Southern Reach: Jeff VanderMeer Sept.-Nov. Acceptance Tour

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(Owl from the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia)

NOTE: Coming here because of the lighthouse article in the NYT? To contact me email vanderworld at Hotmail.com

–Featured in Entertainment Weekly’s Summer Binge recommendations, along with an A- for Acceptance

Acceptance came out September 2–the concluding volume of my trilogy about the increasingly urgent search for answers about the mysterious Area X. I’ll be touring behind the novel’s release, with some expectation that copies may be available in time for the Decatur Book Festival, too. Here’s the general information so you have it early, with specifics and possible additional events to follow.

Most of these events are some combination of reading and Q&A, with anecdotes about writing the books that range from strange wilderness experiences to weird workplace experiences. With slideshow where possible. If you need more information on the series, this lovely roundup gives you maximum information.

Brooklyn

September 21, Sunday, 4pm panel with signing to follow–Brooklyn Book Festival

4:00 P.M. Fantastical Thrillers: Face Your Fears, or Else… Confronting the evils of the past, deliberately pushing into the unknown, and even stealing the moon. Join NYT bestselling author Lev Grossman (Magicians Trilogy: The Magician’s Land), Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy: Acceptance) and debut novelist Deji Olukotun (Nigerians in Space) in a conversation about traveling to the brink and back, and what redemption means in magical worlds. Moderated by Noreen Tomassi, Center for Fiction.

Manhattan

September 22, Mon., 7pm – Housing Works event with fellow NYT bestsellers Lev Grossman & Laura Beukes in New York, NY (short readings, slide show, discussion, signing)

Philadelphia

September 25, Thurs, 7:30pm–Free Library in Philadelphia, PA Reading, Q&A, and slideshow, with live owl; additional event partners Geekadelphia and The Academy of Natural Sciences

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The Southern Reach: Acceptance Acknowledgments

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(Some of the bunnies from Authority…)

Since this is Acceptance’s release day, I’m posting the acknowledgments from the back of the novel below. It’s been a somewhat ridiculously herculean undertaking, and a lot of people have helped along the way. Thanks again to all of you. You can find more information on some of the books mentioned below in this HuffPo feature I wrote a few months back. Finally, a few additional thanks that should’ve gone in the book, to: Scott Eagle, Ed Morris, Melanie Meadors, Nikki Guerlain, Kari Wolfe, Adam Morgan, and to all of the reviewers, who have been very kind both in their appraisal of the trilogy but also in not sharing spoilers (which would’ve been very easy).

***

Many thanks to my patient and brilliant editor, Sean McDonald, who made it possible for me to write the second two books knowing someone really truly had my back. Thanks to everyone at FSG for making the experience of publishing this trilogy so wonderful: Taylor Sperry, Charlotte Strick, Devon Mazonne, Amber Hoover, Izabela Wojciechowska, and Lenni Wolff. Thanks as well to Alyson Sinclair for her excellent work on the publicity side and to Eric Nyquist for great cover art.

Thanks again to my stalwart agent, Sally Harding, and the Cooke Agency. I’m also indebted to my publishers in Canada, the U.K., and in other countries for showing such imagination and energy in publishing the Southern Reach trilogy. Blackstone Audio has also been a delight to work with, and in particular Ryan Bradley.

Additional thanks to first readers Clubber Ace, Greg Bossert, Eric Schaller, Matthew Cheney, Tessa Kum, Berit Ellingsen, Alistair Rennie, Brian Evenson, Karin Tidbeck, Ashley Davis, and Craig L. Gitney. Additional thanks to Kati Schardl, Mark Mustian, Denise Roberts, and the Fermentation Lounge.

