Farrar, Straus and Giroux has revealed the cover for the first novel in my Southern Reach trilogy: Annihilation. Along with a description of the novel AND an animated version of the cover…Go check it out! And post a comment if you like it.
We here at Cheeky Frawg had no idea that Helsinki would be vying to host the 2015 Worldcon when we started to acquire books by Finnish writers for our line, supported by generous grants from FILI, the Finnish Literature Exchange. We just knew that there as a rather amazing amount of talent in Finland when it came to speculative fiction, weird fiction, fantasy, SF—whatever you want to call it. And that this talent was backed up by a very strong and knowledgeable SF/F community.
But we now find the release of our books (in October) coinciding in part with Helsinki’s bid, and we’d just like to say how strongly we support that bid—in part because their home grown talent is so great. You’ll note the names on the image above, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. And one reason we think a Helsinki Worldcon makes so much sense is the number of really interesting writers you’ll discover—as interesting in person as on the page.
In fact, in celebration of that bid, we’d like to offer, for free, an ebook of Finnish writer Leena Krohn’s World Fantasy Award finalist Tainaron, one of our favorite short novels of all time. Just through today, midnight Eastern Standard Time. Just email me at [email protected] with the subject line Free E-book and specify mobi (Kindle) or epub and I’ll send it to you. I’ll send them out in batches, so don’t worry if you don’t hear right away. All requests will be filled by tomorrow afternoon, tops.
Not only are we releasing Krohn’s Datura in October, but next year we are putting out a 900-page omnibus of Krohn’s collected novels in English, along with some short fiction and commissioned essays.
Assuming for the sake of argument (because it doesn’t need to be this way in reality) that we must delineate fiction as realistic or non-realistic (read, “fantastical” if you like or surreal or magically real or magically delicious if you really must)… then thinking for a moment from the point of view of someone passionate about nonrealistic fiction…Imagine for a moment any and all organizations or institutions or awards systems that exist in the service of such literature…Wouldn’t you want these organizations and institutions and awards systems to have true interest in true diversity of this kind of fiction?—for example, the same passion for it wherever it might be found around the world and with an appreciation for and delight in how it differs and where it is the same—and to be willing to learn different ways of reading and to become attuned to and aware of different traditions of literature?
For example, too, no less passion for the magically real or the magically delicious if found in mainstream lit journals rather than in genre publications (able to recognize it even in the “wrong” context, not rendered invisible merely by the company kept)…or that in aggregate understand and approve of and actively support the elation of, for example, a reader in one language finding the amazing fantastical stories of some neglected writer in another language, glimpsed in the form of just a couple of tales or even a fragment of translation—this reader whose elation is not really even about the treasure itself but how it suggests the outline of something greater that is still excruciatingly only half-seen, texts time-traveling from the past to the present that help to form a more complete picture and a more complete conversation…
Wouldn’t you want institutions and organizations and award systems that while they recognize and appreciate the center of things also have a sense of stewardship for those most experimental examples of the form that need help to find an audience and that through their adventurousness allow other brave, but not as brave, souls to travel farther than they might? Institutions and organizations and award systems that have the wisdom to bypass tired binary arguments about high and low art, genre and mainstream, that largely ignore territorialism and ideology while correcting for the kind of territorialism and ideology that negate a level playing field and make us all, in a way, more selfish. In short, wouldn’t you want organizations and institutions and award systems that possess in the very syntax of their bylaws the same roving curiosity and passion that make of us as individuals vast and generous and joyful and omnivorous readers?
Bob Kelly and his cohorts at Tribe have wanted to do a stage production of “Dradin, In Love,” from City of Saints & Madmen, my book set in the imaginary metropolis of Ambergris, for awhile—and now they’re doing it! May 22-25 of this month at The Granary in Cork, Ireland. They’ve trained with a very physical theater group, so it should be an interesting production.
I’ll have more information and inside looks at the production next week, but for now here’s a link to the description on The Granary’s website and also, below, one of their more esoteric (and fun) fliers for the event, incorporating text from City of Saints.
I can also share that they’ll be using my story “The Exchange” as an interlude between acts.
I just thought I’d say that: Publishing is full of creative, interesting people. For an industry that’s supposedly dying–something I don’t believe–I certainly have met some of the most interesting and dynamic individuals over the last few days. Invigorating and inspiring.
In other news, German rights to the Southern Reach series have sold, with more to follow. The note about the series from the German editor is one of the best I’ve ever received–hopefully might share a bit of it later if he doesn’t mind. (I’m motoring along on Authority, the second novel in that series.)
I’m also happy to say I’ll have news on a stage production of my novella “Dradin, In Love,” set in Ambergris, in a few days. It’s sprouted up as quickly as a mushroom, which seems appropriate.
