Our Finnish friend Ninni Aalto is a wonderful artist, writer, and graphic designer–you may remember her Tallahassee Tentacles hockey shirts. Now she has a new book out, Sähköjänis, which translates (we are told) as Mechanical Rabbit (electric?). Ninni has a real rabbit named Schopenhauer, and a cartoon version of this bunny appears (prominently) in the book. (Check out the website.)
Sähköjänis is autobiographical, with Aalto or her alter-ego appearing in it. Some of the comics are about coffee or about her life as a graphic designer with ideas coming out of her faster than she can keep up with them. There are day-in-the-life comics and others featuring cats. It’s really quite cool.
Here are the great endpapers, and a few of the interior pages…
It brought back memories of being a World Fantasy Award judge. I still remember when they announced our consensus winner, Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore I was sitting in the banquet room with a prominent NY editor for a genre imprint right in my line of sight. As Murakami’s name was announced her face twisted into a mask of anger and disbelief. Which along with some general muttering made me worry about getting out of the room unscathed.
Later, another editor generously tried to rationalize the decision by finding six degrees of separation between Murakami and the genre subculture, as if membership in that subculture was a prerequisite for receiving the award. Someone else told me it wasn’t right the award had gone to someone who wasn’t one of us—again, referring to the subculture. I then had to sit through a lecture from a fellow writer about how Kafka on the Shore wasn’t the best Murakami, and ergo wasn’t worthy of the win…despite the fact at the time I’d read everything Murakami had ever written and thus could at least be said to have some perspective on it all…and definitely not in need of the lecture. Later still, some stuck the “blame” for that choice on me, even though it had been a book put forward by another judge and the decision had been unanimous.
All I know is…that year we read thousands and thousands of pages of material and also exchanged over 5,000 emails as judges. We gave it all our undivided attention and debated all of it, and dealt with it all honestly.
There is always plenty of room for debate and for honest differences of opinions, and it’s important when looking at finalist lists and the winner lists that for judged awards most of the time the judges spend hundreds of hours reading and re-reading and agonizing. And there’s no way to get it completely right. But for most judges, the process is one that creates a further love for fantastical literature and a determination to be as fair as possible.
(From back in the day, when Savage had books out from HarperPrism and ROC)
Back in 1992, I was part of a Clarion East class that included Cory Doctorow, Dale Bailey, Nathan Ballingrud, Pam Noles, and a certain great young writer named Felicity Savage. She went on, still a teenager I believe, to get a book deal and have a few novels out…then disappeared. Even wrote about that back in 2006.
Now she’s popped up years later in Tokyo, and she’s got her own blog/website from which she’s selling new fiction in ebook form, under what look like more than one pen name. She was great and had great potential back then, but I can’t wait to see what she’s up to fiction-wise now.
Congratulations to Jennifer Brozek, the winner of the ODD? antho contest on SF Signal. Her true-life story will be included in ODD? #2 and she receives a three-issue e-book subscription to ODD. The two runner-ups, Ryan Lindsay and Weird Vision, also receive a free subscription.
By now, if you read this blog, you have a good sense of our new anthology series ODD?, we hope. Fiction that falls between classifications. New translations of stories from the past century. New fiction from great new writers. Targeted reprints that cut across false mainstream and genre lines, many of them from out-of-print or rare sources. Tending toward the surreal, the darkly fantastical. Where else can you get Amos Tutuola side-by-side with Jeffrey Ford, Caitlin R. Kiernan and Leena Krohn, Rikki Ducornet and Hiromi Goto?
Want to come along with us on a wild and exciting journey? Now’s the time to sign up. Support the kind of literature you love. Make sure it’s nourished, so it can flourish. All the details for subscriptions and more can be found below. We will also roll out a new website soon.
By now, if you read this blog, you have a good sense of our new anthology series ODD?, I hope. Fiction that falls between classifications. New translations of stories from the past century. New fiction from great new writers. Targeted reprints that cut across false mainstream and genre lines, many of them from out-of-print or rare sources. Tending toward the surreal, the darkly fantastical. Where else can you get Amos Tutuola side-by-side with Jeffrey Ford, Caitlin R. Kiernan and Leena Krohn, Rikki Ducornet and Hiromi Goto?
Below you’ll find all the information you need to make up your mind. Want to come along with us on a wild and exciting journey? Want to be there from the beginning and see it grow? Now’s the time to sign up. Support the kind of literature you love. Make sure it’s nourished, so it can flourish.
Going forward, you can also help us by embedded or linking to the video above.
—Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
Each volume of ODD? will contain surreal, weird, fantastical, strange reprints (some of them not available otherwise except in expensive limited editions), previously unpublished stories, and new translations of classic and hard-to-find stories. This first volume features, among others, Amos Tutuola, Nalo Hopkinson, Jeffrey Ford, Rikki Ducornet, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Hiromi Goto, Stacey Levine, and Jeffrey Thomas—with new translations by Gio Clairval, Larry Nolen, and Brian Evenson of such classic writers as Gustave Le Rouge, Leopoldo Lugones, and Karl Hans Strobl as well as a brand-new story by Leena Krohn! (Full table of contents here.)
The print versions will appear at the same time as the next e-book installment–i.e., ODD? Vol 1 will appear in print at the same time as the e-book of Vol 2. Every year starting in 2012, we will publish two volumes.
You can subscribe now and be assured of receiving each volume at a reduced price. It’s a chance to support a cool new project that brings you fiction from writers from around the world.
—For the 3 initial volumes in e-book form, $19.00 (regularly $21)
—For all 3 initial volumes in trade paperback form, $42 (regularly $45)
—For the next two volumes in e-book form and all three in trade paperback form, $51 (regularly $59)
—Shipping and handling within the US is included free for print volumes; outside of the US please add $25
Or, become one of our valued “Oddkins” for $65 and receive the e-book and trade paperback versions *plus* all kinds of…odd and unique extras…with the delivery of your trade paperbacks. (US only offer: Extend it now to an additional year for only $110 total.)
—Oddkins living outside of the US alas must add $30 to cover shipping.
A “Super Oddkin” at $275 receives every volume until we die or the series is discontinued (this $275 value is guaranteed with books of equal value written or edited by us should ODD? end early) For those outside of the US, a Super Oddkin status is $400.
—You may designate different delivery email/addresses for the print versus ebook versions if ordering both; i.e., give one version as a gift.
Send a check made out to “Jeff VanderMeer” to POB 4248, Tallahassee, FL 32315, or paypal to email@example.com - you must confirm via email before October 22 that you plan to take advantage of this offer.
Jeff VanderMeer is a two-time winner, 12-time finalist for the World Fantasy Award as a fiction writer, editor, and publisher. The final novel in his Ambergris Cycle, Finch,was published in 2009 and was a finalist for the Locus Award, Nebula Award, and World Fantasy Award. The Steampunk Bible came out in 2011. Recent books coedited with his wife Ann include The Weird and The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. His writer guide Booklife and associated Booklifenow website focus on sustainable creativity and he his currently working on a unique illustrated guide to writing entitled Wonderbook. His short fiction has appeared in Conjunctions, Library of America's American Fantastic Tales, and several year's best anthologies. He writes nonfiction for The Washington Post Book World, Omnivoracious, The New York Times Book Review, the B&N Review, the LA Times, The Guardian, and many others. He has lectured at MIT and the Library of Congress and helps run the Shared Worlds teen SF/Fantasy writing camp out of Wofford College. VanderMeer recently completed the first novel in the Southern Reach series, titled Annihilation. More...
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