online project in support of the Booklife book. Our travel schedule is not completely set, but looks to include events in Los Angeles, Riverside CA, Louisiana, and New York City.

Major thanks to my wife, Ann, for her help with everything I did in 2008–and major thanks also to Matt Staggs for his help. Thanks to all of you for putting up with such a deluge of books. More often than not, our campaigns were successful and the books got good send-offs because of you.

In terms of books published in 2008, here’s a quick overview.

Dark Horse released Predator: South China Sea, which thus far has done well and seems to have satisfied the core fan base…

PS Publishing released my novelette “The Situation” in book form….

Prime finally released the signed limited edition of the vignette collection Secret Lives, which is almost sold out…

Wyrm Publishing released the signed limited Shriek: An Afterword with design by John Coulthart, cover art by Ben Templesmith, and an accompanying CD by The Church…

In addition to the English-language The New Weird, Czech and Romanian editions appeared…

Klett-Cotta released the German-language edition of Shriek…

Solaris released the Polish-language edition of City of Saints & Madmen….


  1. says

    I just want to know if you’ve gone out lately and yelled out “Squidpunk!” to passing pedestrians…

    Cool project list there. What exactly will the Moorcock anthology involve? His non-Elric work?

  2. jeff vandermeer says

    it has one genesis elric story as an example but yes–the non elric otherwise. consider it a companion volume to del rey’s elric series. didn’t make sense to duplicate that.

  3. says

    Good, as I’ve been reading those Del Rey reissues and coming to have a greater appreciation for what Moorcock did there. Not familiar yet with his other work, so I’m going to guess this anthology will be for those like me who want to know more about his other work?

  4. jeff vandermeer says

    If he had never written Elric, he would still have a wide and deep body of work in both the short and long lengths.

  5. says

    So I’ve gathered. Sometimes, my lack of “history” with the various speculative fictions leaves me regretting what I didn’t grow up reading. Sometimes. There’s still time to read his Gloriana and Behold the Man and I might buy those novels shortly.

  6. says

    When do we get to meet the Romanian and German and Czech clone of the Vandermeers?

    Larry: Dark Horse for a time reprinted Moorcock’s other Eternal Champion books. And aside from the Del Rey reprints, I suggest some of the SF Masterworks books of Moorcock to get something other than Eternal Champion.

  7. says

    Charles, I think you meet them when you watch an old “Hans and Franz” sketch…

    As for those suggestions, I’ll keep those in mind – thanks! :D

  8. Transfiguring Roar says

    Hey, Jeff, any word on the follow up to ‘The Situation’? I liked The Situation as it was quite relevant to me in my current workplace, but worse. Haha.

    Heck of a year for ya, mate! Well done to Ann and you!