Archive for December, 2010

Steampunk Chopped Up, Dissected, Resurrected…

Jeff VanderMeer • December 14th, 2010 • Culture, News

In which I talk about Steampunk fiction for the last time, including the podcast below. When the Steampunk Bible comes out, I will be talking about other aspects, but I’m done talking about the fiction.

Podcast:

Salon Futura podcast

Steampunk Reloaded extras spread out across the web…huge thanks to Larry Nolen and Fabio Fernandes for translating the Brazilian/Portuguese Steampunk and to Ayleen the Peacemaker for hosting it. Thanks to Tachyon and Jacques Barcia for the story link.

Vaporpunk translations on Beyond Victoriana

–Jacques Barcia’s “A Life Made Possible Behind the Barricades” (PG-13)

Beyond Victoriana and Tachyon Hosting Brazilian/Portuguese Steampunk

Jeff VanderMeer • December 14th, 2010 • News

More in the morning, but for now just wanted to point you to Beyond Victoriana’s hosting of Vaporpunk fiction excerpts and Tachyon’s hosting of Jacques Barcia’s Steampunk story. Both features are extra content made possible by Steampunk Reloaded. Thanks to all involved.

Book Like for the Holidays? Spread the Booklife Cheer

Jeff VanderMeer • December 13th, 2010 • News, Writing Tips

Dear Reader:

It’s now been a year since my writing strategy book Booklife came out, and it’s received lots of praise, leading to an interview on National NPR, among other opportunities like speaking at MIT and the Library of Congress. I’ve even had artists and musicians tell me they picked it up and found that the advice in it worked for them as well.

I know there are more of you out there, so if you’ve enjoyed Booklife and/or the Booklifenow website, it would be wonderful if you’d be willing to blog about it this week, recommending the book as a holiday gift. (Or tweet or facebook if that’s more your style. Or even re-post something you wrote when the book came out.)

I don’t usually ask people for favors like this, but my wife Ann and I are gearing up to do at least one, possibly two, really cool projects where we won’t be taking a fee upfront. To do those kinds of projects, the coffers need to be full—and Booklife has sold well enough to date that buying Booklife (US edition) will put money in my pocket right around the time I’ll need the extra boost to absorb the impact of these non-comped projects; if the royalty check is big enough, it may even help fund these projects. (One of which is a fiction antho focused on new writers, with a truly international open reading period.) You could say that this request is in keeping about Booklife’s advice to take the long view.

If you do decide to blog, here are a few possible links to include:

Booklife at Amazon

Booklife Kindle edition

Booklife at Indiebound

Booklife at Indiebound (ebook)

Booklife at Powells

Direct from the publisher, Tachyon

As importantly, I’m interested to know how Booklife was of use to you (or, even, where you wished it would’ve been of more help), and will write a follow-up post here and on Booklifenow that links your post. If you tweet or facebook post, consider echoing into the comments thread here.

Finally, thanks for considering Booklife as a holiday gift for the creatives in your life!

Food for Thought on a Friday: Linkage

Jeff VanderMeer • December 10th, 2010 • Culture


(WSFA is rapidly selling out of the book pictured above. You can still order it here.)

First off, on Omni I’ve been posting gift book suggestions, the top 10 lists for the year of Karen Lord, Felix Gilman, and Dexter Palmer, and an interview with local Tallahassee author Julianna Baggott about her huge YA book deal. Go read it all here.

Mary Anne Mohanraj has posted about the future of the Speculative Literature Foundation, including some thoughts on boosting publicity and content creation. She’s looking for suggestions, feedback, etc.

If you missed it, John Coulthart wrote a great post about the uproar over the short film A Fire in My Belly, which includes a brief clip of ants crawling over a crucifix: “Two ironies are immediately apparent following the withdrawal of the film from the exhibition: the first is that the action has spread news of Wojnarowicz’s work all over the world this week, in which case the Catholic League can congratulate themselves on increasing the viewing of the “blasphemous” film a thousandfold. The second is that the work of both Wojnarowicz and Galás in the 1980s dealt in a forthright manner with the loathing shown towards people with Aids and the refusal of governments and media to deal honestly and openly with the disease.”

