Finch News: Limited, Etc.

Forgive me for tooting my own horn, but…Just a couple of updates on Finch, which is in pre-production. First off, Underland has done a lovely job of making the layout noirish without overdoing it. The type is readable but unique, and it just looks really good. Secondly, there will definitely be a Finch limited, including a soundtrack by Murder by Death. I don’t know what the limited’s print run will be, but if it’s 300 or under I will personalize each signing sheet by writing in a couple of sentences of deleted text. There’s just about enough good deleted stuff to do that for 300 copies. If you’re interested, just email victoria at to reserve a copy or ask for more details. The trade edition will be in bookstores November 1st, and there will be a release party at World Fantasy Con, at which I am a guest of honor. Then I’ll be off for four to five weeks of touring behind Finch and Booklife, all across the country.

Here’s the short description of the novel:

In Finch, mysterious underground inhabitants known as the gray caps have reconquered the failed fantasy state Ambergris and put it under martial law. They have disbanded House Hoegbotton and are controlling the human inhabitants with strange addictive drugs, internment in camps, and random acts of terror. The rebel resistance is scattered, and the gray caps are using human labor to build two strange towers. Against this backdrop, John Finch, who lives alone with a cat and a lizard, must solve an impossible double murder for his gray cap masters while trying to make contact with the rebels. Nothing is as it seems as Finch and his disintegrating partner Wyte negotiate their way through a landscape of spies, rebels, and deception. Trapped by his job and the city, Finch is about to come face to face with a series of mysteries that will change him and Ambergris forever.

Also, blurbs have begun to come in. I’m psyched because although Finch is a fantasy novel, it’s also a noir detective mystery and early notices from some of my favorite writers in that genre are enthusiastic.

“Jeff VanderMeer’s hardboiled detective novel plunges readers into vividly realized fantasy world of invasion, betrayal, and intrigue. A noir tale with flashes of Chandler and The Thing, Finch is gripping from the first page to the last. Stark and moving–it’s amazing.” – Meg Gardiner, Edgar-winning author of The Memory Collector

“An uncompromising and boldly executed dark fantasy novel that is atmospheric as the best noir. Full of raw intensity, Finch explores a brutal and believable phantasmagorical world.”–Tom Piccirilli, author of Shadow Season and The Cold Spot

“When all is said and done Finch will be among the best books of the year. From the fantasy perspective Jeff Vandermeer has introduced a new language into the lexicon with a clipped, telegraphic, hardboiled, James Ellroy-esque writing style that he bends to his will. From the crime side of things he has created a new noir language that retains the atmospherics of the past and weds them with the throbbing claustrophobia of the city. Not only is Finch one of the best books that I’ve read in years but it is also the book I’ve been waiting to read for years without knowing it.” – Brian Lindemuth, Heliotrope Magazine editor, writer for Spinetingler/BookSpot Central

“Trapped in a city of decomposing histories and an even more moldering future, John Finch could be the hero of a Martin Cruz Smith thriller, if that writer had taken to eating magic mushrooms. Jeff VanderMeer’s Finch presents the most frighteningly oppressive setting since 1984, in a feverishly imaginative blend of pulp fiction and high art. I could scarcely tear myself away from this, one of the best novels I’ve read in years.” – Jeffrey Thomas, author of Deadstock

“With the razor-edged prose and bloody grit of noir, Finch works its way to the core mystery of the city and gives us, ultimately, nothing short of the apotheosis of Ambergris.” – Hal Duncan, author of Vellum and Ink

Finch is a revolution disguised as a police procedural, an unholy wedding of hard-boiled Hammett noir and Ballardian catastrophic landscape, presided over by the ghost of Philip K. Dick. In Finch the gun VanderMeer hung over the mantlepiece in City of Saints and Madmen is finally fired–with apocalyptic, revelatory consequences for the city of Ambergris and its people, human and gray cap alike. As in the best noir detective stories, the double murder at the center of Finch is only one loop in a much greater knot tied in the world itself.” – David Moles, Hugo Finalist and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award winner

“Jeff Vandermeer’s stunning Finch opens with a claustrophobic interrogation and with a reluctant detective forced to solve a double-murder. Finch quickly expands beyond genres and beyond the edges of Ambergris–its complex history, its many apocalypses–while remaining a deeply affecting and personal story. Told in a pitch-perfect voice and steeped in the unrelenting menace authentic to the best works of noir, Finch is a wonderful, sad, brutal, and beautiful book. A tour de force.”–Paul Tremblay, author of The Little Sleep


  1. says

    I like Jeff Thomas’s bit about “trapped in a city of decomposing histories and an even more moldering future,” as that jibes well with my own impressions so far of the Ambergris stories. Any idea on how much the limiteds would cost?

  2. says

    Secondly, there will definitely be a Finch limited, including a soundtrack by Murder by Death.

    O. M. G.


  3. says

    Спасибо за статью, всегда рад почитать вас!

  4. Eddie Duff says

    Превосходная книга и превосходный столб!

  5. hellbound heart says

    i want i want i want…..!

    enjoy the praise, sire….good things for good people!

    peace and love….

  6. says

    Ummm….since when did Jeff learn to speak Russian? I almost understood what Eddie had to say, though, something about a book and I think something about a table, but the Russian dialogue surprised me quite a bit there.

  7. Jeff VanderMeer says

    Not so much enjoying the praise as happy to have a book for once that just happens to be one I can (1) explain to people who ask in under three sentences and (2) which reads like a page-turner.


  8. says

    As if I wouldn’t want the limited bad enough, one of my newest favorite bands of the last few years is involved too. Too much want!

  9. says

    So, Finch has the coolest cover ever and it’s apparently somewhere between an urban fantasy and a police procedural. What’s funny is China Mieville just released something like this and the collector’s edition cover is similar to Finch’s. Check it out at
    Two urbanly fantastic crime noirs from spectacular writers in one year?! It’s like sub-sub-sub genre heaven.

  10. jeff vandermeer says

    it’s a weird coincidence re the timing of publication. I first conceived of the novel as part of the ambergris cycle in 1998. it changed over time but have been working on it for keeps since 2005.

    as for the covers, finch almost certainly predates the mieville limited.

    having read part of the mieville I can say the novels are completely different. mine is secondary world fantasy with noir influences. china’s is a police procedural set in our world with kafkaesque influences.