Right. Back down the rabbit hole.
So, there has been more good news for the Southern Reach series (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance) on the foreign rights front. The Spanish rights have sold to the absolutely first-rate publisher Seix Barral and the Dutch rights have sold to the equally high-class De Bezige Bij. Just as good: Andrea Cannobio at Einaudi took the Italian rights. They all publish some of my favorite authors.
Some more information on the deals mentioned in a prior blog post. The trilogy went to Nicholas Pearson at Fourth Estate, in a six-figure pre-empt; to Iris Tupholme at Harper Canada, in another six-figure pre-empt, to Intrinseca in Brazil, in a pre-empt as well.
Hungarian rights have also sold, but I’m waiting for details before posting about that, and a few other deals will come through in the next week or two. I’m just…well, stunned, appreciative, over-the-moon–these are just powerhouse publishers.
I’ll also have more information on the publication schedule for the Southern Reach trilogy through FSG in the U.S. and, hopefully, some updates on the progress on the possible movies.
I’m currently digging in to finish off the second and third novels in the trilogy. But I’m also hoping in the coming weeks to blog more–and not updates but actual posts about craft, along with some reviews of books read recently. I’m off of social media until November, and only on the internet very rarely now. One nice thing about being off the internet for long stretches is you find your attention span comes back to you, and I’m having a great time diving into some very long, very convoluted, and very satisfying novels.
P.S. Karen Joy Fowler asked for a wild animal encounter–I gave her this post about seeing a Florida panther. It kind of fits with the Southern Reach series, since the landscape, transformed, is really the North Florida trails I’ve hiked for the past 15 years.
From April 24 through December 1, I will have limited internet access and only be checking my email sporadically, so I can work on my novels. If you have a query related to book rights, please contact my agent Sally Harding at the Cooke Agency. If you have a question regarding event bookings or an urgent matter that cannot wait, please email my wife, Ann VanderMeer, or use the contact form here on my blog.
One reason I’ve been so quiet here on my blog is that I’ve been working nonstop on Wonderbook: An Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction. This is the world’s first fully illustrated, full-color guide to creative writing, with many of the images replacing instructional text. Jeremy Zerfoss did most of the art; his instructional diagrams are based on my rough sketches. The remaining art comes from over 30 artists from all over the world. More than 80 writers contributed to the book through sidebar essays, spotlight features, or just quotes in the main text. (I’ll have a full TOC posted closer to the publication date.) There are over 250 images in Wonderbook.
I cannot thank Abrams Image, my publisher, and David Cashion, my editor, enough. They gave me the budget, time, and support to go off and create the entire 352-page book from scratch–overseeing all aspects of the art and design–and to deliver it to them complete. I cannot think of another time that this has occurred, and it may never again. I feel incredibly lucky.
But as we finish up on the book–we’ve turned in the layouts to the publisher, and are just working on a last few images–I thought I’d share some teasers here from the book so you can begin to get an idea of it. I’m not going to post much from the innovative instructional diagrams, but you can probably still get some sense of the scope. Basically, this book is meant to be of use to any beginning or intermediate writer, but its foundation is in the fantastical. Most general writing books use realism as their foundational stance…
Announcing…IT CAME FROM THE NORTH, Volume 1, edited by Desirina Boskovich, to be published as an e-book by Cheeky Frawg. This will be a sampler of Finnish speculative fiction. Here is the relevant information…
Submissions can be sent to: [email protected] The deadline is May 30 of this year. Open to both reprints and originals, 10,000 words or less. Must be available in English translation. Boskovich says, “Anything with a speculative or fantastic or weird bent is welcome (though those boundaries will not be rigidly applied). People should also feel welcome to send suggestions to that address, as well as any questions they have.” Normal reprint rates apply. If the e-book is successful, there will be additional volumes featuring Scandinavian countries—and the volumes may be collected in a print omnibus.
We realize that this is a tight deadline, but the e-book will be published alongside our publication in October of books by two Finnish writers: Leena Krohn’s Datura and Jyrki Vainonen’s The Explorer & Other Stories.
The Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance) has sold in three separate rather stunning pre-empt deals: Canadian rights to HarperCollins Canada, Brazilian rights to Intrinseca, and UK rights to The Fourth Estate (which also publishes Michael Chabon, Hilary Mantel, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie). I’m thrilled because they’re all three great publishers. As the London Book Fair approaches, I should have more news about other deals. This on the heels of the FSG book deal and Paramount movie rights deal. Many thanks to FSG and to my agent Sally Harding for their continuing awesome belief in this series.
I do plan to blog more here, but I have a few deadlines to take care of first.