In thinking about and writing these books I’ve been grateful for ideas encountered in the Semiotexte series; the works of Rachel Carson and Jean Baudrillard; Taschen’s The Book of Miracles; Philip Hoare’s The Sea Inside; David Toomey’s Weird Life; Iris Murdoch’s novel The Sea, The Sea; the works of Tove Jansson (especially The Summer Book and Moominland Midwinter); Tainaron, by Leena Krohn; the nature poetry of Pattiann Rogers; The Derrick Jensen Reader, edited by Lierre Keith; Richard Jefferies’s After London; and Elinor De Wire’s Guardians of the Light.

Finally, The Seasons of Apalachicola Bay, by John B. Spohrer, Jr., was like a revelation to me while writing Acceptance— a heartfelt, gorgeous, and wise book that kept me grounded in the places that made the Southern Reach trilogy personal for me.

Other research meant visiting, revisiting, or remembering landscapes that spoke to me in a way useful for the fiction: St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Apalachicola, rural Florida and Georgia, Botanical Beach Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Vancouver Island, the coast of Northern California, and the Fiji Islands, which gave me a certain starfish.

I should also like to thank the many wonderful and creative booksellers I’ve met while on tour this year— you’ve been inspiring and energizing— as well as the enthusiastic readers willing to follow me on this somewhat strange journey. I really appreciate it.

Finally, I’m humbled and my heart made glad by my wife, Ann VanderMeer, who was my partner in all of this. She encouraged me, listened to me, helped me work out knots in drafts in progress, took other work off of my desk, went well beyond the call of duty or anything in the marriage vows to allow me the time and space to write these novels. It wouldn’t have been possible without her.

The Southern Reach Trilogy: Acceptance Release Week!

This is the release week for my novel Acceptance, the last installment in the NYT bestselling Southern Reach trilogy. The novel received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews as well as a rave in The Guardian and an A- from Entertainment Weekly–which also put the series on their Binges for Summer list. Stephen King said of the trilogy “I’m loving the Southern Reach trilogy…Creepy and fascinating.”

You can read an excerpt here, and also find an interactive map there among other content. That page also has a whole list of bookseller links if you scroll down.

Also do not forget the amazing audiobook, narrated brilliantly ! I can’t recommend it enough.

Here’s more about the novel:

It is winter in Area X, the mysterious wilderness that has defied explanation for thirty years, rebuffing expedition after expedition, refusing to reveal its secrets. As Area X expands, the agency tasked with investigating and overseeing it—the Southern Reach—has collapsed in on itself in confusion. Now one last, desperate team crosses the border, determined to reach a remote island that may hold the answers they’ve been seeking. If they fail, the outer world is in peril.

Meanwhile, Acceptance tunnels ever deeper into the circumstances surrounding the creation of Area X—what initiated this unnatural upheaval? Among the many who have tried, who has gotten close to understanding Area X—and who may have been corrupted by it? In this last installment of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may be solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound—or terrifying.

How You Can Help!

If you like my fiction and want to support Acceptance and The Southern Reach trilogy, here are some of the things you can do to help.

–Walk into your local independent bookstore and buy a copy. Indie booksellers have hand-sold thousands of copies of this trilogy and I can’t thank them enough.

—Buy Acceptance now from your preferred online bookseller, and recommend your preferred sales link to friends on social media. You can find direct sales links here if you scroll down. Online sellers have been hugely enthusiastic about the trilogy and deserve your support as well.

—Review the book. Blog, review site, or on social media. Any mention, especially noting whatever you really liked about the book, helps immensely.

—Review it on sales site you bought it from. Tell other readers what you liked about it. A quick and easy way to help get the word out and create interest. Online reviews at B&N, Amazon, and elsewhere do help.

—Buy the discounted Annihilation Kindle or Epub version and spread the word. Both Amazon and B&N (will update to discount shortly) are discounting the first novel’s ebook to $2.99. This is a great way for readers new to the series to sample it.

—Request it from your local library. Making sure your local library knows about Acceptance, and the prior two novels (Annihilation and Authority), which noto nly increases library orders but allows multiple people to enjoy the book.

—Spread the word through twitter and facebook. Tell people about the novel through social media, using your favorite link about the book.