(more…)

Curious? Imaginative? Weird? Books for You…to Gift!

Jeff VanderMeer • December 9th, 2010 • Book Reviews, News

I’ve just posted a feature on Omnivoracious entitled “Gift Books for the Imaginative, the Curious, the Weird.” It features around 20 books, some of which you might not have heard of already. Feel free to signal boost the article, as lots of indie presses are featured and many of the writers aren’t household names yet. Alas, Catherynne M. Valente’s Under in the Mere and Ellen Kushner’s The Man With the Knives are not available on Amazon—perhaps out of print? Anyway, both are well worth the effort to seek out and buy.

Below the cut, the entire list–but go check out the feature, since it includes more information on all of them, and more images.

(more…)

Potential Questions for Book Club Discussion of Finch

Jeff VanderMeer • December 9th, 2010 • Fiction

finch covers
UK manifestation
US manifestation

(1) When did the infection start?

(2) Is it localized or has it spread?

(3) Do you retain control of all motor functions?

(4) Is there a voice in your head? What is it telling you to do?

(5) When did the doors start appearing? Before or after the voice?

(6) Would you call your apartment or other living space empty or crowded?

(7) If crowded, what is making it so cluttered?

(8) If empty, who emptied it, and why?

(9) When the green light appeared, did you assume you’d suffered a failure of vision?

(10) Were you able to identify whether the screaming was internal or external without someone else telling you?

(11) Was it just a green light or was someone there?

(12) How did you communicate?

(13) Did you go any place special? If so, what did you see?

(14) Do you have nightmares unlike the nightmares you had before?

(15) Did you find the characters in the book compelling or too static?

(16) Was the setting fully developed? What real-world places did it remind you of?

(17) Did the novel have a satisfying story arc?

(18) Do you feel at peace now…or is something nagging at you?

mush2

Everything You Need to Know to be a Fiction Writer

Jeff VanderMeer • December 8th, 2010 • Uncategorized

It’s all under the cut…

(more…)

Cory Doctorow’s With a Little Help

Jeff VanderMeer • December 7th, 2010 • Culture

Cory Doctorow’s self-publishing experiment, a new short story collection, is now out. It includes contributions for endpapers and the like from a ton of other creators. I contributed a few pages from early unpublished stories, from Finch, and a map for a defunct fantasy land of mine. You can see what I contributed below the cut. Man, that Space Guard juvenalia is some crappy crap crap.

(more…)

Chunakah Interview with Ann VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer • December 6th, 2010 • News

Great interview with Ann here, about Weird Tales, being a female editor, and about Jewish topics.

For example, I started out my software career back in the 1980’s. When I would attend software conferences, I would be one of 3 women out of 150 attendees. That’s not true today – now it’s about 50/50. Do I still have to suffer fools? Of course, but it’s a lot better that it was…And yes, there are still idiots out there that will judge you based on your gender/religion/skin color, etc. but for the most part I think that we are all being judged based on our work. Yes, maybe we, as women, have to work harder. I think we are not forgiven for mistakes as easily as our male counterparts are, and we are more scrutinized, but overall we’ve made so many strides.

They’re also giving away a copy of the Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals (which, btw, as SF Signal noted, without irony, makes a “great stocking stuffer”).

Artist Ivica Stevanovic Has a Blog!

Jeff VanderMeer • December 6th, 2010 • Culture

I love Ivica Stevanovic’s art. Just love it. And now he has a blog. His first post shines a spotlight on just one project of his, and thus on one of his many approaches to art. This is more traditional than some of his work, but still awesome.

Ivica is working on a graphic novel adaptation of Finch and will be illustrating a future bestiary project of ours, in addition to having art in Steampunk Reloaded and the Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities.