What’re You Up To? (And Thirdbearblurbage)

(Cover by Jacob McMurray)

I’m out the full week on deadlines, so please share what you’ve been up to since I can’t. Also, my story collection The Third Bear is scheduled to come out in August from Tachyon, and some very nice people have read it in advance and offered some words. I feel very blessed.


“Cunningly crafted stories full of wonder and intelligence…VanderMeer proves again why he is so essential and why everybody should be reading him.”
—Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

“Jeff Vandermeer is not to be trusted. He hypnotizes with shiny objects, bizarrely beautiful shapes and phrases, then (more often than not) gently drifts you into very dark places. You won’t know where you’re going till you get there and then, of course, it’s too late.”
—Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy

“Vandermeer’s stories hit one’s hindbrain slantwise—they offer no easy answers and no comfort. Rather they are hard, brilliant gems meant to cut and shine—these are some of the most beautiful, upsetting, and accomplished tales I have ever read.”
—Catherynne M. Valente, author of The Orphan’s Tales

“The Third Bear contains some of my favorite stories of recent years. There’s the meticulous workplace surrealism of ‘The Situation,’ the remorseless multi-world cataclysms of ‘The Goat Variations,’ the beautiful eldritch heartsickness of ‘The Surgeon’s Tale.’ [co-written with Cat Rambo]. Jeff VanderMeer is one of the very best.”
—Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead

“Jeff VanderMeer knows what story can do to human consciousness, as is delightfully evident in his latest collection, The Third Bear. These stories are smart, gorgeous, allusive, and tricky. VanderMeer is a fantasist extraordinaire.”
—Jack O’Connell, author of The Resurrectionist

“Annexing the weird half-lit spaces between genres, these stories lean sometimes into fantasy and sf, sometimes into metafiction, but are always deft and pleasurable reads. VanderMeer is one of the few writers out there able to coax something startling and necessary from anything…a very strong collection.”
—Brian Evenson, author of Last Days

“Jeff VanderMeer’s work is subversive and disquieting, possessed of an almost kinetic force in its impact upon the mind. Body horror gone viral, fairytales wrapped in their own entrails, and metafictional murder; these and other images herein are sure to leave their mark and fester in the subconscious. Already a well-regarded fantasist, The Third Bear reveals VanderMeer at his most fearsome.”
—Laird Barron, author of The Imago Sequence and Other Stories


  1. Drax says

    What tremendous endorsements! Magnificence. Congrats!

    I’d tell you about my bleeping day, but I’m afraid I’d break my bleeping keys.

  2. says

    Very kind words all around. The one that gets me the most? Mike Mignola likes it. That’s… pretty much hellaciously awesome. (Sorry ’bout that one.)

  3. says

    Hey, nice blurbs. Looking forward to da book.

    I’m between novel drafts, have all outstanding short stories squared away as of this morning, and tomorrow morning it’s into the void of not-even-sort-of-a-story-waiting-to-be-written. I’m sure something interesting will happen. Everything seems to want to be a novel these days, but I’m biding my time until the current tome is further on down the track.

    Also, we picked up a few fine specimens of corydoras punctatus for the aquarium. They have lungs, gills, and moustaches, and they seem awfully jolly thus far.

  4. Natalie Marie says

    reading Finch. i’m completely put off mushrooms now, so thanks. book is disturbingly delightful so far…

  5. says

    I’ve got a sword-and-sorcery novella running in weekly chapters at http://www.blackgate.com

    It’s called “The Weird of Ironspell.” Chapter 2 goes up Wednesday, to be followed by six more. Hopefully it will take familiar S&S elements into some new territory before all is said and done.

    Reading List: Just got my copy of Laird Barron’s OCCULTATION, can’t wait to rip into that. Gotta finish Patricia McKillips RIDDLE-MASTER trilogy first.

    John R. Fultz

  6. says

    – Need to cut 20k words out of my thesis, and write a paper on refuting MacInyre’s overstating of the differences between what he proposes in After Virtue and existential ethics.

    – Like Larry, reading, reading and more reading.

    – and a big Gormenghast reread plus analysis over at the site.

    – Trying to work on my writing as well, but alas, there are not enough hours in the day it seems.

    Really looking forward to getting my hands on The Third Bear, it sounds great from the blurbs, and as far as I know I have only read one or two things in there.

  7. says

    I’ve just started a new job as publicist for Goose Lane Editions, Canada’s oldest independent publisher. So far, so terrifying.

    And I finished a manuscript and sent it off. Let’s hope my editor can see potential in it.

  8. Conor says

    Can’t wait for The Third Bear. My god, if I’d never heard of you and read those blurbs my head would explode. As it is they still managed to double my anticipation for a book (no small feat) so I decided to pre-order it off Amazon today.

    As far as what I’ve been up to, I’ll be graduating from college a week from Sunday. I’ve been reading Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky. Oh man, it’s good.

  9. says

    Revising. Revising. Revising.


    Looking forward to The Third Bear. Got Finch and Booklife recently as gifts, so those will come first. You have a little queue all to yourself.

  10. Mike says

    Looking forward to The Third Bear.

    Reading The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer and enjoying it so far.

    Wondering if anyone has read Shriek without having read Cities, so I can recommend it to my wife.

  11. Ian says

    Shrek was the first one I read and I loved it.

    As for me, I moved to NYC a few months ago with no real skills or abilities other than being somewhat smart and active, so I’m experiencing that.

    I’ve been reading books found on the street. The last one: Palm Sunday by Vonnegut. Found it in a telephone booth, no lie.