Sofa Nuts: Wubba Wubba Asimov’s 90 Minutes Crazy Town

The latest Sofanauts podcast is up, discussing Asimov’s and digest genre mags generally. Me, Jeremy Tolbert, Sheila Williams, Asimov’s editor, and Brian Bieniowski, Asimov’s managing editor. I come off as some kind of speed freak, because I was too heavily caffeinated. Also, with four people plus Tony Smith, it was difficult to know when jumping in would seem like interruption. Ah well.

Anyway, it’s over 90 minutes long and I can’t bring myself to listen to it because while I’m sure it’s fascinating I want to get out and about tonight.

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On an Island, Storm Coming

Got out into the deep water swimming there for some reason after dark with the moon out, and Ann’s karate instructor or personal bodyguard is with us and then the storm starts to come up, with the moon occluded. And for some reason I decide to seek shelter farther out, on the island with the flimsy hut I see on it.

When I get out of the water, I realize Ann and the karate instructor are still treading water out there. I also realize the island is now surrounded by circling killer whales and the storm’s getting worse.

That’s when the polar bears, arctic foxes, wolves, and huge snowy owls pop up out of the sea and jump onto the island with me. Except now I realize it’s not really an island–it’s a large piece of floating ice.

All the animals are look at me. They all have huge, beautiful eyes. They’re just staring at me. Ann and the karate instructor are making for the shore. I think they believe I’ve already made it to shore. Indeed, I can see a dark figure waving from the beach.

But the animals are still staring. Huffing, too. Their proportions are all wrong. The owl’s as big as a polar bear, but the polar bear is about the six of a fox, and the fox is enormous. The fox is huffing. The storm’s coming up and the hut behind me is already being torn to bits. I don’t know what the animals want. I’m tempted to run past them into the water and risk the killer whales, whose fins keep cutting through the waves, glistening in the faint light left from the clouded moon.

The animals start to crowd me. Then I wake up. The whole experience has the terrible texture of something real, so I’m relieved it’s a dream, because it just didn’t seem like a tenable position, ya know?

Last Drink Bird Head Party Posters

Grand Safari 2

Kevin Roche, one of the International Parlor (con suite) organizers has been up to some very cool design work for the Last Drink Bird Head Party at World Fantasy (San Jose, Oct. 29). Here are a couple of posters that incorporate Last Drink and Finch while remaining true to the theme of the con suite. Awesome stuff!


And: there will be Finch/Last Drink/Booklife cake at the party…

Confused as to what LDBH is? Go here.

Booklife, Booklifenow, Bookwork, Bookfatigue?

FURTHER UPDATE: Booklife makes Amazon’s Movers and Shakers list!!

UPDATE: Booklife’s Amazon ranking is up to around #350. I’m not a big believer in monitoring these rankings on a daily basis, but it strikes me as kinda fun to be within striking distance of the upper tier, so if you were planning on ordering the book and want to do me a favor, consider picking it up from Amazon today and let’s see if we can get that ranking even lower. Heh. Just because.

Thanks, dear bloggonauts, for your patience with the torrential downpour of posts on Finch and Booklife. The forecast calls for more rain this week, but it’ll clear up next week. Still, you’ll find non-Finch, non-Booklife content here by tomorrow.

In the meantime, I just wanted to call your attention to content posted on Booklifenow, and to Cory Doctorow’s review of Booklife on Boing Boing. This review, unsolicited, means a lot me.

As for content on Booklifenow, check out today’s post by John Coulthart on the cover for Booklife. Some of you may remember John’s original post about it on his site, but if you missed that, check it out on Booklifenow. We won’t do many “reprints” but it’s fitting to talk about the cover in our launch week. Also check out The Pillars of Your Public Booklife.

Jeff VanderMeer’s Endurance Tour: 36 Days, 27 Events, 14 States, 2 Books, 1 Writer, No Breaks (well, ok, one break)

I’m finally able to unveil the full-throttle intensity of my Endurance Tour in support of Booklife and my new novel Finch. Yep, that’s correct–it’s 27 events in 36 days, not including classroom visits, getting a tattoo, gigs like covering the National Book Awards for Omnivoracious, and adventures at meerkat farms. I’ve also arranged to team up with the following writers for selected events, something I’m really looking forward to:

– Cherie Priest and Cat Rambo in Seattle
– Jay Lake, Cat Rambo, and Jeff Johnson in Portland
– Glen Hirshberg in San Bernardino
– S.G. Browne in San Franciso
– Kevin Smokler at MIT
– David Anthony Durham and Paul Tremblay in Boston
– Geoff Manaugh, Jeff Ford, and Ron Hogan in NYC
– Eric Schaller at Plymouth State University
– Sandra Rutton and Brian Lindenmuth in Baltimore
– Ekaterina Sedia in Delaware
– Mur Lafferty and Natania Barron in Chapel Hill
– Will Hindmarch and J.M. McDermott in Atlanta

I’ll be doing readings, signings, workshops, lectures, humorous talks, kaffeeklatsches, spontaneous storytelling, discussions of fantastical cities, debate about noir, and much more—basically, anything short of actual juggling and fire-eating. So come on out and support my drive to utterly exhaust myself. I’ll need your energy, and I hope to see a lot of old friends as well as people I only know through the intertubes. For the events with other writers, we’ll often be hitting a bar across the street after an event with anyone who wants to join us.

