Wonderbook Wins the Locus Award

Jeff VanderMeer • June 29th, 2014 @ 9:29 am • News


Yesterday, Wonderbook won the Locus Award for best nonfiction. Sally Harding, my agent, was kind enough to accept on my behalf and read my short speech, which I’ve reproduced below. I’d also like to acknowledge Caitlin Kenney who originally acquired the book for Abrams Image, Maya Bradford and Melissa Esner in PR/Marketing at Abrams, Luis Rodrigues who designed the website–which has another book’s worth of content connected to the print version–and Greg Bossert, who created the Wonderbook video, among other contributions. A full list of the contributors can be found here. The full list of Locus Award winners has been posted here. Thanks again to everyone. – Jeff


Many thanks to the readers for this award and to Locus Magazine. Much love and respect to my fellow nominees, who have done important work. Thanks to everyone who contributed to Wonderbook: more 150 writers and artists, including 15 of the creators on the Locus Award ballot. Thanks to Jeremy Zerfoss for art and John Coulthart for design. Thanks to Sally Harding and the Cooke Agency for keeping me grounded and making me see what’s important and what’s not. Special thanks to Matthew Cheney for serving as the book’s creative writing consultant and to my dear wife Ann who was instrumental in developing ideas along the way. Grateful thanks to my editor David Cashion and everyone at Abrams Image. I’ve never before had a publisher give me a budget and then say, “We trust you. Do whatever you want. Just bring it back camera ready.”


Writing is supposed to give expression to our better selves, to show how we try to rise above even if we don’t always succeed. If I had one hope for Wonderbook it was that it would come close to embodying a “sense of wonder” that had nothing to do with escapism or nostalgia but instead everything to do with how much talent, diversity, and complexity exists in the ecosystem that is science fiction, fantasy, and horror…so long as we see that ecosystem entire and don’t render parts of it invisible. That the book might tell some beginning writer somewhere, who might feel misunderstood—and there are so many ways to be misunderstood—that writing is full of joy and curiosity and passion and community. That this joy occurs in part because using your imagination is a regenerative act, almost a spiritual act, but also because the art of storytelling comes to us not just from one voice but from many voices. That, because there are many voices, there are many paths. So many paths that some days we get lost and tangled up in them, and that’s okay too. Because getting lost is part of the point.


Kindness, trust, loyalty, good humor, immense amounts of creativity and wisdom—I received and experienced all of this in the form of the support of so many amazing people while working on this project. I’ll never forget that, and so again: thank you very much for this award.

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