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The Southern Reach Trilogy at the Decatur Book Festival: This Sunday!

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(Sneak peek at the slideshow for Sunday’s event)

“I’m loving the Southern Reach trilogy…Creepy and fascinating.” – Stephen King

“A masterpiece.” – The Guardian, on Acceptance

I’ll be appearing Sunday, August 31, 1:15 at the Decatur Recreation Center Gym, with my wife, Ann, for a Decatur Book Festival event. Afterwards, I’ll be signing books. Acceptance *will* be available there, two days early.

Touching on ecological themes and set in a transformed South, the Southern Reach trilogy chronicles the attempts of a secret government agency to discovery the mystery behind Area X, a pristine wilderness suddenly closed off from the rest of civilization by a strange event 30 years before. Award-winning editor Ann VanderMeer will interview Jeff VanderMeer after a brief reading from the third novel in the series, Acceptance. A Southern Reach slideshow will feature the real-life wilderness places that inspired the trilogy and show off the amazing variety of cover designs for the foreign language editions. (As featured in Entertainment Weekly).

Wonderbook Workshop at the Center for Literature in Miami

Wonderbook

Before participating in the Miami Book Fair, I’ll be leading a workshop at the Center for Literature at Miami Dade College–November 19-21. Here’s information on the workshop. You can sign up here. Space is limited.

Wonderbook has been taught at Brown, the Yale Writers’ Conference, University of California, San Diego (Clarion), and many others. It is currently a finalist for the Hugo Award.

***

How do you balance the practical and the imaginative in your writing and revision? How can you merge the organic, subconscious elements of your fiction with the need to be analytical? Learn the answers as you critique manuscripts with and receive instruction from Jeff VanderMeer, author of the award-winning Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction, the world’s first fully illustrated fiction-writing guide.

Exercises (some as take-aways) will include finding the autobiographical in the fantastical, use of freedom and constraint to energize even the most traditional approaches, and analysis of successful but atypical scenes as the jumping-off point for discussion of characterization, setting, and the numinous. VanderMeer’s critiques will provide you with detailed specific feedback on your story but also general analysis that will help you with all of your fiction. This workshop is suitable for-and welcomes-all modes and styles of fiction. Join what promises to be a diverse group of beginning and intermediate writers for a workshop that is fun, energizing, and uniquely illuminating.

Jeff VanderMeer’s most recent fiction is the NYT-bestselling Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance), released in 2014. This highly-praised series lauded by the likes of Stephen King, Karen Joy Fowler, and Robin Sloan has been acquired by publishers in 16 other countries.

His Wonderbook, the world’s first fully illustrated, full-color creative writing guide, has won multiple awards, been featured prominently in national media, and is taught at many universities. VanderMeer has edited or coedited over a dozen iconic fiction anthologies, has taught at, among others, the Yale Writers’ Conference and the University of California at San Diego, lectured at MIT and the Library of Congress, and serves as the co-director of Shared Worlds, a unique teen writing camp located at Wofford College. Previous novels include the Ambergris Cycle, with nonfiction titles including Booklife: Strategies & Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer and the essay collection Monstrous Creatures. Through an imprint VanderMeer founded he publishes award-winning fiction in translation, primarily from Finland and Sweden. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, the noted editor Ann VanderMeer.

Acceptance Southern Reach U.S. Book Tour: Mark Your Calendars

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(Barn owl)

“I’m loving the Southern Reach trilogy…Creepy and fascinating.” – Stephen King

Acceptance officially comes out September 2–the concluding volume of my trilogy about the increasingly urgent search for answers about the mysterious Area X. I’ll be touring behind the novel’s release, with some expectation that copies may be available in time for the Decatur Book Festival, too. Here’s the general information so you have it early, with specifics and possible additional events to follow.

Most of these events are some combination of reading and Q&A, with anecdotes about writing the books that range from strange wilderness experiences to weird workplace experiences. With slideshow where possible. If you need more information on the series, this lovely roundup gives you maximum information.