The virtual part of the tour will include podcasts for, among others, If You’re Just Joining Us, Starship Sofa, and Mystery Theater, as well as Big Idea blogging for John Scalzi’s Whatever blog, two weeks on the Borders SF/F Blog (second week with Jack O’Connell), a week for Powell’s, a post on musical influences for Large-Hearted Boy, and extensive coverage for Amazon. After the tour, I believe I’ll be writing about the experience for the Washington Post’s book blog. (Full schedule right before I leave for World Fantasy.) During the tour, a twitter feed will be available on this blog so I can report interesting stuff from the road.

You’ll find all of the details below the break. Note that at all events both Finch and Booklife will available, no matter what the emphasis of the particular event. You can also access the information in different, less intensive forms:

—This blog’s events listings (also shows up in the sidebar)
—At Booklifenow (these lack the extended descriptions)

I’ll also post a link to the high-res version of the event posters pictured below very soon.

Such a long and somewhat insane tour doesn’t happen magically. It’s a lot of hard work by a lot of people. I’d like to thank my wife Ann for advice, intel, and travel planning, Matt Staggs for helping get events and promote them, Selena Chambers for getting the information out to all of the national book tour sites, Will Hindmarch for awesomely cool event posters, my publishers, and all the people who provided intel on local venues—you know who you are, and hope I didn’t forget anyone…

Late next week or early the week after, I will have a full roster of Finch-related “artifacts” for readers to deploy as they see fit.

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Some Assembly Required, at Chapel Hill Comics

CHAPEL HILL COMICS (316 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC) – Thursday, Dec. 10, 7pm to 8:30pm

Some Assembly Required! A night of readings and dangerous spontaneous storytelling with critically acclaimed novelist Jeff VanderMeer, noted podcaster and writer Mur Lafferty, and special guest Natania Barron, creator of the Aldersgate Cycle. Buy VanderMeer’s novel Finch and get a free copy of rock band Murder by Death’s soundtrack for the book (while supplies last). Afterwards, join Jeff, Mur, and Natania at the bar across the street for a less spontaneous libation.


Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA–Holiday Party GoH and Event

FOUNTAIN BOOKSTORE – Tuesday, Dec. 8, 6:45pm
1312 E. Cary St., Guest of Honor, the annual holiday party, which starts at 6:00.

BOOKWORK FOR A BOOKLIFE: Talk, Discussion, and Signing with Award-Winning Author Jeff VanderMeer

Part of a five-week national book tour, Jeff VanderMeer’s in-store talk and Q&A coincides with the release of his new Booklife: Strategies & Survival Tips for the 21st-Century Writer, the first book to blend traditional career and creativity advice with the best ways to thrive in our new internet-based world without losing your mind. Funny, blunt, practical, and humane, Booklife is the perfect gift for you or the writer in your life. “A frank, revealing manual not simply on how to be a better wordsmith, but on how to be a better human being.” – Minister Faust

VanderMeer will share often outrageous details of working on successful, complex book projects, along with sustainable career and creativity advice for this new media age. His talk will be followed by a Q&A with the audience and a take-away of exercises and prompts aimed at enhancing your creativity and honing your career focus. In addition to writing for the New York Times Book Review, LA Times, Washington Post, and Miami Herald, he is the best-selling author of the cult classic City of Saints & Madmen, with books published in 20 languages. Jeff’s new novel is Finch, a noir fantasy thriller that has received rave reviews from the likes of NYT Bestsellers Stephen R. Donaldson and Tad Williams. Free Finch CD soundtrack by critically acclaimed rock band Murder by Death with purchase of the novel, while supplies last.


Book Escape, Baltimore: Dead Men Do Talk Back

Sunday, Nov. 29th, 3:30 to 5:30, The Book Escape (805 Light Street, Baltimore)

Sometimes Dead Men Do Talk Back: A discussion of new trends in classic noir and mystery fiction with Sandra Ruttan, author of the police procedural Lullaby for the Nameless (“[She] writes with utter ferocity.” – Greg Olsen), and Jeff VanderMeer, author of the noir fantasy Finch, the novel that made Ken Bruen exclaim “it blew me to hell and gone” and forced Joe R. Lansdale to admit, “I loved it. In fact, I’m a little jealous.” Moderated by Mystery Bookspot’s Brian Lindenmuth. Reading and signing as well.

Free Murder by Death Finch soundtrack CDs with purchase of Finch, while supplies last.