My Novella “The Cage”–Now Available at PodCastle as a Podcast

PodCastle has just posted the podcast reading of my novella “The Cage,” originally published in City of Saints and Madmen and reprinted in at least one year’s best. The story can also be found in The Weird.

I first had the idea for “The Cage” at a bar mitzvah party. I saw a strange-looking cage wedged high up in a corner of a ledge in the banquet area. It didn’t seem to fit. I worried that detail in my mind for quite awhile, not sure what it meant. Then one day we were traveling back from some event on the Florida coast and we passed by the University of Tampa, which is housed in part in an old former hotel. It was after hours, and we walked around that place, which was eerie and somewhat like The Shining hotel in both the decor and the way the silence was watchful. And behind glass, in an exhibit: another cage. At which point, something was sparked in my imagination and I suddenly had the core of the idea for the story.

Shriek: We Are Lost–The Church Soundtrack

My 2006 novel Shriek: An Afterword had a soundtrack by the Australian band The Church, and now three of the tracks are on YouTube. I really love what they did with the novel, and the Bannerville one…well, Steve Kilbey did a great job conveying the emotion of that scene—he’s reading from the novel directly. You can buy the CD direct from The Church here.

I’ve got some hardcovers of the novel I need to get out of the house—we’re getting rid of some clutter—so email me at [email protected] if you want one signed with an illustration. $6 plus $3 shipping anywhere in the US. Anywhere else, query first. This is still the novel I’m most proud of, and the one I keep getting emails about. In fact, one couple told me part of their marriage vows came from Shriek.


An epic yet personal look at several decades of life, love, and death in the imaginary city of Ambergris–previously chronicled in Jeff VanderMeer’s acclaimed City of Saints & Madmen–Shriek: An Afterword relates the scandalous, heartbreaking, and horrifying secret history of two squabbling siblings and their confidantes, protectors, and enemies.

Narrated with flamboyant intensity and under increasingly urgent conditions by ex-society figure Janice Shriek, this afterword presents a vivid gallery of characters and events, emphasizing the adventures of Janice’s brother Duncan, a historian obsessed with a doomed love affair and a secret that may kill or transform him; a war between rival publishing houses that will change Ambergris forever; and the gray caps, a marginalized people armed with advanced fungal technologies who have been waiting underground for their chance to mold the future of the city.

Part academic treatise, part tell-all biography, after this introduction to the Family Shriek, you’ll never look at history in quite the same way again.

Photos from Fiji, Romania, and the Backyard…

(Part of the Suva market.)

I posted some photo sets on facebook this past week, which you can access through the following links, I believe:

Fiji photo set—Our parents were in the Peace Corps and my sister and I spent a substantial portion of our childhood in Fiji. My dad taught chemistry at the University of the South Pacific and my mom did biological illustrations of endangered sea turtles and other flora and fauna. My dad also studied the rhinoceros beetle, which was a danger to coconut trees. Although I lived in Fiji, I’ve never really been able to write about it in fiction to any great extent. I think it’s mostly likely a subject for nonfiction for me, for whatever reason. (I recently bought a slide converter, so will have other photo sets from our other travels as a kid soonish. The photos are all from the 1970s)

Romania photo set—We were lucky enough to go to Romania for a book tour, along with six other countries, back in 2006. Our hosts, including Bogdan Hrib and Horia Ursu took us all over the place, including to the north and then down the Danube. It was a real bonding experience and by the time we left we knew we’d made lifelong friends.

“Backyard” photo set—Images from the hill trail I walk regularly at San Luis Park, which is about five minutes from where we live, here in Tallahassee.

Some sample photos beneath the cut.

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Plethora of VanderMeer Interviews…About Stuff

For some reason, three interviews went online at once, after having done them in 2010 and 2011… So…enjoy!

Functional Nerds Podcast About Odd?, Lambshead Cabinet, The Weird, and More!

Ann and I did a podcast about Odd?, the Lambshead Cabinet, and The Weird for Functional Nerds. I babbled on a bit, but it still turned out good. We talk about process, labels, doing so many projects, transmedia, etc.

The Weird

The Trippy 1970s Science Fiction/Fantasy Album Pentateuch: Prog-Rock Multi-Media


Check out this UK double album The Pentateuch by Patrick Woodroffe and Dave Greenslade from 1979—from my wife Ann’s huge record collection. It’s crazy prog-rock SF world-building that comes with what amounts to a coffee table book of new-age speculative philosophy, fiction, poetry and art in the middle, as well as ideograms and more…




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The Mona Lisa: The Full 63-Minute Halo Flick…

The whole 63-minute Halo motion comic flick based on the novella by me and Tessa Kum from Halo: Evolutions. Every gross, bloody, suspenseful, disgusting, fungal, roiling, boil-ridden, scary, violent, scarring, tough-person-dialogue-ridden, crazy-ass Terrorific Scooby-Doo frame of it. With “shore leave” substituted for our “ice cream” and a beat missing from the end…

Shared Worlds SF/F Teen Writing Camp Free Book Frenzy

(Short DIY vid shot by guest writer Ekaterina Sedia)

I’ll have much more info and news from this year’s SW teen writing camp, including the reveal of next year’s guest writers, but for now here’s a short informal video shot by guest writer Ekaterina Sedia of some of the students from Shared Worlds browsing for their free books.

Shared Worlds is located at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Publishers who sent free books this year included HarperVoyager, Tor, Pyr, Tachyon, White Wolf, Penguin (Firebird), Weird Tales, Angry Robot, Small Beer, Del Rey, Bull Spec, and Orbit.

SW is partially sponsored by a grant from The camp was founded by Jeremy LC Jones and I serve as assistant director. The full writer/editor staff for 2011 included me, Ann VanderMeer, Nnedi Okorafor, Ekaterina Sedia, Will Hindmarch, Rob Rhodes, Jeremy Jones, and Minister Faust.