August 29–31–Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA

September 21–Brooklyn Book Festival

September 22 – Housing Works (with Lev Grossman & Laura Beukes) in New York, NY

September 25, 7:30pm–Free Library in Philadelphia, PA (with live owl; additional event partners Geekadelphia and The Academy of Natural Sciences)

September 27, 6pm–Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, DC

September 28–Baltimore Book Festival

September 30–Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA

October 25–26–Texas Book Festival in Austin, TX

November 15, Functionally Literate reading series (with Usman Tanveer Malik) in Orlando

November 19-21–The Center for Literature, Wonderbook workshop (cosponsored by the Miami International Book Fair) in Miami – must sign up for the workshop

November 22–Miami Book Fair International

Acceptance--FSG

Southern Reach U.K. Book Tour: London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Bristol, Bath

The Southern Reach U.K. book tour is locked in place. You’ll find the details below. Ann VanderMeer, the noted editor/anthologist and my wife, will be along for the entire tour and has her own list of events at WorldCon. We’re also doing some events together. Please note: Some bookstores will have the third novel in the Southern Reach trilogy, Acceptance, early and available for my signings. We’re excited about meeting old friends and making new ones. Don’t be shy at WorldCon, the Edinburgh festival, or Eurocon in Dublin!

LONDON

Thurs, Aug. 14, 4-5pm: Forbidden Planet reading & signing – I’ll talk a little bit about the Southern Reach trilogy and read from Acceptance, before signing books. Ann will be with me, so if you buy any of our anthologies you can get both of our signatures.

WORLDCON (ExCeL, London Dockland)

See the full list of panels Ann and I are on, below the cut. Here are the two non-panel events of interest.

Fri, Aug. 15, 7pm: Reading—I’ll tell some weird workplace tales, read from Authority and preview Acceptance; someone will win a free book and since it won’t go a full hour, I’m happy to sign people’s books afterwards. (London Suite 1, ExCeL)

Sat, Aug. 16, 6pm: Literary Beer—Sign up or drop by, not sure of the rules, and we’ll shoot the breeze for an hour. Wonderbook artist Jeremy Zerfoss might drop in. (The Bar, ExCeL)

EDINBURGH

Tues, Aug. 19, 8:30pm: Edinburgh International Book Festival event: Fantasy That’s Terrifyingly Believable…”He’s already an HBO scriptwriter who writes novels for teenagers. Now Edinburgh-based Charlie Fletcher has added adult fiction to his CV with The Oversight, a fabulous Gothic fantasy. The astonishing Annihilation is the first in Jeff VanderMeer’s ambitious Southern Reach trilogy of eco sci-fi novels, featuring the eerie Area X, and which will surely turn him into an international literary star. Chaired by Stuart Kelly.” (Tickets required.)

GLASGOW

Thurs, Aug. 21, 7pm: Glasgow Waterstones (Argyle Street). A talk with brief readings: Ann and Jeff VanderMeer with Neil Williamson, Amal El-Mohtar, and Hal Duncan. Tickets free; call to reserve. (This location will have Acceptance for sale for the event!)

DUBLIN

Sat, Aug. 23, 5-8pm: Eurocon, DoubleTree by Hilton, Dublin Burlington Road convention centre. Join Ann and me in the hotel bar to shoot the breeze. Note: You probably have to be a Eurocon member to attend. Hodges Figgs bookstore will be selling my books at the convention and I’ll be doing a segment on RTE Arena, an Irish radio program.

BRISTOL

Mon, Aug. 25, 7pm, at the Landsdown (8 Clifton Road): An evening with Ann & Jeff VanderMeer. Small Stories have teamed up with Bristol Festival of Literature, Wizards Tower Press & BristolCon to bring you an evening with husband and wife publishing powerhouses Ann & Jeff VanderMeer. Ann & Jeff will be in conversation with Cheryl Morgan and will be answering those questions you’ve always wanted to ask an award winning editor and author. There will also be a chance to get your books signed. (Q&A, brief reading, performance; free, but tickets required)

BATH

Tues, 7pm, Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights (14/15 John Street): In conversation with Jeff VanderMeer, including brief reading. Free, but a ticketed event.

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Clarion San Diego SF/F Writers’ Workshop 2014: Selected Sentences

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(Click for a larger version.)

Ann VanderMeer and I have finished anchoring the last two weeks of the Clarion San Diego SF/Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. The instructors in the other four weeks were Gregory Frost, Geoff Ryman, Catherynne M. Valente, and N.K. Jemisin. Thanks to Shelley Streeby and Laura Martin, who run Clarion on the UCSD side, for doing a great job.

We had a great time with these students–not just great writers but also really interesting people–and we are just so happy about now sitting back and getting a chance to read all of the amazing fiction they’ll be writing post-Clarion. This is one of the privileges of teaching creative writing: to come into contact with imaginations and world views that are unique and full of life and depth.

Wednesday at our Mysterious Galaxy reading, Ann read a sentence from each student, and I’ve posted them below so you, too, can get a small sample of what’s in store for the future. Take note of these names, because you’ll be hearing a lot more from these writers.

So, congrats to the Clarion class of 2014–it was a real pleasure and honor to get to know you and be able to read your stories. We learned a lot from you. Much love from both of us.

***

Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi: And though it had been sixty years since Margaret had fed Kane, she knew instantly, absolutely his favorite things to eat were the seeds of mesquite, creosote bush and prairie broomweed, precisely the plants that were growing wild in her yard.

Martin Cahill: He descended on the town like a star from Dark Heaven, salamander six-guns shining like twin suns, a flask of firespice ringing against his hip like a bell that tolled of his coming.

Ryan Campbell: The two men at the door look like little buildings: one poorly made and beginning to crumble; the other new and modern and glassy with a smile like a receptionist.

Amin Chehelnabi: This sudden moment was three things to Ashraff: the silence between words, the pauses between breaths, and the eternal quiet of the Olympian Gods in council.

Nino Cipri: His first cellmate nicknames him Maps, because that is what Sal hangs on the walls.

Vida Cruz: Sit beneath the shade, child, and I, Saha, will tell you how the mango came to be.

A.J. Fitzwater: In the third month after the cities collide, the girls dance out of the walls.

Noah Keller: I know of a jewel of dust, in a creaking drawer in a dresser with a thousand knobs.

Leena Likitalo: Ocelia, my little sister, I will reclaim your feathers.

Zach Lisbeth: After an epic battle (which has already been approximated in several oral traditions) Maggie defeated the Boneless Emperor and his Band of Belligerent Boys (most of them turned out to be more misguided than belligerent, but such is the fickle nature of alliterative names).

Haralambi Markov: The kiss that came well before love and whose memory outlasted every definition of the word.

Manish Melwani: I digest the cosmos, fermenting star-stuff in my infinite guts.

Kristen Roupenian: She had carried her daughter home to David for safekeeping, but David—half-mad with fear, not knowing what he had—had lost her: yes, he said, please, take care of this for us, and so Lily’s body disappeared into a basement furnace and burned along with waste and needles and other unloved things, and when Anna woke up and opened her arms for her daughter, David had nothing to give her.

Ellie Rhymer: I dreamed about the moon last night, so full that it burst its seams, and you and I ate pears from orchards watered by the silver moonbeam deluge.

Kayla Whaley: Sunlight trailed in behind us, as if light could stick to your sneakers as easily as mud.

Marian Womack: One believes in mirages because there are no dreams, and one must believe in something.

Tamara Vardomskaya: And as we lie, in bed in his arms, on the carpet floor alone with the TV show still chattering empty stupidities, we seek to find our centre and we can’t.

Sarena Ulibarri: The Elders said that lightning used to follow the wires from one side of the world to the other, until the sun reached a finger across space and snapped the wires with a single flick.

Weird Fiction StoryBundle: Two Weeks to Go!

StoryBundle has given me the exciting opportunity to curate a “weird fiction” bundle based on some of our Cheeky Frawg offerings, with my last story collection, blurbed by Junot Diaz, thrown in. You can pick up e-book versions of amazing work by iconic Finnish writer Leena Krohn and sample some of the best current weird Finnish fiction in the anthology It Came From the North, edited by Desirina Boskovich.

You can also read two classic weird novels from the American Kafka, Michael Cisco—as well as Karin Tidbeck’s amazing collection Jagannath, which won the Crawford Award and was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award. Also on offer: the humor book The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals, written by me and my wife, Ann. Last but not least, read the wonderful The Honey Month by Amal El-Mohtar, a beautifully written book.

How does it work? The details are on the StoryBundle site, but here’s what it means in practical terms: Whatever percentage of the amount you pay is allocated to the writers goes to us here at Cheeky Frawg Books. We take our cut and the rest goes to the writers. In all but one case, these books have already earned out, so the authors get a very nice chunk of change out of this special deal—and we’ll be giving that money to the authors right after the end of the StoryBundle. (Our contracts are very generous on e-book rights, much more than the industry standard, so…)

In addition, the monies Cheeky Frawg retains will go toward future translation projects and our operating costs. We’re planning such delights as a huge 900-page omnibus of Leena Krohn’s work, which is not an insignificant undertaking. StoryBundle’s contribution to these efforts cannot be undersold, frankly.

So, thanks for considering buying this weird fiction bundle—it’ll directly benefit authors and help us, too.

It Came from the North--Finnish Fiction

Southern Reach UK Tour: London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Bristol, Bath

Annihilation--Fourth Estate cover

The last two weeks of August I’ll be over in the United Kingdom for a book tour behind the Southern Reach trilogy. You can find the basic details below, and I’ll provide more information closer to August. My wife Ann VanderMeer will be traveling with me and participating in some of these events. We hope to see many of our UK friends and fans!

London

Aug. 14, 4pm—Reading and signing at Forbidden Planet; exclusive reading from Acceptance (London Megastore)

Aug. 15-17—World SF Convention; panels below, Walk-with-Stars Saturday morning; rest of schedule TBA

**Big Anthologies: Bookends or Benchmarks?, Friday Aug. 15, 4:30pm—Jo Walton (M), Jeff VanderMeer, Ellen Datlow, Martin Lewis, Jonathan Strahan
**Imaginative Resistance, Saturday Aug. 16, 11am—Jeff VanderMeer (M), Robert Jackson Bennett, Pat Cadigan, Daryl Gregory, Sarita Robinson
**The Wrong Apocalypse, Sunday Aug. 17, 1:30pm—Mark Charan Newton (M), Nina Allan, Jeff VanderMeer, Tiffani Angus, Ivaylo Shmilev
***John Clute’s The Darkening Garden, Sunday Aug. 17, 4:30pm—Paul Kincaid, Jeff VanderMeer, Lisa Tuttle, Ellen Datlow, Dr Paul March-Russell

Edinburgh

Aug. 19, 8:30pm—Edinburgh International Book Festival event, “Fantasy That’s Terrifyingly Believable, with Charlie Fletcher and Jeff VanderMeer” (Baille Gifford Corner Theatre; ticketed event)

Glasgow

Aug. 21, 7pm—Waterstones, an evening with Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, Amal El-Mohtar, Hal Duncan, and Neil Williamson (Argyle Street)

Dublin

Aug. 23, 24—Eurocon; schedule TBA

Bristol-Bath

Aug. 25, 7pm—Small Stories Big Books event featuring Ann & Jeff Vandermeer (The Lansdown,8 Clifton Rd, Bristol)

Aug. 26, 7pm—Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights a conversation with Jeff VanderMeer (and short reading) (14/15 John Street, Bath, UK; ticketed event)

Authority--UK