A Tour of the Southern Isles with Payseur & Schmidt

I just got off the phone with the fabulous Jacob McMurray and Therese Littleton of Payseur & Schmidt, one of the coolest publishers out there.

I can now announce that I will be doing a somewhat Borgesian novella centered around the Southern Isles mentioned in the Ambergris books. They’ll take the form of stories and information about each island, but will have interconnectivity and form a larger story. Like Nabokov’s Pnin, reading the last story will make everything click into place, and what was fragments will become One True Story. Much like the history of the islands, which were created when an ancient continent broke apart in a cataclysm.

The current form of the project–subject to change–will include a map of the islands, and also a complete Ambergris bibliography, by Mark Wingenfeld, including foreign editions, possibly examples of foreign covers, possibly some fake covers of editions that have never existed.

I plan to finish the work before September and the tentative date of publication is early in 2010.

Meanwhile, you really should check out their current project, which is just a beautiful collaboration between Paul Di Filippo and Jim Woodring:


  1. says

    Cool beans! I look forward to a trip to the Southern Isles. I’ve been reading more alterna-narrative fiction lately (Alex Rose’s The Musical Illusionist most recently) and enjoying it very much.

  2. says

    Will be great to ‘see’ some more of the world outside Ambergris

    What kind of stories will they be, if that’s not asking you to give too much away? Are we talking myth/folklore here? I’ve been writing/thinking along those lines myself at the moment, finding it hugely enjoyable to write.

    I love the “fake covers” idea, a great bit of immersive metafictional apocrypha. The material like that in ‘Thackery T. Lambshead’ was a lot of fun as well.

  3. says

    The Ambergris books? http://www.ambergris.org. I also have a Books page on this blog. I haven’t updated it recently.

    Alex–oh, all kinds of things. Think the Odyssey by way of Borges, pirate stories by way of Calvino, and Captain Cook by way of Salvador Dali.

    Yes–I think the covers thing will be pretty darn cool.


  4. says

    The line for pre-orders can form behind me starting now.

    Speaking of fake covers, Nathaniel Rich hosts a great display featuring imagined titles from his Mayor’s Tongue novel. You can see them here.


  1. […] Payseur and Schmidt are doing an awesome Ambergris book. It looks like this might be an heir to the style of City of Saints and Madmen, which read like a fractured novel, written on broken glass and lost in the sands beneath an ancient, ruined city. […]